I like him too, because it is a smart promotion by Obama to appoint someone with legislative experience and likely the ability to provide the president with good advice.
The main thing I don't liked about this is not a disagreement with Obama (I have beef) it is with the unprecedented filibuster and denial of an executive's right to choose their own cabinet, for political beef no less.
We have continued nation building in Africa. All we really have done is move the stuff from Afghanistan and Iraq to all over the middle east.
.Paul Greenberg: Keep talking, senators: Of filibusters and Chuck Hagel
Not since the eminently forgettable and now justly forgotten Louis A. Johnson was chosen to dismantle the country's military budget after the Second World War — just in time to leave this country woefully unprepared for the Korean one — has a nominee for secretary of defense represented so clear and present a danger to the national security.
This time his name is Chuck Hagel, a former senator of shifting convictions about the country's defense, much of whose political career has been devoted to undermining that defense — when he wasn't using high office to peddle low prejudices. Like the dangers of “ostentatious” homosexuals in the Foreign Service, or a Jewish conspiracy dominating American politics. Such is the man this president has chosen to protect the nation's security, God help us all.
Thanks to those far-sighted statesmen who gave us the Constitution of the United States — “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man,” to quote Gladstone — the American system is replete with protections for the political minority, which needs all the protection it can get. There are numberless such safeguards, from the Bill of Rights in the Constitution itself to unlimited debate in the Senate of the United States, also known as the filibuster.
No doubt many of those protections have been abused to thwart the will of the majority. But there comes a time when the will of the majority very much needs thwarting. As when a heedless majority is about to make not just a bad but a dangerous decision by a party-line vote. A time like now.
For a handy summation of the many good reasons to block the nomination of Charles Hagel as the country's next secretary of defense, nothing can beat the transcript of his confirmation hearings, which amounted to one embarrassing debacle after another for the nominee. There were so many it is impossible to detail them all in a single column.
To cite one: This is a senator who supported going to war in Iraq, complete with beating drums and blaring bugles. But when the outlook turned bleak there, and our troops needed all the support they could get on the home front, Sen. Hagel sounded retreat — indeed, surrender.
At that decisive point, Sen. Hagel not only opposed but denounced the Surge that would save the day, not to mention a war, a country and the prospects for freedom in the most turbulent and dangerous part of the globe. The moral of this story: On him you shouldn't count. Especially as secretary of defense.
Other examples of Chuck Hagel's comprehensive lack of qualifications for any position of responsibility in the Department of Defense, let alone head of it, abound. The man even voted against designating the Revolutionary Guards, Iran's terrorist spearhead, as a terrorist organization. That was in 2007, when the Guards were still flooding Iraq with the IEDs used to kill American GIs.
Of all the former senator's grave misjudgments and petty prejudices on display during his day-long disaster called confirmation hearings, two exchanges stand out.
The first came when John McCain, still defending freedom after all these years, pressed the nominee to admit an obvious fact: The Surge had worked. And he'd been wrong, dead wrong, not just to oppose it but to denounce it — in the strongest terms — and predict it would never work.
After a game try at evading Sen. McCain's persistent questions about the Surge and his blind opposition to it, Chuck Hagel finally said he would “defer that judgment to history” — an elevated way of dodging the whole issue.
To which Sen. McCain, in a revealing moment and decisive verdict, responded: “I think history has already made a judgment about the Surge, sir, and you're on the wrong side of it.” Q.E.D.
The other revelation came during Mr. Hagel's colloquy with Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina, who with John McCain and Joe Lieberman has never wavered in his support of our troops and their cause. That interchange deserves quoting in full:
Senator Graham: Let us talk a little bit about statements you've made. You've explained this a bit. You said, “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. I'm not an Israeli senator, I'm a United States senator. This pressure makes us do dumb things at times.” … Name one person in your opinion who's intimidated by the Israeli lobby in the United States Senate.
Mr. Hagel: Well, first —
Graham: Name one.
Hagel: I don't know.
Graham: Well, why would you say it?
Hagel: I didn't have in mind a specific —
Graham: Do you agree it's a provocative statement? That I can't think of a more provocative thing to say about the relationship between the United States and Israel and the Senate or the Congress than what you said? Name one dumb thing we've been goaded into doing because of the pressure from the Israeli or Jewish lobby.
Hagel: I have already stated that I regret the terminology I used.
Graham: But you said back then, “it makes us do dumb things.” You can't name one senator intimidated. Now give me one example of the dumb things that we are pressured to do up here.
Hagel: We were talking in that interview about the Middle East, about positions, about Israel, that's what I was referring to.
Graham: So give me an example of where we have been intimidated by the Israeli/Jewish lobby to do something dumb regarding the Mideast, Israel or anywhere else.
Hagel: Well, I can't give you an example.
Graham: Thank you.
Nothing his critics can say about having Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense can be as damning as his own baseless words. Or his silence when asked to back them up. A silence that speaks volumes.
Chuck Hagel's qualifications for the post he so ardently seeks begin with his sterling war record. Unfortunately, that's where they end.
The man is a disaster waiting to happen at Defense — think Benghazis galore. Happily, the Senate chose to delay Mr. Hagel's nomination by a vote of 58 to 40 last week, a couple of votes short of the 60 required to end a filibuster.
Having won a brief reprieve from this nominee's confirmation, senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham and the rest of this political minority need to keep fightin'. And keep talking.
Paul Greenberg's e-mail address is email@example.com.
TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES
Tim-so what are you trying to tell us? That Hagel is competent or that Israel's nukes will start armageddon...or both?
So Bob...how did the surge work out? Is the guy "gifted" enough to ****ess that after the fact?Bob Dole urges Hagel confirmation as defense secretary
By Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News
White House Correspondent
Add Bob Dole—former senator, former presidential candidate, grievously wounded in World War II—to the list of Republican heavy-hitters urging the Senate to confirm the embattled Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.
“Hagel’s wisdom and courage make him uniquely qualified to be Secretary of Defense and lead the men and women of our armed forces,” Dole said in a statement released by the White House. “Chuck Hagel will be an exceptional leader at an important time.”
.15 G.O.P. Senators Urge Hagel’s Withdrawal as Democrats Push Toward Vote
By JEREMY W. PETERS
Published: February 21, 2013
WASHINGTON — A group of 15 Republican senators insisted on Thursday that President Obama withdraw the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary, the latest move in a contentious battle to block the confirmation of their former colleague.
2 Senate Opponents Vow to End Bid to Block Hagel (February 18, 2013)
But even as Republican senators tried to throw up another obstacle, Senate Democrats said they were pushing ahead with plans to hold a final up-or-down vote on the nomination no later than Wednesday.
Should that vote proceed as planned, Mr. Hagel’s confirmation appears ****ured. Several Republicans have said that they intend to drop their attempts to filibuster the nomination.
But given how deeply divided Mr. Hagel’s nomination has left the Senate, the outlook in the immediate term is murky.
Many Republicans, like the 15 who wrote to the president on Thursday, signaled that they would not let the issue die quietly. And those who have said that they would ultimately not support a filibuster, like Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Richard Shelby of Alabama, were leaving the door open to further delay.
Saying that Mr. Hagel’s confirmation would be “unprecedented” because of near-unanimous opposition from Republicans, the group of 15 senators urged Mr. Obama to pick another candidate.
“Over the last half-century, no secretary of defense has been confirmed and taken office with more than three senators voting against him,” they wrote. “The occupant of this critical office should be someone whose candidacy is neither controversial or divisive.”
Signing the letter were John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican; Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina; Roger Wicker of Mississippi; David Vitter of Louisiana; Ted Cruz of Texas; Mike Lee of Utah; Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania; Marco Rubio of Florida; Dan Coats of Indiana; Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; James E. Risch of Idaho; John Barrasso of Wyoming; and Tom Coburn and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.
Members of the group cited a litany of objections, including Mr. Hagel’s unimpressive showing at his confirmation hearing, which drew criticism from members of both parties, and what they said was his “dangerous” posture toward dealing with Iran.
The level of derision directed at Mr. Hagel from Republicans has been striking not just because defense secretaries are usually confirmed on a simple up-or-down vote, but also because Mr. Hagel, a Republican, served with many of them in the Senate until 2008.
“Senator Hagel’s performance at his confirmation hearing was deeply concerning, leading to serious doubts about his basic competence to meet the substantial demands of the office,” they said.
Senate Republicans narrowly blocked a vote on Mr. Hagel’s confirmation last week in a filibuster, forcing Democrats to put the matter off until senators return from recess next week.
Republicans have been using the filibuster to prevent final consideration of the nomination by refusing to end debate on it, a procedural step that requires 60 senators to vote in the affirmative.
But some Republicans, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, have since said that they will drop their objections. Mr. McCain was firm, saying on Sunday, “I don’t believe that we should hold up his nomination any further.”
Others, like Mr. Graham, Mr. Shelby and Ms. Fischer, have said that while they do not support a filibuster, they believe that the senators should have ample time to consider their votes, leaving themselves open to voting not to end debate next week.
Only one more Republican “yes” vote would be needed to cut off debate and carry through with a final vote if all the Republicans who voted to end the filibuster last week voted to do so again.
Because Mr. Hagel has the support of Senate Democrats, who control 55 seats, he is likely to clear a final vote, which requires a simple majority of 51.
If Senate Democrats move ahead with a vote and get the 60 votes necessary to end debate, Mr. Hagel could be confirmed as early as Tuesday. But because of procedural rules, any Republican could still delay the vote until Wednesday.
A new voice chimed in on the debate on Thursday. Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader and, like Mr. Hagel, a decorated veteran, urged his fellow Republicans to put aside their objections.
“Hagel’s wisdom and courage make him uniquely qualified to be secretary of defense and lead the men and women of our armed forces,” Mr. Dole said, adding that he would be “an exceptional leader at an important time.”
Old Chuck keeps taking hits:
Indian Embassy chides Hagel for 2011 remark
Published February 26, 2013
Washington Free Beacon
The Embassy of India chided secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel late Monday for suggesting in a previously unreleased 2011 speech that India has "for many years" sponsored terrorist activities against Pakistan in Afghanistan.
"India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan" in Afghanistan, Hagel said during a 2011 address on Afghanistan at Oklahoma's Cameron University, according to video of the speech obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
A spokesperson for the Embassy of India told the Free Beacon that Hagel's remarks are not grounded in "reality."
"Such comments attributed to Sen. Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-U.S. relations, are contrary to the reality of India's unbounded dedication to the welfare of the Afghan people," the spokesperson said to the Free Beacon in an e-mail.
"India's commitment to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is unwavering, and this is reflected in our significant ****istance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure and institutional capacities," the spokesperson said. "Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighborhood is firm and unshakeable."
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...#ixzz2M1hd4YaS
Looks like Chuck is going to be confirmed.Pentagon nominee Hagel clears Senate test vote on second try
Published February 26, 2013
On the second attempt, the Senate advanced Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense secretary Tuesday -- after Republicans earlier this month held up the vote in a historic filibuster.
The decision to end debate was approved on a 71-27 vote. A final vote is expected later Tuesday afternoon.
Hagel is now expected to be confirmed, as the final vote only requires a simple majority. But the drama surrounding his nomination signals an unusual level of distrust among many senators for the man chosen to lead the Defense Department -- at a time when the country is trying to wind down the Afghanistan war, while ****essing emerging threats from Iran, Syria and elsewhere in the turbulent Middle East and North Africa.
Republicans, in blocking Hagel earlier this month, held up the nomination largely over demands for more information from the Obama administration on the Sept. 11 Libya attacks.
But they also raised serious and recurring concerns about Hagel's record of past statements and votes on everything from Israel to Iran to nuclear weapons.
The final vote is expected to be much closer. Several Republicans had already indicated they would allow for an up-or-down vote, even though they planned to ultimately oppose his nomination.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked what the delaying tactics had done for "my Republican colleagues."
"Twelve days later, nothing. Nothing has changed," the Democrat said on the Senate floor. "Sen. Hagel's exemplary record of service to his country remains untarnished."
Reid blamed partisanship over Obama's second-term national security team for the delay. Both Reid and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, warned that it was imperative to act just days before automatic, across-the-board budget cuts hit the Pentagon.
If confirmed, Hagel would succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and join Obama's retooled national security team. Hagel's nomination bitterly split the Senate, with Republicans turning on their former party colleague and Democrats standing by Obama's nominee.
The president got no points with the Republicans for tapping the former two-term senator.
Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican, clashed with his onetime friend over his opposition to President George W. Bush's decision to send an extra 30,000 troops to Iraq in 2007 at a point when the war seemed in danger of being lost. Hagel, who voted to authorize military force in Iraq, later opposed the conflict, comparing it to Vietnam and argued that it shifted the focus from Afghanistan.
McCain called Hagel unqualified for the Pentagon job even though he once described him as fit for a Cabinet post.
Republicans also challenged Hagel about a May 2012 study that he co-authored for the advocacy group Global Zero, which called for an 80 percent reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons and the eventual elimination of all the world's nuclear arms.
The group argued that with the Cold War over, the United States can reduce its total nuclear arsenal to 900 without sacrificing security. Currently, the U.S. and Russia have about 5,000 warheads each, either deployed or in reserve. Both countries are on track to reduce their deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 by 2018, the number set in the New START treaty that the Senate ratified in December 2010.
In an echo of the 2012 presidential campaign, Hagel faced an onslaught of criticism by well-funded, Republican-leaning outside groups that labeled the former senator "anti-Israel" and pressured senators to oppose the nomination. The groups ran television and print ads criticizing Hagel.
Opponents were particularly incensed by Hagel's use of the term "Jewish lobby" to refer to pro-Israel groups. He apologized, saying he should have used another term and should not have said those groups have intimidated members of the Senate into favoring actions contrary to U.S. interests.
The nominee spent weeks reaching out to members of the Senate, meeting individually with lawmakers to address their concerns and seeking to reassure them about his policies.
Hagel's halting and inconsistent performance during some eight hours of testimony at this confirmation hearing last month undercut his cause, but it wasn't a fatal blow.
There was no erosion in Democratic support for the president's choice and Hagel had the backing of three Republicans -- Sens. Thad Cochran, Mike Johanns and Richard Shelby. Other Republicans were reluctant to block a president's Cabinet choice from getting a yes or no vote, fearing the precedent.
The ****ociated Press contributed to this report.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...#ixzz2M1wd9Krs
Chuck confirmed 58-41 with 4 pubs voting for him...including Rand Paul.
Harry Reid set the precedent for a nominee to be delayed over a refusal to supply the same type of information.
Demos would never block a nominee ..........maybe Robert Bork.
But never mind Hagel was confirmed. John Kerry "Americans have a right to be stupid" in action.
Kerry, no. Why would there be? He was a legend in the Senate.
Hagel was a vendetta against the administration and there were some personal bones to pick with him. Hagel would have walked through the process if it were not for the republican obsession with Susan Rice and talking points.
I think we see the same thing with the CIA director, and I am OK with that. It seems appropriate to get the drone program some oversight.
Why because he reached across the aisle and found a former senator from the opposition he could work with?
The slurping is sickening. Now he has him a "Republican" to decimate the military.