I didn’t watch all of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing today, but the part I did see was a disaster for the nominee. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thought that this performance made Barack Obama’s turn on the stage during that first presidential debate last year seem like a triumph. Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post reports “[a} long-time Capitol Hill Democrat astounded by the hearing tells me, “It is very clear from the testimony that Sen. Hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to the next Mensa picnic.” Gee, I wonder why he said that … Perhaps this story from CNS News could shed some light on that.
“I do not know enough” about Defense Department programs and technology, Chuck Hagel admitted in today’s hearing. “If confirmed (as Defense secretary), I intend to know a lot more,” Hagel promised.
Hagel told the hearing that, in addition to these Defense Dept. details, “There are a lot of things I don’t know about.”
All Rightey then! Nothing like on the job training. Look how well it worked out for Barack?
And please check out this terrific post from The Power Line, describing Sen. Ted Cruz’ devastating questioning of Hagel.
Cruz played excerpts from a tape of Hagel’s 2009 appearance on al Jazeera, in which a caller suggested that Israel had committed war crimes. In responding to the question, Hagel did not dispute the caller’s statement. Cruz also pointed to statement by Hagel that Israel had engaged in “the sickening slaughter” of Hezbollah, which sounds a bit like war crimes.
Taken together, these pieces of information show that Hagel regards Israel as a criminal state, or at least is comfortable with that characterization. Hagel tried, with the same lameness he displayed most of the day, to talk away around this conclusion. He stated that both sides — Israelis and Hezbollah — had slaughtered each other. Perhaps Hagel will produce a tape in which he accused the Palestinians of engaging in a “sickening slaughter” of Israelis. Perhaps he will produce a tape (from the period before he was in the running for a cabinet job under President Obama) in which he took exception to the claim that Israel has committed war crimes. Perhaps, but don’t hold your breath.
So, does Chuck Hagel simply not give a rat’s rear end if he gets this gig or is he just not very bright? Another question that occurs to me, one that I’ve asked before. How can any thinking Jewish voter have pulled the lever from the One?