Last week, the Senate failed to confirm Chuck Hagel for Secretary of State, but for the wrong reasons: because some Republican senators, such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have demanded more information on last year’s terrorist attack on Benghazi and are holding up Hagel’s nomination until they get that information. Sen. John Cornyn, for his part, is holding up the nomination until the Obama Administration makes another worthless promise to “consider” supplying F-16C/D jets to Taiwan.
The American people do deserve the full truth on Benghazi, and F-16C/D jets should be supplied to Taiwan, but Chuck Hagel must NOT be confirmed for secretary of defense under any circumstances. His nomination must be rejected on its own merit.
This writer and many others – from AmSpec’s Quin Hillyer and Aaron Goldstein, to CSP President Frank Gaffney, to Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin, to the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, to the American Thinker’s J. Robert Smith – have already and repeatedly made the case why Hagel must be rejected. But none have made this case as well as Heritage Foundation expert James Jay Carafano recently has.
Dr. Carafano sums up the arguments against Hagel in two terms.
Firstly, Hagel holds extreme, out-of-mainstream views. He’s a board member of two extremely leftist, anti-nuclear organizations – Global Zero and Ploughshares – which advocate deep, unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent, including the elimination of all ICBMs – the cheapest and most ready leg of the triad. He signed a Global Zero “study” calling for such deep unilateral cuts. He has repeatedly slandered Israel (WFB reporters have recently uncovered more of Hagel’s anti-Israel diatribes, including “Israel is becoming an apartheid state”; more on that here, here, and here).
Hagel also believes the US and Israel should begin unconditional, direct talks with Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran, all of which has sworn the destruction of Israel, and by his own admission, advocates “containment” of Iran. He also supports deep cuts in America’s defense budget. On Arab TV networks, he has also agreed with callers saying that Israel is guilty of war crimes and that America is “the world’s bully”. (Sen. Tez Cruz provided the video evidence of that during Hagel’s confirmation hearing.)
Hagel’s friend MJ Rosenberg (a self-admitted “self-loathing Jew”) has said that Hagel is now lying about being a friend of Israel in order to get confirmed.
How can the Senate confirm a guy who is LYING to get confirmed? Won’t that open the door to others who will blatantly lie to the Senate just to get into high office?
Secondly, as Dr. Carafano points out, Hagel has little executive experience – and none that would qualify him for SECDEF. He has never led any large organization in the business world, the academia, the government, or the military. His ability to act as the DOD’s chief executive is completely untested.
Yet, if confirmed (God forbid), he would be put in charge of a Department with a $600 bn+ annual budget, 2 million military, and 800,000 civilian employees and operations on almost all continents. Says Dr. Carafano:
“The Department of Defense has been called one of the largest, most complex “corporations” in the world. To give anyone the helm of this organization with few—if any—executive skills is the height of folly. The Secretary must be a consummate leader, manager, and multi-tasker. Hagel’s resume betrays a lack of executive experience, and his inability to perform under pressure was on prominent display in his hearing. He could not adequately stand up to questions from his former colleagues—how will he stand up to the pressures of our national defense? His Senate career evidenced a conspicuous lack of key leadership/executive skills. He simply is ill-qualified for this job. His laudable service as a young sergeant in Vietnam neither exempts him from criticism nor gives him a pass on his lack of skills. We have hundreds of thousands of honorable veterans who are not qualified to be Secretary of Defense, and Hagel is one of them.”
Also, during his Senate tenure, Chuck Hagel was such an easy-to-anger, heavy-handed boss that people didn’t want to work with him and he had the second-highest staff turnover rate of any Senator, trailing only George Allen (R-VA).
There are many people, including several Democrats (such as current Deputy SECDEF Ashton Carter and former Undersecretary of Defense Policy Michele Flournoy) who are far more qualified for Secretary of Defense than Hagel. In fact, given that Leon Panetta is gone (he has already quit the job), Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter is already the de facto Secretary of Defense, with all the resulting responsibilities squarely on his shoulders and his alone. And he’s bravely carrying out those responsibilities at the most difficult time in DOD history.
America cannot afford a totally inexperienced and unqualified leftist activist (nominally Republican) as Secretary of Defense. It needs a competent, experienced manager who can also seamlessly work with the Joint Chiefs (and with all sorts of people) – such as Dr Carter or Mrs Flournoy, both of whom know the DOD inside and out and can manage it easily.
(Both of them were under Obama’s consideration – but eventually he decided to poke Republicans and Israel by nominating Hagel.)
We MUST stop Hagel’s nomination dead in its tracks. We must sustain the filibuster and force Obama to withdraw Hagel’s nomination (as Republicans forced Clinton to withdraw Daryl Jones’s nomination for Secretary of the Air Force) and replace him with a competent, mainstream official.
YOU can help us do it. Your voice matters. A lot.
Please call and/or write to both of your Senators and tell them that you will NEVER vote for them again if they vote for cloture on Hagel’s nomination and/or to confirm Chuck Hagel. Tell them that regardless of whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.
If your Senators are Democrats, tell them they will pay dearly at the ballot box if they vote to confirm Chuck Hagel. Stress that point especially when you write to Mark Begich (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Max Baucus (D-MT), and Kay Hagan (D-NC). These Democrats are all up for reelection next year, all of them except Shaheen in Red, Republican states, and they are at high risk of losing their seats next year. Tell them that they WILL lose their seats – if they vote to confirm Hagel.
If one or both your Senators are Republicans (especially if you live in Arizona, SC, Nebraska, Texas, Maine, or Alaska) that voting against Hagel on his final confirmation vote – which he’ll pass due to Democrats controlling the Senate – is not enough, that it will not stop Hagel’s confirmation, that he does NOT deserve a floor vote, and that you expect them to FILIBUSTER Hagel’s nomination until the President withdraws it and replaces this vile anti-Semite with someone else.
Tell them that if they fail to support the filibuster of Hagel’s nomination, they WILL be primaried at the next opportunity and if they somehow survive the primary we will support their general election opponents, even if it means sacrificing a few seats.
And last, but not least, if one of your Senators is a conservative stalwart who supports the filibuster, like Jim Inhofe and Ted Cruz, please also write them to thank them and to encourage them to continue this good fight until we WIN IT.