(Video H/T American Power Blog)
Fox News reports on the Senate hearings to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.
Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured a barrage of criticism Thursday during his all-day confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, challenged repeatedly by Republican lawmakers about his past positions on Israel, Iran, Iraq and other issues he’d be sure to confront at the helm of the Pentagon.
The former Nebraska Republican senator was compelled under questioning to walk back a series of past statements, including one in which he complained about the “Jewish lobby.” He had several sparring partners throughout the day, but was questioned perhaps most aggressively by fellow Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain and freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, both Republicans.
Hagel was caught by surprise when Cruz played two tapes from appearances on Al Jazeera — one of which showed him not challenging a caller who accused Israel of war crimes, another in which he appeared to agree with the assertion that America is “the world’s bully.”
Of the Israel interview, Cruz said: “The caller suggests that the nation of Israel has committed war crimes, and your response to that was not to dispute that characterization.” He then asked Hagel directly whether he thinks Israel has committed war crimes.
“No, I do not,” Hagel said, while saying he wanted to see the “full context” of the interview.
Cruz called the war-crimes suggestion “particularly offensive given that the Jewish people suffered under the most horrific war crimes in the Holocaust.”
“I would also suggest,” he continued, “that for … a prospective secretary of Defense not to take issue with that claim is highly troubling.”
Cruz then played the tape of Hagel being asked about the perception and “reality” that America is the world’s bully. Hagel could be heard calling the point a “good one.”
Cruz said the answer is “not the conduct one would expect of a secretary of Defense.”
At other times in the hearings, Hagel was also asked about his previous opposition to sanctions against Iran, his desire to let Iran have nuclear weapons and then “contain” them, and his support for eliminating nuclear arms (note that ours are the only ones he could eliminate). In short, the man is a naive left-wing radical who makes Neville Chamberlain look like George S. Patton. Why would anyone vote for him to have control of our military?