Why are so many so troubled about the prospect of former Senator Chuck Hagel becoming the next Secretary of Defense. Here are some his most troubling quotes, as reported by the Weekly Standard.
— Hagel, in 2007: The Israelis have “chained down [the Palestinians] for many, many years. … But when people have no hope, when there’s despair, little else matters. And this is not about terrorists don’t like freedom. Tell that to the Palestinian people who have been chained down for many, many years.”
— Hagel, in 2003: Israel “keep[s] Palestinians caged up like animals.”
— Hagel, in 2006: Accused Israel of performing a “sickening slaughter” against members of the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group.
— Hagel, in 2009: Signed a public letter in favor of direct negotiations with the terrorist group Hamas.
— Hagel, in 2006: “The political reality is that … the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. … Let me clear something up here if there’s any doubt in your mind. I’m a United States Senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States Senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is, I take an oath of office to the constitution of the United States. Not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.”
— Hagel, in 2006, speaking in Islamabad, Pakistan, Hagel: “A military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option.”
— Hagel, in 2008: “Iran will not be deterred from developing nuclear arms only because the United States and the EU say they must—especially if they feel threatened and if the United States, Great Britain, France, and Israel, among others, all retain their nuclear weapons.”
— Hagel, in 2006: Refused to ask that the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be designated a terrorist organization.
On U.S. defense matters:
— Hagel, in 2009: Hagel agreed with an Al Jazeera caller that the U.S. is “the world’s bully.”
— Hagel, in 2012: “[R]ecommended deep reductions in the U.S. nuclear inventory and eventually retiring intercontinental ballistic missiles, which form the land leg of the military’s nuclear triad of land, sea and air delivery platforms — that has drawn the most scrutiny.”
— Hagel, in 2011: “The Defense Department, I think, in many ways, has become bloated. … In many ways I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.”