In 1984, Robert Gates, then the No. 2 CIA official, advocated U.S. airstrikes against Nicaragua's pro-Cuban government to reverse what he described as an ineffective U.S. strategy to deal with communist advances in Central America, previously classified documents say.
Gates, President Bush's nominee to be defense secretary, said the United States could no longer justify what he described as "halfhearted" attempts to contain Nicaragua's Sandinista government, according to documents released Friday by the National Security Archive, a private research group.
In a memo to CIA Director William Casey dated Dec. 14, 1984, Gates said his proposed airstrikes would be designed "to destroy a considerable portion of Nicaragua's military buildup" and be focused on tanks and helicopters.
This man does not deserve to be Secretary of Defense, I'm not sure its a prudent time for the Democrats to attempt a filibuster of the nomination however. It really was a cynical thing for Bush to time the nomination this way and insist that he needs a Secretary of State immediately. I would venture to guess that if Bush had waited Gates would not have a prayer of confirmation in a Democratic Senate, however, it seems unwise to make our last act in the minority before the new Congress a filibuster. If a vote can be prevented before the new Congress without appearing quite as contentious as a filibuster would, that would be an excellent idea. I had no opinion on Gates until very recently, but it seems to me as though this man probably has no business being Secretary of Defense.