As Chuck Hagel Confirmation Hearing Looms, New Push for Pentagon Pick

Jewish Opposition Eases, But Conservatives Fight On

No Chances: Despite signs that Chuck Hagel has enough support to win Senate confirmation, the White House is mounting an all-out push to outflank opponents.
getty images
No Chances: Despite signs that Chuck Hagel has enough support to win Senate confirmation, the White House is mounting an all-out push to outflank opponents.

By Reuters

Published January 30, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 4)

And they have enlisted an array of luminaries to serve as Hagel ambassadors. Thirteen former secretaries of defense and state and national security advisers from both parties sent a letter to senators last week strongly backing his nomination.

Hagel will be introduced at his hearing by two former Senate Armed Services committee chairmen, Democrat Sam Nunn and Republican John Warner, who both - like Hagel - were known for breaking from party doctrine on a range of issues.

‘MURDER BOARDS’

Hagel has set up a Pentagon office and has a transition team helping him to prepare. He has met with Panetta, deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter and other military leaders, including Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The nominee has had two “murder board” sessions, panels to grill him to prepare for questions from skeptical - and hostile - senators.

A source close to the confirmation process said Hagel may squeeze in a third “murder board” session before Thursday.

Carter, who will stay on as deputy secretary of defense during Obama’s second term, told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that Obama had called him to tell him about the Hagel nomination and asked him to remain, which would provide a measure of stability.

Critics have questioned Hagel’s past statements over the power of the “Jewish lobby” in Washington, and what they say is his resistance to sanctions on Iran and eagerness to further cut defense spending. No Republican has yet publicly endorsed him.

Hagel is expected to have a tougher time with the Armed Services Committee, which must clear his nomination, than in the full 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 45 seats.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.