- Sen. Claire McCaskill to tackle sex assault at college next
- Judge’s order preserves NSA surveillance records
- Refurbished Pollock masterpiece goes on display
- Iditarod becomes mad dash for Nome
- ‘Burger King baby’ now seeks birth mom on Facebook
- Study: 2 percent of Americans have new hips, knees
- Friend: Pistorius shot gun out car without warning
- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
- Ukraine’s Crimea seeks to become independent state
Obama honors Gates on last day as defense chief
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday honored outgoing Defense Secretary RobertGates‘ four decades of service, including the past 4½ years in charge of the Pentagon, by surprising him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It’s the highest honor a president can give a civilian.
“I can think of no better way to express the gratitude of the nation to Bob Gates than with a very special recognition,” Obama said as he asked Gates to step forward to receive the award.
An emotional Gates quipped that he “should have known the president was getting pretty good at this covert ops stuff,” an apparent reference to last month’s secret raid in Pakistan that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Gates said his tenure as defense secretary, a period in which he oversaw the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and recent U.S. military involvement in Libya, “has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life and for that I will always be grateful.”
Gates‘ last day is Thursday.
At an outdoor ceremony at the Pentagon marking his retirement, Obama called Gates a humble American patriot, a man of common sense and decency, and one of the nation’s finest public servants. Obama also said he considers Gates a friend.
Gates became defense secretary in December 2006 under Bush. He is being replaced by outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta.
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Redskins free agency: 5 positions to watch
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- CPAC 2014: Despite Ben Carson's speech, gay marriage mostly took a back seat at CPAC
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again