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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:36 PM

Obama Expected to Pick Hagel for Defense Next Week

Source: Political Wire

January 04, 2013

Obama Expected to Pick Hagel for Defense Next Week

President Obama is expected to name former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as his choice for defense secretary as early as Monday, The Cable reports, "as critics of the former Nebraska senator prepare to go to war to fight his expected nomination."

Meanwhile, Hagel's detractors "are moving forward with their campaign against the nomination."


Read more: http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/01/04/obama_expected_to_pick_hagel_for_defense_next_week.html

31 replies, 3597 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama Expected to Pick Hagel for Defense Next Week (Original post)
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 OP
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #1
elehhhhna Jan 2013 #26
Purveyor Jan 2013 #2
oberliner Jan 2013 #8
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #13
oberliner Jan 2013 #14
PerceptionManagement Jan 2013 #21
joshcryer Jan 2013 #23
allrevvedup Jan 2013 #3
azurnoir Jan 2013 #4
Kelvin Mace Jan 2013 #5
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #6
Mass Jan 2013 #9
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #15
Freddie Stubbs Jan 2013 #10
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #12
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #16
karynnj Jan 2013 #17
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #19
leveymg Jan 2013 #27
Kelvin Mace Jan 2013 #30
FailureToCommunicate Jan 2013 #7
Enrique Jan 2013 #11
William769 Jan 2013 #18
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #20
Rosa Luxemburg Jan 2013 #22
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #24
Blasphemer Jan 2013 #25
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #29
morningfog Jan 2013 #28
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #31

Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:42 PM

1. Excerpt from The Cable...

A bipartisan group of former senators and national security officials wrote to Obama last week to express support for Hagel's nomination. That letter was signed by former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci, former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and others.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan Ryan Crocker also weighed in this week in support of a Hagel pick.

"Mr. Hagel would run the Defense Department; it would not run him," Crocker wrote in the Wall Street Journal. "And as America's wars abroad wind down, it is clear from his record of service to veterans -- and his own experience as one of them -- that they would receive the support they deserve after they have put their lives on the line for the country."

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/01/04/obama_expected_to_pick_hagel_as_opponents_prepare_for_a_fight

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:24 PM

26. Republican war lovers endorse him? Greeeeeeeeeat. Thanks, Obama.

Carlucci's a war profiteer, to boot. Yay America.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:47 PM

2. Excellent news. I hope it is so. Godspeed Mr. Hagel. eom

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:21 PM

8. The anti-gay stuff doesn't bother you?

Hagel offered a pathetically weak apology two weeks ago for having opposed the nomination of openly gay James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg when President Clinton nominated him in 1998. At the time he'd called Hormel "openly aggressively gay" and therefore unfit to represent the country abroad, because being gay is "an inhibiting factor." But all Hagel will say about it now, releasing a statement only after the Human Rights Campaign expressed concern over a possible nomination, is that those remarks were "insensitive."

Insensitive? Come on, Senator. Surely you can do better than that. And if you can't, you don't deserve the job.

Hagel scored a zero on the Human Rights Campaign's Senate scorecard between 2001 and 2006 (which is not that long ago), voting against pro-gay initiatives and for anti-gay ones, and was on record as opposing allowing gays to serve openly in the military (calling it a "social experiment"), let alone representing this country as ambassadors. And yet in his recent apology for the Hormel remarks, he seems surprised that LGBT Americans would question his "commitment to their civil rights," says he supports open service and claims that the remarks about Hormel don't represent "the totality of my record."

Am I missing something here? From what I see, the remarks do pretty much represent the totality of Hagel's voting record -- a big fat zero on equality. The Washington Note's Steve Clemons, a noted and respected foreign policy expert who is openly gay and a friend of mine, lauds Hagel as pro-gay and as perfect for the job of defense secretary, explaining that Hagel, whom he knows personally, has made a dramatic transformation on gay rights that few have known about. Steve chides critics for not reaching out and asking Hagel about his supposed change over the years.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/why-chuck-hagels-gay-prob_b_2393894.html

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Response to oberliner (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:55 PM

13. Hagel attacked Hormel harder than McCain attacked Rice, two nominees for diplomatic posts

The same people that wailed that millionaire Rice was unfairly criticized are oddly comfortable with Hagle, who did the same but far worse. Speaks volumes about them.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:58 PM

14. Odd that some folks here are so keen on this Republican getting the nomination

Is there not a qualified Democrat who could handle the job?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:09 PM

21. There are, but for some reason, Obama has to do President McCain's bidding

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Response to oberliner (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:11 PM

23. Hormel accepted the apology and found it unprecedented.

Hormel was displeased that the apology was impersonal, not directly to him, other than that he accepted it and said he didn't know of a nominee before apologizing like that.

Hormel:

Senator Hagel’s apology is significant–I can’t remember a time when a potential presidential nominee apologized for anything. While the timing appears self-serving, the words themselves are unequivocal–they are a clear apology. Since 1998, fourteen years have passed, and public attitudes have shifted–perhaps Senator Hagel has progressed with the times, too. His action affords new stature to the LGBT constituency, whose members still are treated as second class citizens in innumerable ways. Senator Hagel stated in his remarks that he was willing to support open military service and LGBT military families. If that is a commitment to treat LGBT service members and their families like everybody else, I would support his nomination.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/21/james-hormel-i-question-the-sincerity-of-chuck-hagels-apology/

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:47 PM

3. If it's Hagel or Flournoy I'd prefer Hagel.

 

Of course Mr Kucinich is also available.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:52 PM

4. really despite all the bad press? I'm surprised n/t

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:52 PM

5. I wish Obama fought for economic issues

as hard as he fights for war mongering conservatives who were DEAD wrong on two wars.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:04 PM

6. Hagel opposed the war in Iraq.

It is true that he opposed the Iraq war. My Foreign Service colleagues and I noted with admiration his comment that in a democracy "to not question your government is unpatriotic." President Obama, on Sunday's "Meet the Press," called Mr. Hagel "a patriot," and I agree.

With two Purple Hearts from Vietnam, another unpopular war, Mr. Hagel also understands service. Throughout my tenure, he was unfailingly courteous and supportive to me and others serving our nation to the best of our ability, including during the contentious congressional hearings on Iraq in 2007 and 2008. In my office I have a 2008 photo from Baghdad with Mr. Hagel and his former chief of staff, who was serving with me in Iraq.

more...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323320404578213222157770046.html

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:36 PM

9. After 2006 only. Before that, I do not remember him opposing it that much.

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Response to Mass (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:00 PM

15. He was ambivalent about it, and voted for it reluctantly--

Good article from last week posted on DU:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/chuck-hagel-broke-party-lines-on-iraq-is-he-now-being-punished-20121227

"Hagel also began calling for a real national debate about Iraq. It is one that never really occurred, as Democrats were afraid of being seen as squeamish and as leading pundits like Thomas Friedman of The New York Times began calling blithely for a “war of choice” against Iraq. Hagel found himself increasingly alone. "We need a national dialogue," Hagel told The Times in July 2002. "That was a debate we didn't have with Vietnam." But even as other skeptics faded, Hagel refused to relent in his public skepticism. Why was he so isolated? As Michael O’Hanlon of Brookings (another Iraq skeptic turned hawk) explained around that time: "There's no real political benefit to opposing Bush. If we oppose him and he does go to war, there is a definite political cost."

Hagel began paying that cost. Once frequently mentioned as a Republican prospect for president, he grew increasingly strident and alone. He began to cast doubt on the administration’s case for war, saying in August 2002 that the CIA has "absolutely no evidence" that Iraq possesses or will soon possess nuclear weapons (another correct view). Ultimately, in a moment of weakness, Hagel backed the Senate’s war-powers resolution in the fall of 2002, but he reached across the aisle to work with then-Sen. Joe Biden to restrain Bush’s freedom to invade. And, as 2003 got under way, Hagel kept calling for more time for U.N. inspectors (who, unbeknownst to most of the American public, were being given unfettered access to all of Saddam’s WMD sites, bar none)."

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:53 PM

12. He voted for it. Some opposition.

nt

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:01 PM

16. He did, but he spoke out against it making the Bush administration very unhappy.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:33 PM

17. He spoke against how they were fighting the war -

The Bush administration was not happy
He was also one of the only Republicans that came to back the longer timeline version of Kerry/Feingold that Reid championed (under his name) and added to a 2007 defense bill [ that passed and Bush vetoed.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:24 PM

19. J Street also supports Chuck Hagel and rebuts the charges against him.

J Street believes former US Senator Chuck Hagel would be a fine choice as Secretary of Defense and is appalled by efforts surfacing in recent days to question his commitment to the state of Israel and to Middle East peace.

Sen. Hagel has been one of the most thoughtful voices in Washington for two decades on questions relating to American policy in the Middle East. He has also been a staunch friend of the State of Israel and a trusted ally in the Senate, speaking out on behalf of America’s commitment to Israel’s security. He recognized, before many would talk about it publicly, that the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in two states is in the national security interest of the United States.

The outrageous attacks on Sen. Hagel, many from unnamed sources, are being leveled at a decorated Vietnam War hero who is widely admired as a rational and independent voice on foreign and defense policy.

Sen. Hagel was among the first in his party to realize that the US occupation of Iraq had turned into a quagmire that was taking thousands of American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives without a clear strategic rationale. He took a brave stand against the majority in his own party and led a crucial debate that helped pave the way for President Obama to withdraw American troops from Iraq.

Sen. Hagel also advocated for an attempt to engage Iran in dialogue – advice that President Obama heeded when he came to office in 2009. The fact that the administration made an honest effort to reach out to Iran later made it much easier to build an international coalition behind sanctions against the Tehran regime.

Sen. Hagel believes in bipartisanship and compromise. He values diplomacy over the deployment of US military force. He backs international cooperation rather than unilateralism.

And he believes in peace between Israel and the Palestinians. In 2006, he wrote in an op-ed: “Until we are able to lead a renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, mindless destruction and slaughter will continue in Lebanon, Israel and across the Middle East.”

J Street urges all Americans to take an honest look at Sen. Hagel’s honorable record rather than listening to unfounded and unsubstantiated attacks.

http://jstreet.org/blog/post/j-streets-supports-sen-hagel-rebuts-charges-against-him_1

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:35 PM

27. Correct. It's his position on war with Iran, not Iraq, that now counts the most. On that, Flournoy

comes out the more martial and bellicose in her statements about how she would see the US deal with Iran.

Michèle Flournoy was part of the group of Obama Administration officials that visited Israel early last summer at the time that Netanyahu was making sabre-rattling noises in the direction of Iran. She is quoted by the NYT as making an interesting argument to an audience of Israeli defense and foreign policy officials in which she argued against a preemptive Israeli strike against Iran. Her reasoning is less that such an Israeli attack would be bad in itself than an argument that it is "premature" and interferes with US efforts to put together a consensus for such an war, and "undermine the legitimacy" of an attack if increasing sanctions fail to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear program: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/world/middleeast/us-continues-to-assure-israel-about-efforts-on-iran.html?_r=0

Ms. Flournoy, who now advises the Obama campaign, devoted most of her remarks in Tel Aviv to making the case that Israel should not launch a premature or unilateral strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Such an attack, she said, would set back the Iranian nuclear program, at most, one to three years. And it could splinter the coalition the United States has assembled to impose crippling sanctions on Tehran.

“Here’s the rub,” Ms. Flournoy said at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. “If Israel or any other country were to launch a unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear program prematurely, before all other options to stop Iran have been tried and failed, it would undermine the legitimacy of the action.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Ms. Flournoy said she was encouraged because several Israelis approached her at the conference to express opposition to an Israeli strike and skepticism of the government’s assertions that the window was fast closing for a military attack that would incapacitate Iran’s nuclear abilities.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:57 PM

30. Hagel opposed it AFTER he supported it under Bush

Sorry, he doesn't get the benefit of a doubt on this, especially given his other rabidly conservative views.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:16 PM

7. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter would be my strong suggestion...

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:45 PM

11. wow

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:01 PM

18. I will help do everything in my power to ensure

That this confirmation does not go through.

Someone looking for a fight? They will get it. That you can take to the bank.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:57 PM

20. Steve Clemons will be on Rachel Maddow tonight to discuss likely Hagel SecDef nomination

Chatting w/Rachel @maddow on MSNBC tonight after 9 pm EST about likely Chuck #Hagel SecDef nom. @MaddowBlog @TheAtlantic @NewAmerica

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:10 PM

22. Obama, please pick someone from our party

I don't like him

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:01 PM

24. Much prefer Chuck Hagel to 'leading counter insurgency supporter' Michele Flournoy

Chuck Hagel and Michele Flournoy, both haunted by the ghosts of Vietnam, represent a stark choice for Obama.

By Michael Hirsh
Updated: December 14, 2012 | 2:28 p.m.

Chuck Hagel is, by his own admission, haunted by Vietnam. When asked to explain his early opposition to George W. Bush’s 2003 Iraq invasion in an interview in 2011, the former Nebraska senator harked back to his experience as an Army private fighting the Tet offensive in 1968. That maverick stance cost Hagel his reputation as a leading Republican, and it may be one reason why President Obama is now considering him as his next Defense secretary, with Leon Panetta set to retire. “We sent home almost 16,000 body bags that year," Hagel told me. "And I always thought to myself, ‘If I get through this, if I have the opportunity to influence anyone, I owe it to those guys to never let this happen again to the country.’ ”

When Obama mounted a Bush-like “surge” in Afghanistan in 2009, Hagel wasn’t happy either. “I’m not sure we know what the hell we are doing in Afghanistan,” Hagel told me in 2010. “It’s not sustainable at all. I think we’re marking time as we slaughter more young people.” Hagel had also opposed the surge in Iraq. In a dramatic moment on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2007, Hagel implored his fellow Republicans to stop avoiding the truth about what he called the futile “grinder” of Iraq, and asked them not to send in more troops. “Don't hide anymore; none of us!” Hagel declared, raising his voice. Although several Republicans expressed misgivings, in the end only Hagel voted in favor of the nonbinding resolution.


Michele Flournoy, the former under secretary of Defense who is also a leading candidate to replace Panetta, is also somewhat haunted by the ghosts of Vietnam, by her own account, but in a very different way. Though far too young (she turned 52 on Friday) to have served there with the 66-year-old Hagel, Flournoy warned in a speech this week that military planners might still be too “risk-averse” because of the Vietnam experience. She said the military was endangered by a new "Vietnam syndrome" in which planners might seek to avoid the lessons of counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare simply because the last decade of this kind of conflict has been so costly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At a time when Hagel was worried about the cost of the Afghan surge in body bags, Flournoy was promoting the idea as a leading supporter of counterinsurgency strategy in 2009. During this period, a fierce debate occurred inside the Obama administration over whether to pare down the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan to mere “counterterror operations”—the position taken by Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime Hagel ally—or whether to mount a larger counterinsurgency or “hearts-and-minds,” nation-building-type war. After leaving the Pentagon, Flournoy took over the Center for a New American Security, a think tank known for its work in counterinsurgency policy.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/how-the-top-2-candidates-for-defense-secretary-differ-20121214

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:18 PM

25. Between this and the WaPo editorial from a few weeks back, Hagel is to the left

of many Democrats on foreign policy issues. Most of the policy-based criticism of Hagel is from those who think he's too much of a dove. Well, I think that is a welcome change and long overdue.

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Response to Blasphemer (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:18 PM

29. I agree.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 09:43 PM

28. Bad pick. Why does defense always have to be soiled with repugs?

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:35 AM

31. Chuck Todd says opposition to Hagel is all about his flipping on Iraq in '06, rather than Israel

Chuck Too said there is a list of prominent Jews who support Hagel--including a rabbi in Nebraska.

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