Friday, February 8, 2013

Worse and worse for Hagel for sec defense

On Thursday, Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively that they have been informed that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called “Friends of Hamas.”

Senate Committee Postpones Hagel Confirmation Vote

The Senate Armed Services Committee has postponed a panel vote that was expected to take place Thursday on the nomination of Chuck Hagel.
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By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/7/2013, 4:53 PM

former senator Chuck Hagel
former senator Chuck Hagel
The Senate Armed Services Committee has postponed a panel vote that was expected to take place Thursday on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next United States secretary of defense.

Chairman of the committee, Carl Levin (D-MI), announced the delay after Republicans demanded that the former GOP senator from Nebraska release additional financial information, including details regarding compensation for speeches he delivered since leaving Capitol Hill.

"The committee's review of the nomination is not yet complete," Levin said in a statement. "I intend to schedule a vote on the nomination as soon as possible."

While Hagel has provided some information on his personal finances, he said he could not provide all of what has been requested because it was the property of private organizations that he was not authorized to disclose.

On Wednesday 26 Republican senators sent a letter to the controversial nominee, asserting their opposition to the vote until he provided the requested information.

"This committee, and the American people, have a right to know if a nominee for secretary of defense has received compensation, directly or indirectly, from foreign sources," the letter said. "Until the committee receives full and complete answers, it cannot in good faith determine whether you should be confirmed as secretary of defense."

Hagel, the two-term senator chosen by President Barack Obama to replace current secretary of defense Leon Panetta, has come under intense fire for his record on Israel, Iran, Hamas, as well as his comments about “the Jewish lobby,” homosexuals and a myriad of other issues.

"I look for people to slow this train down and let's get everything we need. That's what I want to do," said James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who grilled Hagel in the hearings late last month, told reporters he would prefer not to vote on the nomination "until I feel like we have the information we need to make an informed decision."

Graham pressed Hagel about his 2006 interview with Middle East analyst Aaron David Miller in which he said, “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” in Congress into doing “dumb things.”
“Name one dumb thing we’ve been goaded into doing by the Israeli, Jewish lobby,” Graham demanded.
“I don’t know,” Hagel said, unable to provide names.
He expressed regret for the comments, saying, “I’ve already said I regret referencing the Jewish lobby. I should have said pro-Israel lobby. I think it’s the only time on the record I’ve ever said that.”
He added that he should have said “influence,” not “intimidate.”
“I should not have said ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ because I understand, appreciate there are different views in these things,” he maintained.
“Then why did you say it?” Graham asked. “I can’t think of a more provocative thing to say.”
“The statements you made about Palestinians and about ‘the Jewish lobby,’ all that together” sends “the worst possible message to our enemies and friends,” Graham added.

Investigation May Delay Hagel Vote

Former Hagel chief of staff claims Hagel never knew, questions victim’s credibility

Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel faces another obstacle in his already contentious fight for confirmation as the Obama administration’s next secretary of defense.
According to Foreign Policy, the Senate Armed Services Committee is investigating a sexual harassment allegation by a former Hagel staffer. The unnamed staffer has been interviewed by the committee about an incident that took place in 2007.
The staffer, whose allegation was found credible by committee staff, does not involve Hagel directly. Instead, the investigation appears to center on whether Hagel knew of the incident and whether it was handled appropriately.
Hagel’s former chief of staff Lou Ann Linehan, who oversaw the disciplinary process now being reviewed, dismissed the allegation and denied that the misconduct was “actually sexual harassment”:
“I remember handling it, I thought it was handled. I did not bring it to the senator. I would not have taken it to the senator unless it required a termination and that wasn’t the case,” she said. “The term sexual harassment shocks me a little bit. I wouldn’t have put up with anything that was actually sexual harassment.”
Sexual harassment has been a major problem in the military and hearings were held on Capitol Hill just two weeks ago in relation to a rash of sexual assaults at Lackland Air Force Base. The Air Force Academy has struggled with its own scandals surrounding inappropriate treatment of female cadets that went well beyond harassment.
A 2005 report by the Pentagon found that sexual harassment and sexual assault at US military academies were flourishing under a leadership culture that turned a blind eye to the problem.
“Harassment is the more prevalent and corrosive problem, creating an environment in which sexual assault is more likely to occur… the obligation not to engage in or tolerate sexually harassing behavior is a values and leadership issue,” the report stated. “Sexual harassment and assault are fundamentally at odds with the obligation of men and women in uniform to treat all with dignity and respect. Those who seek to be future leaders in the Armed Services are obligated to uphold standards—not only in their own conduct but also in their response to the conduct of others.”

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