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Hagel On The Hotseat

 Former Senator Chuck Hagel is getting roughed up by Republicans at his ongoing confirmation hearing, today..

Sen. John McCain R-Ariz. blasted him this morning for his strong opposition to the surge that brought stability into the region, and wanted to know if he would now admit he was wrong. 

"Were you correct of incorrect that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam. Were you correct or incorrect - yes or no?"

Hagel refused to give McCain a direct answer.

Jennifer Rubin is live blogging the hearing at The Washington Post:

Most of Hagel’s supporters were conspicuous in their avoidance of his record, preferring, as Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) did, to ask him to reminiscence about Vietnam or to wax lyrical about his devotion to the troops. It was a revealing indication of how weak the case for Hagel is. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) whipped through a list of positions on Iran, Israel and nuclear deterrence, asking him if he agreed with the mainstream views on these issue. She avoided asking him to explain the inconsistencies or when and why he changed his mind. She dare not ask, it seems.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) methodically tore Hagel’s Global Zero apart bit by bit, line by line. Hagel tried to insist the initiative didn’t back unilateral disarmament; Sessions showed otherwise by reading from the report.

Hagel is also getting pounded for confidently asserting  that Iran's government is "elected" and "legitimate", a dubious claim, at best.

 Marco Rubio  announced in a press release that he plans to oppose Hagel's nomination.

“After carefully reviewing Senator Hagel’s record on a number of issues, I cannot support his confirmation as our nation’s next Secretary of Defense.  I oppose his confirmation because of his views on U.S. policy toward Cuba, his past opposition to tough Iran sanctions, his questionable comments in the past about U.S. support for Israel, his support for direct, bilateral negotiations with North Korea and, most importantly, my belief that he will usher in a new era of austere defense budgets that will severely impede U.S. national security by hampering readiness and radically limiting the global force projection of our military.


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