Bobby Gates and South of the Border

We’ve already had a few things to say about this guy, such as here and here. We still anticipate some ugliness south of the border in the coming two years if he’s approved for Defense Secretary by the Senate.

Gates Advocated Air Strikes on Nicaragua
Published on Saturday, November 25, 2006.
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — 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.

He also recommended that the United States prevent delivery to the Sandinistas of such weapons in the future. The administration, he said, should make clear that a U.S. invasion of the country was not contemplated.

The target of Gates’ anxieties was Nicaragua’s leftist president, Daniel Ortega.

Ironically, Gates’ nomination to succeed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was announced just days after Ortega capped off a surprise political comeback by winning election as Nicaraguan president after three previous bids were rejected by the voters.

Read the rest of it here.

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