GOP Sen. asks Obama to ‘reconsider’ Hagel nomination

GOP Sen. asks Obama to ‘reconsider’ Hagel nomination

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., requested President Obama reconsider his nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel two days before the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman had said he hoped to vote on the nomination.

Graham and other Senate Republicans grilled Hagel during his nomination hearing about his support of Israel and his previous statements suggesting that U.S. diplomats engage Iran on its nuclear program.

Hagel often repeated his stances on Israel and Iran that hewed closely to the Obama administration policy. However, he slipped in the beginning portion of the hearing when he said he supported the policy of containing Iran. He corrected the record after the break.

Graham said it would be irresponsible to vote for Hagel because he didn’t seem sure of the U.S. policy regarding Iran.

“Chuck Hagel is a good man, but these are dangerous times.  What kind of signal are we sending to the Iranians when our nominee for Secretary of Defense seems clueless about what our policy is?  I hope the Obama Administration will reconsider his nomination,” Graham said in a statement he issued Tuesday.

The White House waits to see if the Republicans mount a filibuster against Hagel’s nomination. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has told reporters that he would oppose such a move.

“I do not believe a filibuster is appropriate and I would oppose such a move,” McCain said.

Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich, has told reporters that he would like to vote on the nomination on Thursday. However, a filibuster would delay such a vote.

Defense analysts predicted last week that the Obama administration had the votes to confirm Hagel. It is rare for a cabinet nominee to be rejected. The last president to have a cabinet nominee rejected was George H.W. Bush when he nominated John Tower as defense secretary.

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Chuck is being slammed for all the wrong reasons.

I don’t want Charles Timothy Hagel to be Secretary of Defense because his entire life has been punctuated with impetuous behavior, hasty decisions, impulsive actions, and while he has proven himself good at doing that (intuitive or lucky, or both), the Secretary of Defense should be more strategic and deliberate in his thinking. We need someone who can think through a very complex problem and see more than several moves into the game before he acts, rather than a hip-shooter who thinks with his gut and acts impulsively, more like Caspar Willard Wineberger rather than Donald Henry Rumsfeld.

The rest of it is seems like noise obfuscating signal.

“Graham said it would be irresponsible to vote for Hagel because he didn’t seem sure of the U.S. policy regarding Iran.”

It’s not just that.

It’s that Hagel showed himself to be unaware of the most basic elements of the job of SECDEF. Did not even know with reasonable accuracy how big the defense budget is, for example. He ended up walking back remarks repeatedly in which his incapacity had been displayed, ending up by glumly admitting that “there are a lot of things I don’t know about” DoD programs and policies.

It’s that Hagel has spoken scornfully of the country which he proposes to serve as SECDEF. During an interview with al-Jazeera television, an anti-American commenter called America “the world’s bully”, in those exact words, and incredibly, Hagel said he agreed with her assessment of the USA. What kind of a message does that send to those who serve? What message does it send the rest of the world?

It’s that, while insulting America, Hagel has meanwhile repeatedly endorsed in glowing terms the presumed legitimacy and good graces of the Iranian government. Iran is in reality a rogue state which has for decades funded and organized terror attacks against the USA, and against American military and diplomatic personnel abroad. The plague of IED attacks in Iraq was repeatedly traced back to Iranian-supplied materials, for example.

It’s that Hagel has spun wild conspiracy theories about how “the Israeli lobby” allegedly exerts a sinister degree of control over the Congress, but when challenged at his confirmation hearings to produce just one name of a legislator who he believes to have been thus unduly influenced, Hagel was comically unable to comply.

It’s that Hagel has endorsed frankly radical and dangerous concepts for defense reductions. A representative of the Obama White House came right out and very openly admitted in an interview that they chose Hagel to give cover to their plans for “huge cuts” to the military (again in those precise words). Roll that around your thoughts for a minute. “Huge cuts” at a time when the services are already overstretched. Hagel is further associated with the “Global Zero” initiative which proposes that the USA do away with all of its nuclear deterrent.

This guy is the most unfit nominee ever to have been put forth for SECDEF. If the Senate once rejected SECDEF nominee John Tower, a guy who knew the specifics of the DoD with utter precision and who was not an advocate of loopy disarmament notions, simply on the basis of Tower drinking and womanizing, then there is no excuse for the Senate to not similarly reject this unqualified and unstable individual.

I agree a Israel hater and Islam lover like hagel should not be Sec of Def when we are at war in the middle east. Ohh that’s the same view Obama has so I see why he likes him.

Absolutely amazing. The number of Vietnam veteran haters out there is absolutely astounding.
You can back peddle and claim he is unqualified for all the excuses that have been brought up by the chicken hawks, extreme right wing revisionists who believe we HAD to invade Iraq, blame Nam vets for “LOSING their war” etc, but what it REALLY means is that there is a concerted effort on the part of guys like John McCain to discredit ANYONE who isn’t a TRUE believer.
RUMSFIELD was categorically one of the WORSE SecDefs since Bob MacNamara. Check out Dina Rasor’s expose’ on his career on the Project On Government Oversight and LEARN something !

Sadly, this isn’t about being a Vietnam Vet or not. I am a Vietnam Vet but would not vote for someone on that basis alone. Being the Secretary of Defense is not about bing a vet of one or another war, rather its about being able to manage and lead a huge and important part of the US. If after his years in government AND having had the chance to prepare for the hearing, Chuck Hagel remains clueless about the Department and the environment in which it operates than approving him could be a terrible disaster

What’s amazing is that a tried and true patriot is considered unfit for public service simply because he criticized Israel. If we had more Cabinet Members with cojones we would not have Israel in control of our foreign policy.

Get rid of Obama while your at it.

Response to ‘El Fuego;
What foreign policy?
Since George Bush we haven’t had one. All This administration has done is apologize and appease

Hagel is just another one of POTUS puppet. He is clueless and should just retire.

This is “partisian” Politics as usual. One of the main issues is the President should have people around him he trusts and respects. Say what you want about President Obama, but he’s not dumb! One, of my mentors in life told me once, he was not the smartest person in the world (but) he knew enough to put smart people around him! I am a Vietnam Veteran, I served in the same Infantry Division as Chuck, at the same time and we are one day in age different. I would like to see a person with the “realities” of war as experience than an Ivy league “REMF” sacrificing our warriors without just cause. I believe Chuck has that mentality!

Look at it as a “grunt” Chuck will see and know what it is like to put our enlisted ranks in harms way. Not going to be impressed by the 08’s and other self promoters. VN71-72

Rethink? I saw the hearing on CSPN and it was embarrassing
He was not articulate
He was not versed on our policies e.g. containment
He is hardly the caliber we need as SecDef
I would have been mortified had I appeared that unprepared
In my past job as XO to a state board in California, I was often asked to represent the board
in senate and assembly select committee hearings regarding veterans.
I prepared.
I anticipated what they might ask.
He obviously did not bother with either
In one word he is UNFIT
BTW I am not a REP or a DEM, but an independent

How could he be “articulate” when that plane crashing son of a Navy Admiral and former POW was cutting him off at every word? Could YOU have been articulate under those circumstances? Give us a break.

Hagel is DEFINITELY “NOT” THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB at this time! Too much going on in this world for a man that could not answer the important questions asked of him! I had to laugh when one of his aides had to pass him some of the answers.

Who does Linsey Graham think he is saying that it would not be responsible for the President to consider Hagel as a nominee? What is irrespnsible is agreeing to vote for anything, no matter what , if it is an idea brought up by the other side. Every single Republican from the last Congressional session is guilty of that, including Snator Graham.

It is unfortunate that Senator Graham has taken such a tack, and the same can be said for McCain. These used to be “responsible” Republicans that tried to do what they thought was best, irrespective of what the Republican Party thought. This just goes to show how dense and unreasonable the people that elected them are (i.e., the electorate of South Carolina and Arizona).

Senator Hagel is a Republican and he is their long time friend. Obama should be entitled to who he wants on his Cabinet. So far the criticism of Hagel has been as shallow as it is unwarranted. Just a slew of garbage from a minority of inbred morons. Send Graham back to the cotton patch. He and McCain have seen better days.

I don’t think we should have a SecDef that hasn’t served in the military. Why do we have civilians that have NEVER served trying to command the military?

Hagel did serve in Vietnam… That doesn’t change the fact his confirmation hearing should make clear to everyone he isn’t up to the job.

Frankly, the Department needs to look forward and not backwards. After Vietnam, we had excellent Secretaries of Defense — Jim Schlesinger, Harold Brown, even Rumsfeld I — who guided us to recovery from Vietnam. If all we do after Iraq and Afghanistan is live in the past and lick our wounds, we are done for. Sometimes you need to remember lessons learned. Sometimes you need to forget and learn new things. Most of all, we need a strong vision for the future, and I’m not seeing or hearing any of that.

I hate to be Captain Obvious here, but ANY cabinet appointee is a puppet for the President. They are appointees after all (even if they have to be approved by congress).

You can not have any idea of reality ! His criticisn of Israel is simply a minor point in all of the other ignorance that comes from his remarks recently and in the past ! He may be patriotic but so are most Americans ! A partiot is not just one who has served in the military a patriot is one who loves his nation works daily in all that he does to show his loyaltiy and belief in our founding documents .

What are you talking about? Sen. Hagel not only served in the military, but was an 11-B in RVN.

That winnows down the list of candidates to … let’s see … MILLIONS.

And if we further winnow that down to Democrats and Republicans or Independents who are acceptable to Democrats, perhaps TENS OF THOUSANDS. (I’m being generous.)

So you don’t think there are any other important qualifications to lead the Armed Forces of our great Republic besides a DD 214? You’re aiming very low, Sniperjoe.

Sorry, Captain Obvious. You should be busted to 1LT.

There’s a difference between being an empty suit and being a substantive leader who can think for himself and is accountable to his Commander-in-Chief. SECDEF is also POTUS’s principal advisor on defense affairs. The SECDEF needs to have a mind of his own, an understanding of global security challenges, and an idea of America’s role in the world and the use of the military instrument of power.

Senator Hagel failed that test–and failed it spectacularly–on all counts.

Donald Rumsfeld? What great things did he do? Support Cheney, Feith and the others who lied to Colin Powell and the rest of the world that we had to get Sadam due to WMR he didn’t have? And thousands of our troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. Oh year, something happened to our country’s financial status while we fought unnecessary wars. Poor W! I guess he got fooled by the non-combatant war hawks who were his top advisors. Bob McEwen, USMC, Ret.

This was the most embarrassing performance by a cabinet nominee in my memory. Chuck Hagel has proven he is utterly unprepared to lead the Armed Forces of the United States. The Administration should stop this train wreck and withdraw Hagel from consideration to save themselves the humiliating spectacle of buffonery that is surely yet to come.

Hagel should have been proposed for the VA, a job for which he would have been much better qualified, and where he could do considerably less harm.

Sorry, friends…that should be “buffoonery.”

Taking cheap shots at entire state populations…the people of AZ and SC are “dense and unreasonable”? Graham should “go back to the cotton patch”?

OK, “Guest,” I suppose you are the model of public responsibility.

Oh, yes. My heart breaks for poor, clueless, Colin Powell.

His current political identity crisis aside, General Powell was a very sophisticated consumer of intelligence, who as SECSTATE had independent access to Intelligence Community resources and reporting. He understood the limits of intelligence–that it is an imperfect crystal ball. He knew the risks, and understood that there is always conflicting intelligence reporting, that the adversary is always a non-cooperative target, and that intelligence sometimes gets things wrong. He understood that policymakers have to make decisions with imperfect and incomplete–even unknowable–information. He was an seasoned, grown-up policymaker and beltway insider, fully accountable for his own errors in judgment. He was nobody’s dupe. And I doubt even he would point the finger of blame at others for his own mistakes.

Great post, Torque.

Despite all the embarrassingly moronic comments by the right-wing wackos, there is one comment by El Fuego that spells out the real reason for Hagel’s trouble before this committee and that is the jewish lobbies influence on members of Congress; all the rest is meaningless partisan blather.

I fully understand what the Cabinet Posts are supposed to do and be. Reality rarely follows what’s supposed to happen with regards to political apointees — especially with these last two presidents. After seeing Hagel’s responses, I could only surmise that the thin veil of substance and character that a Secretary of Defense should at least carry was forgotten by the latest nominee when questioned by the senate. I think that you might have missed my sarcasm and more than a little cynicism in my last post. I know those things don’t carry well on a blog. Cheers.

Bob… You seem to have misread my comment. My point was that I think we need a Sec Def more like Weinberger rather than like Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld and Cheney disregarded Powell because held in disregard the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine of Restrictive Use of Force.

Weinberger-Powell Doctrine of Restrictive Use of Force advocates that force be used only as last resort on behalf of vital interests, and then only implemented as overwhelming force with clearly defined and achievable political-military objectives, and with reasonable assurance of enduring public and congressional support.

The GOP asks the President, a Democrat, to reconsider the nomination of a Republican senator as Secretary of Defense?

Had Obama nominated Jesus Christ as Secretary of “Religion”, the frickin’ repukes would cry foul and demand an investigation and perhaps, impeachment.

There is no more clear indication as to what party is hindering the progress of the United States.

GOP = Greed Over Principles.

Stupid dittoheads…

ignorant remark from a typical dittohead.

So, the Senators who are labeling him as impetuous and irresponsible are the same ones who claimed there were WMD’s in Iraq and got us into another “Vietnam” there. Go figure!

You sir,(native son) are a dumb son of a bitch. We sure as hell dont want him having anything to do with the va. You left wing bastards have screwed up the government as it is!! Of course we cant expect much from a damn fool that voted for a half-breed potus that wasnt even from America. Or are you going to argue that the forged document from Hawaii is his TRUE birth certificate. I will finish this rebuke like i stated it, (YOU SIR ARE A DUMB SON-OF-A-BITCH)!!

Thanks Russ, for your well “thought out” response (must of made your head really hurt!!). I’m especially impressed with your birther addition! That shows you’ve been paying attention to the mundane and irrelevant nonsense — most likely from fox fantasy and the drug addict know as “Rush”. Yup Russell, you’re a dittohead, full fledged and bonified! So, tell me.… how long have you and your sister been married? BTW… did she ever let on your cousin was better in bed?

Obama is a total narcissist and will not even listen to what the GOP has to say. Obama is not a leader.

Who cares about Israel? Not my country, has never fought side-by-side with the US, and is a relatively small trade partner. Islam has over a billion adherents and controls a lot of oil. If you really want to protect US interests, you better get hip to allies in the Islamic world. Otherwise, you are naive.

I see things more in terms of Rochauian/Bismarckian realpolitik than the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine — IMO force should be used in a cost/benefit sort of way so that it most supports US interests (American values, such as self-determination and freedom, being included in that calculation). That said, who do you think is a better candidate than Hagel?

That’s because the GOP (Greed Over Principals), has nothing relevant to say. They lie.

SecretSquid says: “Hagel should have been proposed for the VA, a job for which he would have been much better qualified, and where he could do considerably less harm.”

Gen Eric Shinseki has done a great job at the VA and he wants to stay on. The last thing the VA needs especially now is anyone who is considered to be less than sharp!

What most people don’t realize is how completely FUBAR the DoD procurement, R & D and accounting SOP’s have become since 9/11. We don’t need another SecDef insider, we need a true reformer with NO connections to the Iron Triangle of Congressional pork and the revolving door between multi-million dollar contractors and the Puzzle Palace. Another “highly qualified & experienced” SecDef will allow these conditions to further deteriorate how the Pentagon operates at an even higher level of financial mismanagement and waste.
Hagel may not be perfect, but if he decides to follow the Project on Government Oversight’s recommendations, he will be the most successful SecDef we’ve had in decades. For those who don’t no POGO​.com, you better access it quick so your comments will be based on the reality of the peril we face rather than mere opinion.

Fair enough, Lee…still, previous SECDEFs have been mostly impressive men of great substance and gravitas. Not perfect, but men of substance and will. Even with the cynicism filter on, “puppet” is just not remotely the right word to describe these men or the role. Hagel is seriously out of his depth.

Best regards,



Agreed! Sorry, I misspoke. Didn’t intend to suggest Shinseki should be replaced, or that Hagel is even in Shinseki’s league. The point I was trying to make is that Hagel would be a more credible candidate for a post such as VA than SECDEF.

My apologies.

Got news for you, 51…they were FUBAR before 9/11, too.

YO Navy !
It took RUMSFIELD & CHENEY to get rid of the myriad support units like trucks and drivers, vehicle maintenance units, water purification and transport companies, food service, construction, laundry etc from the Army’s massive combat brigade MTO&E configurations.
Yeah, the Pentagon was bad before 9/11 but if you ever have the intelligence to access the Project on Government Oversight, you will find Dina Rasor’s brilliant evaluation of how those two sith lords made sure their cronies at KBR & Halliburton made millions off of no bid contracts.

Perhaps the Repubs didn’t like his performance (as torquewrench so eloquently explained).

Fine then. Now can we stop pretending to work together “for the common good”?

Haliburton at that time was the only company in the USA that could that did not have to be on OJT before they started the Job. They hit job with a running start. You sir just hate Republicans! But then you know the old saying reasoning with a liberal; is like trying to teach a dog to read, you only make the dog angry, and you end up frustrated.

Don’t HATE anyone dude. Just have an aversion to political hacks that deny reality and call it policy. Mistakes are made by everyone irre

Hagel is the ultimate Left-Wing CS.

I have no doubt who he’s doing.


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