Chuck Hagel

Hagel’s Bergdahl dialectic

Featured image Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel appeared before the House Armed Services Committee this week to testify on the deal that resulted in the release of the Taliban Five in exchange for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Steve Hayes reviews Hagel’s testimony in the Weekly Standard article “More unraveling.” Steve points out that Hagel retreated from previously asserted reasons advanced to support the deal. Hagel presents as a walking case of dialectical argument »

Hagel’s phenomenology of negotiation

Featured image Secretary of Defense Hagel appeared on Meet the Press from Afghanistan this morning for an interview by MTP host David Gregory. The nullity involved in pairing a member of Obama’s Team of Nitwits with Gregory for an interview is chilling. Gregory asked Hagel if the swap of five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl represented negotiation with terrorists. Hagel responded (the transcription here is mine): “We »

Chuck Hagel witnesses a familiar act

Featured image Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has walked back his harsh statements about the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Ya’alon had declared that Israel cannot rely on the U.S. to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, accused the administration of broadcasting weakness throughout the world, and warned that its perceived weakness was inviting further terrorism against U.S. targets. Ya’alon told his U.S. counterpart Chuck Hagel that his comments “were not intended to express opposition, »

Whatever happened to Chuck Hagel?

Featured image Earlier this year, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel took over the top jobs at the Department of State and the Department of Defense, respectively. Since then, Kerry has been hyper-active. But whatever happened to Hagel? He has impinged on our consciousness only once, as Kerry’s sidekick during congressional hearings on authorizing an attack on Syria. The impingement was slight. Kerry and Gen. Dempsey did almost all of the talking. Hagel »

Say what, Chuck?

Featured image Chuck Hagel said today that the United States doesn’t need permission from the United Nations or any other international body to strike Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons against civilians. I agree with Hagel, though I don’t quite follow his reasoning. Reportedly, Hagel explained: “No nation, no group of nations is bound by only one dimension of whether they’d make a decision to respond to any self-defense »

The wit and wisdom of Chuck Hagel, an update

Featured image I wrote here about an incident that occurred when Secretary of Defense Hagel spoke at the University of Nebraska. After his prepared remarks, when calling on a questioner, Hagel said, “you’re not a member of the Taliban, are you?” Robin Gandhi, an assistant professor who is of Indian national origin, then asked a question. Hagel’s camp claims, however, that Prof. Gandhi was not the target of the Secretary’s Taliban joke. »

The wit and wisdom of Chuck Hagel

Featured image Chuck Hagel returned to his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, to deliver a speech on the challenges facing the Defense Department (excluding the challenge posed by the fact that he’s in charge of it). After his address, it was time for questions. Hagel called on an audience member with brown skin. Before fielding his question, Hagel joked “you’re not a member of the Taliban, are you?” The questioner turned »

Chuck Hagel’s charm offensive

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Secretary of Defense Hagel is taking his “charm offensive” to Israel. At first blush, this seems like a difficult task. Most of the few people Hagel has ever been able to charm (the Steve Clemons’ of the world and, to be fair, apparently Barack Obama) seem to have been won over in part by his anti-Israel barbs. But we shouldn’t forget about handwritten thank-you notes. »

Chuck Hagel — the idiocy continues

Featured image Chuck Hagel’s testimony during his Senate confirmation hearing consisted of one misadventure after another. For example, he described the Iranian regime as “legitmate” and characterized American’s policy toward Iran as “containment.” In both cases, he likely was reflecting the real view and actual policy of the Obama administration. But he wasn’t supposed to let the cat out of the bag. He thus embarrassed both Team Obama and himself. One might »

Were McCain’s votes on Hagel coherent?

Featured image Andy McCarthy asks two good questions about the Republican “folderoo” on Chuck Hagel: I have a question for Senator John McCain, leader of the pack that says Hagel is “not qualified” to be defense secretary but that nonetheless voted in a way that assured his confirmation. McCain opposes the sequester because, he argues, the cuts to the defense budget are “unconscionable.” So . . . how can it be unconscionable »

Hagel’s confirmation; the Republican scorecard, with particular attention to Rand Paul

Featured image As expected, the Senate has confirmed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. The confirmation occurred through two votes. First, the Senate voted by 71-27 in favor of cloture. This ended “debate” and meant that Hagel would get an “up-or-down” vote. In that vote, Hagel was confirmed by a margin of 58-41. 18 Republican Senators voted to end cloture. They are: Alexander (Tenn.), Ayotte (N.H), Blunt (Mo.), Burr (N.C.), Chambliss (Ga.), »

Chuck Hagel, a Secretary of Defense Louis Farrakhan can love

Featured image Louis Farrakhan, the rabidly anti-Israel, anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, is full of praise for Chuck Hagel. Farrakhan delivered his praise yesterday during a speech in Chicago. According to Betsy Woodruff at NRO, Farrakhan began by arguing that the media is controlled by Jewish interests. He then praised Hagel for, among other things, standing up to the “Jewish lobby.” And he complained that Hagel is “in trouble” as »

Lindsey Graham postures on Hagel nomination

Featured image Sen. Lindsey Graham has written a letter to his former colleague Chuck Hagel asking that Hagel open his Senate archive at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and that he authorize the release of past speeches organized by the Washington Speakers Bureau. Graham notes that the Washington Speakers Bureau is refusing to transfer to the Senate any video recordings of Hagel’s past speeches because Hagel apparently hasn’t authoritzed this. In addition, the »

Line of the day

Featured image Peter Kirsanow on the impending confirmation of “Caligula’s Horse” as Secretary of Defense: Just because they’re laughing in Tehran, Pyongyang, Moscow, and some hovel in Mali doesn’t mean this nomination is funny. »

Hagel set to be confirmed

Featured image Richard “Hi, I’m Dick Shelby and I’m holding a fundraiser” Shelby has announced that he will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel. He becomes, effectively, the 60th vote in favor of cloture, with more to follow. Shelby explained that Hagel is “probably as good as we’re going to get” as Secretary of Defense. He’s probably the only Senator who believes this, assuming he does. Perhaps he missed Hagel’s confirmation hearings because »

The New Hagelian Dialectic

Featured image A few days ago Mickey Kaus delivered one of his usual top-spin-heavy counter-intuitive schemes about how the best way to kill immigration reform is . . . the quick confirmation of Chuck Hagel.  Say what? Actually I understand exactly what he means, and have thought for a while about laying out here a similar theory of my own about inter-party dynamics.  Reflecting on the passing of Robert Bork last month »

Hagel reportedly said that Israel is headed toward apartheid

Featured image Alana Goodman at the Washington Free Beacon reports that Chuck Hagel said Israel is on its way to becoming an apartheid state, according to a contemporaneous account of an appearance by Hagel at Rutgers University on April 9, 2010. Hagel also accused Israel of violating U.N. resolutions, called for U.S.-designated terrorist organization Hamas to be included in any peace negotiations, and described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “radical,” »