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.