At yesterday’s hearing, Ted Cruz, in addition to showing that Chuck Hagel has slandered both Israel and the U.S., raised an important procedural concern. He pointed out that Hagel has submitted to the Committee only four of his speeches from the past five years. This, despite the fact that Hagel’s financial records show that he was paid for 12 speeches in the last year alone.
Obviously, the Senate needs to review the full Hagelian body of work before passing judgment on his fitness for Secretary of Defense, particularly given the former Senator’s propensity for packing controversial and offensive comments into a very few sentences. Unless there is a good reason why the text of Hegal’s other speeches cannot be provided, Republicans should block the confirmation process until Hagel is more forthcoming.
Even more problematic is Hagel’s failure, according to Cruz, to respond to a request for a list of the private entities that have paid paid him during the past five years, including foreign organizations and sources. Given Hagel’s pro-Arab/Iranian, anti-Israeli views, it’s not a surprise that Hagel has been linked with various outfits that are working to bring about a major shift in U.S. Middle Eastern policy. To cite just one example, according to this open letter:
Hagel is a paid member of Deutsche Bank’s Americas Advisory Board, which is under U.S. investigation for violating sanctions by siphoning billions of dollars through its U.S. branches to Iran, Sudan, and other sanctioned nations. Perhaps this explains why Hagel, who sat on the Senate Banking Committee, was only one of two senators who in 2008 voted against sanctioning nations that do certain business with Iran.
Hagel can accept money from anyone he wants, as long as he doesn’t violate the law. But the Senate is entitled to know which organizations, especially foreign ones, have been paying him.
Again, Republicans should not allow this nomination to proceed until Hagel provides the requested information. And the Committee’s hearing should be held open to permit additional questioning when/if he provides it.