Gates blasts Washington’s bitter partisanship

“Civility, mutual respect, putting country before self and country before party,” Gates said. “These virtues in this town are becoming … historic relics.”

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He lauded Scowcroft, for whom he worked during the George H.W. Bush administration, for working during his 64-year career to find ways around political differences.

Scowcroft was national security adviser to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush, and served as President Nixon’s military assistant. He most recently helped President Obama form his national security team. Commissioned in 1947 as an officer in the Army Air Forces, which became the U.S. Air Force later that year, he rose to the rank of lieutenant general.