Very sad — reading remarks prepared by White House weenies, a good man in a strait-jacket.
Full transcript of Chuck Hagel hearing before Senate Armed Services Committee
MondoWeiss, February 2, 2013
I believe we can call the Senate Armed Services Committee’s confirmation hearing of Chuck Hagel on Thursday historic: for the savage questioning by Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and John McCain that many have compared to McCarthyite attacks, and for the exposure of the Israel lobby’s influence in the discourse for all to see. Robert Naiman at Just Foreign Policy published this transcript of the hearing. I am sure that readers can make good use of it.
Phi Beta Iota: Watching the actual testimony while reading the transcript, we are shocked. Hagel is assuredly better than this, but if the prepared remarks are any sign, he is going to be another Cohen — largely worthless not because he lacks intelligence and integrity, but because the White House is micro-mis-managing everything, and he will have no ability at all to actually make responsible change.
ROBERT STEELE: I watched this hearing myself on C-SPAN. What I see is an honest and thoughtful man (Chuck Hagel) who is burdened by a really rotten White House script and probably aides that do NOT have his best interests at heart (just as John McCain was sand-bagged by the Bushies that ran his campaign into the ground and kept him isolated from the one big idea that would have saved his campaign: freeze all evictions and foreclosures, insure America from the bottom up). In this hearing, John McCain made an ass of himself, demonstrating a dogmatic simplistic and demeaning attitude that had I understood it in 2004, would have caused me to dismiss him from consideration as a candidate for President. Hagel has been screwed by the reality that he is getting a shit script from people who have no big ideas, they just want to manage the news; they have no clue how vital intelligence, integrity, and imagination can be when allowed to flourish without constraint by micro-managers who know nothing about real life or how to reform anything. Hagel is cursed (I use the word with admiration) with a mind that can handle complexity and nuance. The Republican Senators that abused him are ideological blow-hards who have sold out to Israel and are incapable of engaging in an honest open conversation. They are political prostitutes with intellectual syphillis. Some of the Senators, such as Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) raise important questions but avoid the hard truth that the US has never tested a nuclear weapon operationally, we have lost a great many of them, and we really do not have a proper force structure that makes the most of a limited number of nuclear weapons, generally sea based, while also having a proper 450-ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, and an air-liftable Army. I am reminded once again that what all of these Senators need to hear before such a hearing is “Reform can be job and revenue neutral from district to district and state to state; and in any event, reform is only effective with the authorization and appropriation blessings of Congress.”