Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense in his second administration. The nomination has to be approved by the United States Senate and Hagel underwent a confirmation hearing in Washington yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee prior to the full Senate voting for or against him, most likely next week.
Hagel’s nomination has been extremely controversial from the beginning and his fitness for office has been questioned from the start. For example, fourteen retired generals and admirals representing all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces sent a letter opposing his nomination to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee and many, many politicians and pundits of all persuasions, ex-military people and ordinary citizens have opposed his nomination as well.
Hagel’s performance before the Committee was disastrous and embarrassing for him and President Obama and did nothing to assuage critics worse fears about his attitude and competence. In fact it confirmed them. He was glib, evasive, misleading, confused, smug, belligerent and played fast and loose with facts…he said many things that were either wrong or simply untrue and contradicted himself on several occasions…he backed away from or disavowed positions he has taken in the past…all of that, and more, was bad enough but he also showed a clear lack of understanding about the role, function and responsibilities of the Secretary of Defense, a clear lack of understanding about America’s place in the world and the obligations that come with it, a clear lack of understanding about the nature, depth and strength of America’s enemies and the threat they pose to the country’s very existence and a clear anti-military, anti-Israel and some say anti-American bias. He revealed himself to be a man of weakness instead of a man of strength, a man who would diminish American military strength and preparedness at a time when strength and preparedness are absolutely necessary, a man who wouldn’t question anything, who would simply do as he was told and act as a prop and a sop for Obama and his policies of appeasement (which is probably why Obama nominated him in the first place), a man who wouldn’t bring leadership or management skills to the position, a man who would be a slave to his and Obama’s biases and ideology and a man incapable of making clear-eyed, objective, hard-headed, independent, hard decisions or providing clear-eyed, objective, hard-headed, independent advice to the President.
In short, in case anyone didn’t know it before, his performance at the hearing showed him to be utterly unworthy of confirmation, showed that his confirmation would be disastrous for the military, for America and Americans and for the free world as well.
Whether or not he will actually be confirmed remains to be seen of course. He probably will though. The appointment is a political one in the end and Obama and the White House will be pushing very hard to secure enough votes before the actual vote is taken. Will the Senate have enough good sense and cojones to defy Obama and the White House and vote against confirmation, vote to keep a patently unsuitable Hagel out of office for the good of the country, for the preservation of the country?
Don’t bet on it.
Secretary of Defense Hagel…shameful, sad and very, very dangerous.