Jon Stewart sat down with Robert Gates on Wednesday to discuss former U.S. defense secretary’s book "Duty" – which was released this week.
While Gates mostly talked about his term as the leader and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense from 2006 to 2010, Stewart wanted to know why U.S. lawmakers weren’t keen on providing care to the nation’s veterans.
“I write in the book that the only bureaucracy that is more intractable than the Department of Defense is Veterans Affairs,” the guest replied.
“Congress has micro-managed Veterans Affairs in such a way that changing anything that has to do with dealing with veterans requires, literally, an act of Congress,” Gates said.
He added that pilot programs were usually shelved because working on them required alterations to the existing law.
Stewart later remarked that “Duty” focuses a lot on the inefficiency of the U.S. Congress which, according to him, was the best part of the book.
“Congress, almost universally, comes out looking venal and small,” Stewart told Gates. “And I thought, ‘Boy, that’s accurate.’”
Gates added to Stewart’s analysis by implying that Congress members had become news celebrities, spending too much time in front of the camera than in the office.
“I say in the book that the effect of the red light of the television going on has the same effect on members of Congress as a full moon does on werewolves,” Gates said.
Watch the complete interview in the video above.