Senators assail Obama's Pentagon nominee, question judgment

Comments (46)
americanguy wrote:

“We simply cannot support anyone who does not put the interests of Israel above those of the US”.

Just come out and say it, Republicans.

Jan 31, 2013 7:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
CMEBARK wrote:

Graham, McCain, Adelson, Palin, and the Koch Tea Party right wing nuts still think we should police the world. These are a bunch of wackos who yearn for the old Cold War days. Deny what they will, we are on the decline as a nation and fighting in every country in the world and for every cause will simply accelerate that decline. Our resources are limited and the days of us imposing our will on others are over.

Jan 31, 2013 7:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
Tiu wrote:

Hagel = Genuine American Patriot.

Jan 31, 2013 8:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

Somehow we have to find a way to pull the plug on these rightwing, anti-American zealots. They are not acting in the best interests of the United States. To say that Chuck Hagel is fully qualified to be Defense Secretary is an understatement. The majority, the vast majority, of Americans who even know who he is support his nomination. So what’s the problem? Why are the Republicans trying to prevent someone who we believe will serve our nation well from filling the post?

Here’s the deal. If Obama were to nominate Grover Norquist, someone who isn’t the least bit qualified to be Sec of Defense, the Republicans would back the nomination, even though an unqualified candidate would be dangerous for American interests. Yet they oppose someone who will serve us well. This has to stop. Clearly they are not interested in our nation. They are only interested in serving themselves. If we can’t stop this kind of thing from happening, we are not a free nation.

Jan 31, 2013 10:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
Raelyn wrote:

John McCain appears to be going slowly insane, they should not let him have so much camera time.

Jan 31, 2013 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Doc62 wrote:

Republicans haggling over Hagel? If dingbat GW Bush picked him, the get a tickertape parade.
american guy has it WRONG! Republicans put Lobbyist’s interests above all others. They know where their campaign support money comes from.

Jan 31, 2013 12:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hariknaidu wrote:

Sen McCain deserves to be condemned to the dustbin of history….
His surge theory in Iraq was a desperate decision to avoid upsetting the outcome of GWB invasion and colonial occupation of Iraq with false intelligence on WMD – ie. it was NOT true!

GOP lied and over-reacted to 9/11 – instead of Afghanistan McCain/Graham/Liberman pushed thru the invasion of Iraq.

Jan 31, 2013 12:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

LOL…Republicans questioning Hagel’s judgment on Iraq. Just when I don’t think they can get any more ridiculous, they consistently prove me wrong. That’s like the attendees at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party questioning the judgment of Thomas Jefferson.

Jan 31, 2013 1:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cirrus7 wrote:

The entire ‘success’ of the surge was a huge fraud anyways.
Mr. Hagel of course cannot say that though.

The islamic cleric al-Sadr in Baghdad essentially agreed to reduce the effective attacks on Americans and suspected sympathizers.

“Others cite the voluntary insurgent stand-downs of the Sunni Awakening or say that the violence had simply run its course with the end of a wave of sectarian cleansing; still others credit an interaction between the surge and the Awakening”
IN MY OPINION, some of that $9 Billion in cash unaccounted for, since the Iraqi banking system was shuttered and replaced by U.S. dollars, was used to BUY the reduction in violent attacks.

“Name your price, what do we care, it is your oil revenue anyways.”

Jan 31, 2013 2:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

Hagel, and many Democrats were wrong in their position on the surge in Iraq. That includes Obama. With that said, I like Hagel. If he can keep us out of yet another theater of operation it would be a success to me. I doubt it though. Obama is already hinting at going into Syria.

Jan 31, 2013 2:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WhyMeLord wrote:

He is pro-war, pro-guns (WMD’s), pro-Israel, a pro-Viagra old fool.
His time has come and gone; he’s just taking up time and space.

Jan 31, 2013 2:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mixup wrote:

Thanks to the belligerence of the GOP more than 6,600 Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. What has been gained?
Meanwhile the GOP and their propaganda machine, FauxNews, have for many months sought to politicize the deaths of just four Americans in Libya. It’s a disgrace.
America needs a defense chief like Hagel.

Jan 31, 2013 2:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:


Obama has been President for 4 years, he had the house and senate for 2 years. If the Democrats wanted to get us out they could have. Instead Obama asked to keep troops in Iraq beyond the exit date set by Bush.

Jan 31, 2013 2:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sgreco1970 wrote:

What? The GOP blocking Obama? This never happens!

Jan 31, 2013 2:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sylvan wrote:

McCranky and Graham Cracker, the drama queens of the Senate. Every issue every time, these two old goats rutting all over each other to be the most extreme maniac in the looney farm. Graham Cracker should come on out of the closet if he wants people to take him seriously; and 5ft. 7in MCrank wouldn’t frighten a fifth grader, unless they thought he was rabid. What a bunch of dull tools..

Jan 31, 2013 2:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
patrickjane wrote:

TheNewWorld aren’t you missing a word to your handle = don’t you mean the New world Order. From your comments show a hint of conspiracy theories.

Jan 31, 2013 3:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DeannaTx wrote:

I’m dismayed at how McCain handled himself during his portion of the questioning. I wanted to hear Hagel’s response and explainations. McCain continually cut him off then chastised him for not answering the questions. Hagel didn’t answer because McCain forgot the base principles of discourse.. shut up and listen after you’ve asked a question. This crossed the line to harrassement.

Jan 31, 2013 3:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
saavedra wrote:

Yes sir, things are going splendidly in Iraq everyone:

“Bombing at a Funeral in Northern Iraq Kills at Least 35″

“Officer dead, 3 injured in Iraq bombing”

Car bombs explode across Iraq
By Mohammed Tawfeeq and Mark Morgenstein, CNN

“After ’08 bombing in Iraq, Steve Baskis wouldn’t let injury or blindness keep him from his goals”

“Awesome: Iraq veteran receives double arm transplant”

“Graphic: Civilians Still Die in Bloody Iraq”

5 Trillion dollar WAR

Iraq’s closest ally in now Iran

Iraq provided provides a vast training ground for Islamists…

Jan 31, 2013 3:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bfstk wrote:

And the GOP also eat their young. When a GOPer is your colleague and friend you have neither a colleague nor a friend. Chuck Hagel beware.

Jan 31, 2013 3:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
saavedra wrote:

The writer states, “Hagel, who like McCain is a decorated Vietnam War veteran…”

Nothing is further from the truth. McCain was an officer dropped bombs on Vietnamese and was finally shot down where he spent the remainder as a prisoner.

Chuck Hagel was a Buck Sergeant and infantry squad leader who killed the enemy with small arms in close quarter and saved lives of his men, including his own sibling. He earned the Cross of Gallantry and the Army Medal of Commendation as well as two purple hearts.

There’s your difference with a distinction.

Jan 31, 2013 3:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
saavedra wrote:

Republicans are old, white, moribund bought-men who march unthinkingly in lockstep. The were outvoted by women, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, and Independents.

Nice knowing ya, Gramps.

Jan 31, 2013 4:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
saavedra wrote:

Republicans are old, white, moribund bought-men who march unthinkingly in lockstep. The were outvoted by women, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, and Independents.

Nice knowing ya, Gramps.

Jan 31, 2013 4:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
saavedra wrote:

Republicans are old, white, moribund bought-men who march unthinkingly in lockstep. The were outvoted by women, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, and Independents.

Nice knowing ya, Gramps.

Jan 31, 2013 4:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bluzpower wrote:

Does anybody still think going into Iraq was a good idea? That was a War that many many people should of been sent to jail for. They bankrupted the Treasury, allowed the destruction of priceless antiquities and allowed every thug in that vicinity with advanced weapons systems due to Iraq corruption. I for one applaud Chuck Nagel for making sense back in 2003 when Bush whipped up hysteria with his lies about uranium from Africa and so on.

Jan 31, 2013 4:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sumbunny wrote:

saavedra is a little misinformed. Hagel has an ARCOM (which most every soldier earns) and the “cross of gallantry” was awarded by the government of S Vietnam. The two purple hearts and CIB do underscore his close contact with the enemy.

Where saavedra exposes his ignorance is in disparaging McCain’s superior military record, which includes the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Bronze Star. There is a distinct difference, but not in the direction that saavedra suggests.

Jan 31, 2013 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
trex2561 wrote:

Israel obviously has control of the US government if they can bring this much pressure to bear on our senators. My 2 senators are both Jews and I have yet to receive any response from one of them. I would guess that is because she is aware of my anti-Israel position based on the correspondence I have sent her.I thought she would still be a voice for me but I guess not.

Jan 31, 2013 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ofilha wrote:

I question McCain’s judgment and sanity. Here is a man who wants the west to intervene in Libya, Syria and when things go wrong as they do often in these situations he is the first one to point fingers. I guess we can expect that from a man who graduated next to last from the Naval academy.

Jan 31, 2013 4:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fred5407 wrote:

Hey Flashrooster and others. Can you not read any debate comments without calling someone a nut. You are the problem in the United States. This candidate is going to have to answer questions and make decisions under worse circumstances than these and I hope he can do it. These hearings are oral tests and no more than that. You commentors think you know it all and why people say what they do. This is not a Republican or Democratic hearing, it is a senate hearing to determine if the man is competent to lead a department. Hope the guy does not crack if he is really good.

Jan 31, 2013 4:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bfstk wrote:

The Republicans have no friends and will turn on each other at a moments notice. They are beyond despicable. Now watch Cruz Cronyn the Texas tag team loonies pick apart statements out of context to support their warped views and please their tea partiers supporters. So many loons floating in once physical space has been though impossible due to quantum mechanics or as texans like to call them the cruz croyn mechanics garage. Makes one wonder whether letting texas become separate country might not be such a bad idea for the rest of us–it will be a nightmare for texass but then again judging by whom they put in office for the senate texans are used to nightmares and seem to enjoy them.

Jan 31, 2013 4:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pro2hd wrote:

I’m trying to figure out what this guys so called “fellow Republicans” are so afraid of and exactly why they are against him. I mean “really” why! In my mind, Hagel will be ultimately make it because he has help from the majority Democrats in the Senate. I hope the Republican bunch thinks this thing over a little better and votes him in.

Jan 31, 2013 4:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rommey wrote:

Republicans nowadays, especially those in Congress, only open their mouth for political posturing. Right now, their issue is to save the juicy defense contracts that pay into their campaign coffers. They care least of Defense readiness, moral and material support of our troops, or our society. Nor they care about tighter spending controls, something that Hagel advocates and which could land their clients in hot waters… The country hopes that the Senate does approve his nomination because it is the right thing to do as demonstrated by the Republican opposition.

Jan 31, 2013 5:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:


Hagel turned on the Republicans. Instead of backing McCain in 2008, he backed Obama. There is definitely bad blood between him and McCain.

Jan 31, 2013 5:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:


“TheNewWorld aren’t you missing a word to your handle = don’t you mean the New world Order. From your comments show a hint of conspiracy theories.”

You must have missed the news the other day.

“Obama says struggling over whether to intervene in Syria
Reuters – ‎Jan 27, 2013‎
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said he has been wrestling with the question whether a U.S. military intervention in Syria’s 22-month-old civil war would help resolve the bloody conflict or make things worse. In a pair of interviews, Obama … “

Jan 31, 2013 5:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
navalarc wrote:

I think it’s hilarious how a liberal democrat like Kerry is given the royal treatment by the GOP while their republican cohort is practically water-boarded. McCain, Inhofe, Graham, Rubio – they’re so off balanced from political losses that they seem to be chasing their own tail. The bottom line is SecDef must act in accordance with the strategy of the CINC – the National Defense Strategy must follow the National Security Strategy, period. Given the delicacy of global economic recovery, the administration has us on the right trajectory – leverage alliances, increase defense exports, and use economics to squeeze potential foes.

Jan 31, 2013 5:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gunste wrote:

On Senator’s judgment, especially over “country before party”, many are calling the kettle black. Look in the mirror and play back your utterances.

Jan 31, 2013 5:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

TheNewWorld: Naturally, Obama’s going to consider his options regarding Syria. My sincere hope is that he leans more “Obama” on this issue and less “neocon”. That said, consider your criticism of Obama’s national defense policy in light of the Republican attack on Hagel’s confirmation, and make the appropriately logical deductions.

Because of the overwhelming hawkishness of the Republican Party and their influence on how Americans perceive the issues that affect us, e.g., climate change, healthcare, they limit the space that Democrats have to work within. Republicans are so eager to engage in major military conflicts and appease their donors from the military-industrial complex, and they convince half the country that it’s the right thing to do. Democrats rightfully feel that they are always having to prove themselves as not being too dovish on national defense, because the Republicans consistently claim that they are. And the charge has had some serious negative ramifications for the Democratic Party.

This is especially true for Obama, because the Republicans will criticize Obama on everything he does or doesn’t do. This is just another example of how the GOP hurt this nation. But it’s harder for Republicans to criticize Obama and other Dems when they act hawkish. Repubs much prefer attacking Dems for being dovish. I can’t tell you how many times rightwingers accused Clinton of “destroying” our military.

And this takes us to the Hagel confirmation hearings. Funny that you’re here posting attacks on Obama for being too hawkish on a message thread to an article about the GOP assailing Hagel for not being hawkish enough. I’ll spell it out for you. If you want to complain about a problem, go after the problem, not the side effect. The problem is the Republican tendency toward reckless and irrational hawkishness, and now they’re beating up on one of their own for not going along, for daring to question the Iraq War. Our nation, and the world, would be much better off if we could pluck that out of our national system. THAT’S what you should aim your criticism at. You’re one of those who are quick to blame Democrats for the Iraq War because many of them voted in favor of it, ignoring the primary source of the problem: George W. Bush and the Republican neocons. Had we not had him as President, no one would have had to vote on going to war with Iraq.

Jan 31, 2013 6:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
0okm9ijn wrote:

Hagel was an American Senator not an Israeli representative. It is unfortunate that some in the U.S. have ceded control of our foreign policy to Israel, sent thousands of Americans to wars that were unnecessary, and incured the wrath of the rest of world, while refusing to acknowledge their foolery. Great nations that had fallen, fell not because of their military strength but because of their internal politcs.

Jan 31, 2013 6:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fred5407 wrote:

Hey commentors. Kerry went through because he could do the job. Hagel is having a problem because he is wishy washy on things. No more no less. It is not a Republican or Democrat thing but a character thing. I thing some of you need to look up the definition of “character” so you can understand what is going on.

Jan 31, 2013 6:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Speaker2 wrote:

Next the Republican Party will want to make Israel the 51st state, about the only way they can get votes besides angry old white men and Rush’s and Beck’s ditto-heads.

They have become a political party who’s only interest is maintaining what little remaining power they have, rather than what is best for the country. Anything Obama wants, they are against.

They have become the Party of Losers and still have no clue how they become that way. Guys its not bad communication, its bad ideas that got you where you are today. Keep on believing and you will keep on losing.

Jan 31, 2013 6:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Reuters1945 wrote:

Regarding the McCain/Hagel feud- I cannot say I am too thrilled by either of their records.

As far as using the terms “Highly Decorated Vietnam Vets” for these two “gentlemen”- please give me a break. The men depicted in the film, “Band of Brothers”, a decade ago, were the real Heroes- who gave their all to save Civilization from Hitler’s barbarian hoards.

Those men who spilled their blood in WW II represented the Greatest Generation in America’s history.

But Vietnam, just as with Iraq, was one huge mistake that should never have happened. For those who do not know more than one million human beings have died to date in Iraq and the lethal bombings and killings continue to this hour.

Both those wars were as doomed to fail as Napoleon marching into Russia with half a million men- most of whom never made it back home to France. And Hitler made the same mistake thinking he could subjugate Russia.

All the above wars reflect the Hubris of Generals on the highest level.

As for McCain and Hagel I will just mention these few very telling ‘soundbites’.

One day when McCain was standing on the deck of the Naval vessel from which he took off on his bombing runs, over the jungles of Vietnam- a country that never attacked America- it happened that a huge napalm tank broke loose from a jet’s wing and exploded pouring napalm all over a large group of sailors on the deck.

As McCain watched in horror as he saw the napalm burn the skin right off the bodies of his fellow sea men he remarked that he never had any idea what napalm could do when it came into contact with human skin.

He vowed he would never again drop that stuff over human beings in Vietnam. Two days later he was back in his plane dropping napalm like there was no tomorrow.

As for his being shot down and captured, with his father being one of the Senior Commanders of the US Navy, at the time, he was what could be called a VIP/celebrity prisoner. A whole other story space does not allow me to cover.

What was more outrageous ? What happened at the village of MyLai where almost 500 defenceless old men, women and children were mowed down, in ditches, by the psychotic company under the command of mass murderer Captain Calley, or the dropping of millions of gallons of Napalm that incinerated everything it touched ?

As for Hagel- no need to cover all his many strange positions and twisted opinions over the years, so let just these few suffice.

In 1999 he was the only member of the entire U.S. Senate NOT to sign a letter condemning growing anti-Semitism in Russia. Why would anyone on God’s Earth take such a position ?

As yet another example of his views, in 2006, when Hezbollah entered Israel, killed two Israeli soldiers, and fired thousands of rockets on Northern Israel, only one Senator—Chuck Hagel—publicly admonished Israel for defending itself.

Hagel has even gone so far as to state that Israel must engage and dialogue with Hamas- a bloodthirsty terrorist organization, whose own written Charter explicitly states that their Sworn goal is the total destruction of the Jews.

It would be as bizarre as suggesting to a trainload of Jews entering Auschwitz death camp: “Why don’t you just try to engage the SS in a dialogue on whether they should gas you or not”.

As far as I am concerned- a pox on both their houses.

Jan 31, 2013 7:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
joe10082 wrote:

Mr. Hagel is clearly the right man for the job and that of all people John McCain, being a fellow veteran, and yet a harsh critic of Hagel is clearly insane. Quite frankly Mr. McCain lost his sense of direction years ago and clearly should retire to private life. Chuck Hagel has served as a veteran in Vietnam and as such understands the needs of our abused All Volunteer Army veterans more so than most. As for his critics I doubt that many of them have served in a combat zone other than the one daily on the floor of Congress where everyone loses especially the American people!

Jan 31, 2013 7:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RynoM wrote:

The opposition is pretty much ginned up by the neocons, most of whom (not McCain) are chickenhawks and elitists. At this point the neocons and anybody who toed their line in the past are grasping for what credibility they can retain. They have none outside of their own echo chamber.

Jan 31, 2013 7:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:


Don’t get me wrong, Obama is an improvement over Bush and Cheney when it comes to getting us into foreign matters. Yes he may have us doing things in more countries, but he has limited the forces in those other countries. I don’t agree with our liberal use of drones, especially on a US citizen, but at least it is cheaper than our other options.

You have a good point about the Republicans painting the Democrats into a foreign policy corner. I would love to see Libertarians make some major headway in Congress, Ron Paul and Hagel were at least very vocal about their oppositions. It is lose/lose for me with the GOP and DNC. The GOP is for asserting our influence and power over other countries, while the DNC feels the need to be the world’s police force. Both parties love to give our tax money to other nations. As a non interventionalist I find it frustrating.

Jan 31, 2013 7:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
joe10082 wrote:

Those who are assailing Mr. Hagel’s impeccable credentials should themselves be investigated. They probably have connections to powerful lobbyists that do not wish to see a distinguished and experienced veteran in the powerful position of Secretary of Defense. He could in fact jeopardize their ongoing business ties with the military if he thought their enterprises were not in the best interests of average American All Volunteer soldiers.He has been in their positions.

Jan 31, 2013 8:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Fantom65 wrote:

Sorry Chuck, You are a great warrior, and probably could do a superb job. But you should of remained quiet, smiled and waved like the hero you are. Now they are going to take you apart for things you said years ago and politics in general.
So, gentelmen who’s next? You are all being paid to do “We the people’s” business, so who is next? We need this position filled soon. The country is headed for financial breakdown, Who is next? Who can qualify and all of you agree on? We need this position filled. We haven’t got time for you all to park your limos, drink a few martinis and eat lunch on the taxpayer’s tab. Soon we won’t have a tab. Quit playing politics and fooling around with the taxpayer’s money and DO YOUR JOB!!

Feb 01, 2013 2:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
0okm9ijn wrote:

If the drama of McCain’s questioning tactics is eliminated, Hagel got the better of him. First, Hagel told him in a more cerebral manner that the sucess of his surge position, alone, is more debatable, and that he will rather differ that judgment to history. He reminded McCain that 1200 Americans died as a result of whatever victory could be attributed to the surge, and that other factors equally played significant roles, such as the Amber Province awakening. Hagel’s most punching comment was when he responded to Senator Nelson, that he saw war in Vietnam from the bottom up. While he didn’t have to complete the comparison, it was obvious that it was a direct jab at the perceived heroism of McCain who merely flew missions over defenseless Vietnamese, as against fighting through the slums and mud of the Vietnam. I thought Hagel was deliberate, contemplative and reflective. He came across as a very well-schooled American.

Feb 01, 2013 2:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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