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Gates: Reid’s unforgivable remark sent riveting message to troops

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Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a “disgraceful” remark he’d made during the surge of troops in Iraq.

Gates told a panel at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday that he’d dedicated his memoir, “Duty,” to military service members, saying “I wanted to write a book about them, their families and for the country that sent them” into harm’s way.

“The troops believed and still believe that they were being successful in their mission,” he explained at the 12:55 mark. “So I think they were able, to a certain extent, to set aside the politics here at home.”

They could, that is, until Reid’s callous, morale-deflating remark.

“When you have somebody like the Senate Majority Leader come out in the middle of the surge and say ‘this war is lost,’ I thought that was one of the most disgraceful things I’ve heard a politician say. That sends a riveting message to kids who are putting their lives on the line every day that they’re doing it for nothing.”

Earlier in the interview he said that the two things that troubled him about President Obama the most were his distrust of senior military staff and his refusal to “regularly go out in front of audiences and talk about why the war in Afghanistan was necessary” — especially to the military.

“And to send the message routinely to the men and women he had sent into battle — why the cause was noble, why it was just, why it was worth the sacrifice he was asking them to make.”

Watch the interview via MSNBC, then catch Gates: Only passion Obama ever showed for military was over ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

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