Useless Douchebag Hagel Forced By Useless Douchebag Obama To Step Down As Defense Secretary

Chuck Hagel Forced To Step Down As US Defense Secretary – The Guardian

The US defense secretary has been fired after less than two years in office as the White House re-orders a national security strategy upended by the Islamic State (Isis).

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Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama’s third Pentagon chief and a former Republican senator, will leave the Department of Defense just weeks after his spokesman said Hagel was looking forward to serving “for the remainder” of the Obama administration.

Two senior administration officials told the Guardian on Monday that a New York Times report of his exit was “correct”, and said more details would be announced shortly by the White House.

Obama is expected to confirm his defense secretary’s departure in a “personnel announcement” scheduled in the State Dining Room at 11.10am ET. It was not clear if Obama would announce another change to his Iraq-Syria war strategy to correspond with Hagel’s departure.

The first national security casualty of Obama’s midterm elections defeat was one who, despite his Capitol Hill pedigree and Republican registration, never won the confidence of the congressional GOP, who considered him a water-carrier for the administration.

Before Obama’s announcement, a senior administration official praised Hagel as “a steady hand,” and said Hagel had been speaking with Obama in October about leaving “given the natural post-midterms transition time.” Hagel’s spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby, told Pentagon reporters on November 7 that Hagel expected to stay on.

Hagel was out of step with the administration on Isis, having urged the White House to clarify its stance on ushering Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad out of power and bizarrely inflating the threat Isis posed, calling it “an imminent threat to every interest we have” in an August press conference. While the administration has publicly ruled out using US ground forces in combat in Iraq, Hagel and particularly the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, floated precisely that as an option in testimony earlier this month.

A man who never quite found his footing as Pentagon chief, Hagel also testified that the US strategy against Isis – which focuses on Iraq primarily and Syria peripherally – was working, even as it undergoes frequent adjustment and revision.

Yet the strategy has come under criticism from hawks as well as doves. Hawks want a deeper US commitment of air as well as ground forces to beating Isis back, while doves are alarmed at the shifting of US war aims and commensurate resources. The next chairman of the Senate armed services committee, Arizona Republican John McCain, wants a more forceful US response to Isis and had long fallen out with his former friend Hagel.

In the five months since Isis seized Mosul, Obama has authorized 3,000 new troops to advise and train Iraqis, and expanded an air war into Syria. Pentagon efforts to field a Syrian proxy force have barely begun and are expected to take a year before yielding the first capable units.

Hagel, a Vietnam combat veteran and a non-commissioned army officer, was not expected to be a wartime defense secretary, instead brought in to manage the downsizing of US ground forces and shore up the administration’s at-times uneasy relationship with the military. His Senate confirmation hearing saw the former senator rambling and unfocused; he mischaracterized the administration’s position on Iran. Amongst Hagel’s more forceful positions early in office was to warn against US involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Several oft-mentioned names to replace Hagel have already surfaced. Former defense policy chief Michele Flournoy, a figure deeply identified with the troop surge in Afghanistan, would be the first woman to run the Pentagon. The Times reported that Rhode Island Senate Democrat Jack Reed is in the running, as is Ashton Carter, a senior official noted for his management and budgetary skills who was Robert Gates’ acquisitions chief and Leon Panetta’s deputy secretary.

The senior official said a successor would be nominated in “short order” and Hagel will serve until his successor’s confirmation.

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Senate Leftists, RINOs Vote To Confirm Pro-Islamist Anti-Semite Hagel As Defense Secretary

Senate Approves Hagel For Defense Secretary After Historic Nomination Fight – Fox News

The Senate approved Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Defense secretary Tuesday, ending a contentious battle that exposed deep divisions over the president’s Pentagon pick.

After Republicans blocked the nomination earlier this month, they ultimately allowed for an up-or-down vote on Tuesday. The margin was historically close, with 58 senators supporting him and 41 opposing in the end.

Though Hagel is himself a former Republican senator, the resistance to his nomination showed an unusual level of distrust among many senators toward the man chosen to lead the Defense Department – at a time when the country is trying to wind down the Afghanistan war, while assessing emerging threats from Iran, Syria and elsewhere in the turbulent Middle East and North Africa.

Republicans had earlier held up the nomination largely over demands for more information from the Obama administration on the Sept. 11 Libya attacks.

But they also raised serious and recurring concerns about Hagel’s record of past statements and votes on everything from Israel to Iran to nuclear weapons.

Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican, clashed with his onetime friend over his opposition to President George W. Bush’s decision to send an extra 30,000 troops to Iraq in 2007 at a point when the war seemed in danger of being lost. Hagel, who voted to authorize military force in Iraq, later opposed the conflict, comparing it to Vietnam and arguing that it shifted the focus from Afghanistan.

McCain called Hagel unqualified for the Pentagon job even though he once described him as fit for a Cabinet post.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked what the delaying tactics had done for “my Republican colleagues.”

“Twelve days later, nothing. Nothing has changed,” the Democrat said on the Senate floor. “Sen. Hagel’s exemplary record of service to his country remains untarnished.”

Reid blamed partisanship over Obama’s second-term national security team for the delay. Both Reid and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, warned that it was imperative to act just days before automatic, across-the-board budget cuts hit the Pentagon.

Hagel will succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and join Obama’s retooled national security team. Hagel’s nomination bitterly split the Senate, with Republicans turning on their former party colleague and Democrats standing by Obama’s nominee.

Republicans also challenged Hagel about a May 2012 study that he co-authored for the advocacy group Global Zero, which called for an 80 percent reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons and the eventual elimination of all the world’s nuclear arms.

The group argued that with the Cold War over, the United States can reduce its total nuclear arsenal to 900 without sacrificing security. Currently, the U.S. and Russia have about 5,000 warheads each, either deployed or in reserve. Both countries are on track to reduce their deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 by 2018, the number set in the New START treaty that the Senate ratified in December 2010.

In an echo of the 2012 presidential campaign, Hagel faced an onslaught of criticism by well-funded, Republican-leaning outside groups that labeled the former senator “anti-Israel” and pressured senators to oppose the nomination. The groups ran television and print ads criticizing Hagel.

Opponents were particularly incensed by Hagel’s use of the term “Jewish lobby” to refer to pro-Israel groups. He apologized, saying he should have used another term and should not have said those groups have intimidated members of the Senate into favoring actions contrary to U.S. interests.

The nominee spent weeks reaching out to members of the Senate, meeting individually with lawmakers to address their concerns and seeking to reassure them about his policies.

Hagel’s halting and inconsistent performance during some eight hours of testimony at this confirmation hearing last month undercut his cause, but it wasn’t a fatal blow.

There was no erosion in Democratic support for the president’s choice and Hagel already had the backing of three Republicans – Sens. Thad Cochran, Mike Johanns and Richard Shelby. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also switched to support Hagel in the final vote.

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We ought to just call political correctness SHUT UP CONSERVATIVES!

That is, after all, what PC is all about, it is also about thought control, intimidation, speech control, censorship, and creating an environment where the Left cannot be challenged. Stacy McCain elaborates

Yesterday, I saw Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball rant for 10 minutes about Sen. Ted Cruz as a latter-day Joe McCarthy for having dared to ask questions about possible ties between Hagel and foreign governments. Chuck Hagel isn’t just some random citizen who has been grabbed off the street for interrogation about his loyalties.

No, Chuck Hagel is under consideration as Secretary of Defense, and the Senate therefore has every right — indeed, it has a solemn duty — to investigate his associations with groups that seem rather secretive about their funding.

If I could give the biggest reason I started writing op-ed columns 17 years ago, and then created this venture with Ed Daley, I would say it was to stop the erosion of our liberty! PC is the number one source of that erosion, and I will be damned if I sit by and allow that to happen!

 

Paultards Lose Their Minds Over Rand Paul’s Vote To Delay Muslim Sympathizer Hagel’s Confirmation

Ron Paul Supporters Denounce Rand Paul For Hagel Vote – Daily Caller

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s vote to temporarily block Chuck Hagel’s nomination for secretary of defense elicited blowback from an unlikely source: antiwar conservatives and libertarians, many of them supporters of his father’s GOP presidential campaign.

Paul, the son of former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, joined all but four Republican senators Thursday in voting against a motion to end debate over Hagel’s nomination. GOP leaders are saying that they will not filibuster Hagel indefinitely, but instead want to delay a vote until they have more information about his speeches and finances.

“That is also why I voted to not end debate on the Hagel nomination,” Paul said in a statement. “I do not believe Sen. Hagel has adequately explained his activities and their financing since he left the Senate, and I believe this criteria is especially important when dealing with the revolving door between government and the private sector.”

That explanation wasn’t good enough for Justin Raimondo, editorial director of x and a strong supporter of Ron Paul. “It’s time for libertarians to treat Rand Paul like the turncoat he is: boycott,” Raimondo tweeted. “No $$, no support, & start calling him Paul the Lesser.”

Daniel Larison, a blogger and senior editor for the American Conservative magazine, called it “an awful, indefensible vote.”

Scott McConnell, one of the magazine’s founding editors, went a step further: “If Rand Paul persists on going demagogic on Hagel, he will have established beyond any serious doubt that regardless of who his father is, he is Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin’s boy.”

Kristol is editor in chief of the Weekly Standard, and Rubin is a blogger at the Washington Post. Both were strongly opposed to Hagel’s nomination, partly on the grounds that the former senator was too dovish on foreign policy and insufficiently pro-Israel.

Paul, who argued for a more restrained Republican foreign policy in a speech at the Heritage Foundation earlier this month, had previously x an open mind toward Hagel. But on Wednesday, he began to signal publicly that he would support delaying Hagel’s confirmation.

Guardian blogger Glenn Greenwald, a liberal who has been sympathetic to the Pauls, complained, “Any hope Rand Paul was going to usher in some sort of new foreign policy in the GOP has just been torpedoed by his NO vote on Hagel cloture.”

The senator has weathered dust-ups with his father’s strongest supporters in the past, such as when he endorsed Mitt Romney for president near the end of the 2012 Republican primaries.

Republican opposition to Hagel’s nomination has intensified since his confirmation hearings. The cloture vote failed 58 to 40, two votes shy of what was necessary to end debate.

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Obama advisor: Yep, Hagel sounded like a complete buffoon!

Via NRO

The Obama administration, it seems, is not pleased with former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel’s performance during yesterday’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The New York Times quotes an underwhelmed member of the president’s foreign-policy team: 

“It’s somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible,” a member of Mr. Obama’s own team of advisers on Iran said on Thursday night when asked about Mr. Hagel’s stumbling performance on the question during the all-day hearing. The worry was evident in the voice of the official, who would not speak on the record while criticizing the performance of the president’s nominee. For those who question whether the no-containment cornerstone of the Obama approach to Tehran is for real, or just diplomatic rhetoric, Mr. Hagel clearly muddled the message, he said.

The account refers to Hagel’s response to a question posed by New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, who asked Hagel whether he stood by remarks he delivered to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2007, in which he said that, with regard to American policy toward Iran, “The strategy of containment remain[s] relevant today” and that “this is how we should have handled Saddam Hussein.” 

Asked if he still believes containment is an option for dealing with Iran, Hagel said, “No, I don’t now.” The administration’s answer to that question has been “no.” According to theTimes, ”either no one explained that to Chuck Hagel . . . or he forgot it.”

Just what we need another mentally vacuous member of Obama’s cabinet.