Friday, February 1, 2013

Hagel Confirmation Hearing: The Day Was Committed To Error And Floundering

There were plenty of fireworks at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing of former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.  The Obama pick for Secretary of Defense went through three “murder boards,” or mock hearings, in preparation for the real one.

One spark came from Jim Inhofe who asked:
“Given that Iran, the people—I’m quoting right now from Iran—people of the Middle East, the Muslim region and North Africa, people of these regions hate America from the bottom of their heart. It further said Israel is a cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world. They further said Iran’s warriors are ready and willing to wipe Israel off the map. The question I’d like to ask you, and you can answer for the record if you’d like, why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be the Secretary of Defense?”
“I have a difficult enough time with American politics, Senator. I have no idea, but thank you. And I’ll be glad to respond further for the record,” Hagel said.
Apparently that’s not the only thing Hagel has difficulty with.  In his closing statement Hagel admitted:
"A number of questions were asked of me today about specific programs, submarine programs, different areas of technology and acquisitions, and our superior technology. I've said I do not know enough about it. I don't. There are a lot of things I don't know about." 
"If confirmed, I intend to know a lot more than I do. I will have to. But at the same time, I would never think that this, as I said earlier, is about me or I will be running anything." 
"I will be the leader. I'll be responsible. I will be accountable, but I've got to rely on the right teams, the right people to bring those people together. And again, it's accountability and responsibility. I would stop there, if that gives you some sense of how I would intend to do this business."
Why bother Chucky? In a cringe-worthy moment that left many shaking their heads, Hagel said, “It doesn’t matter what I think.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) begged to differ: “It matters what you think,” she found herself saying in response.

Members of the Senate's Armed Services Committee confessed they were "shocked at how ill-prepared" Hagel was for his hearing to be confirmed as defense secretary.  Well, if CNN spent time on his stupidity you know it was bad.  Here’s Dana Bash from CNN:

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