Obama Chooses Hagel and Brennan

Counterterrorism chief John Brennan is President Obama's choice for director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Also as expected, he nominated Republican Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary.

As for Brennan,

Mr. Brennan has played a central role in Mr. Obama's most critical and controversial counterterrorism and security policies. He has been a chief driver of Mr. Obama's acceleration of the CIA's drone program and its expansion into Yemen. He also has been central in navigating the politics surrounding the administration's inability to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Brennan also has served as an emissary to Yemeni officials to manage counterterrorism operations there and in Somalia and has helped steer white House security policy in response to the Arab Spring. [More...}

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. defends the Brennan pick:

"Brennan has been an advocate for greater transparency in our counterterrorism policy, and adherence to the rule of law," he said. "He has spoken out repeatedly about the need for strong oversight and review of our counterterrorism actions and has led efforts within the government to ensure that we put those ideals into practice."

As to Hagel, the Wall St. Journal reports that while many Republicans think he's not strong enough in defense of Israel and he's weak on Iran, he will probably be confirmed. Reuters has more here.

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    The ACLU has issued a (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:00:34 PM EST
    statement on the Brennan nomination:

    Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, had the following concerns with the president's choice to fill this critical national security post.


    "The Senate should not move forward with his nomination until all senators can assess the role of the CIA--and any role by Brennan himself--in torture, abuse, secret prisons, and extraordinary rendition during his past tenure at the CIA, as well as can review the legal authorities for the targeted killing program that he has overseen in his current position," Murphy said. "This nomination is too important to proceed without the Senate first knowing what happened during Brennan's tenures at the CIA and the White House, and whether all of his conduct was within the law. "


    "To the extent these questions can be answered by the Intelligence Committee's still-undisclosed report on the CIA's role in torture, the Senate should use the report to determine what role Brennan had and whether his conduct was consistent with both the law and American values," Murphy said.


    "The Senate should not move forward with the nomination of John Brennan until it is clear that he is committed to making sure that the CIA will end its targeted killing program, and agree to work with the Senate Intelligence Committee on the declassification review and disclosure of the committee's report on the CIA's past role in torture and abuse," she said. "These steps would help assure all Americans that the past wrongs of the CIA have ended, and won't be brought back."

    Not that I'm going to hold my breath waiting for this to happen, or anything...

    [Note: I could not find the statement on the ACLU website - this was posted by Glenn Greenwald via The Guardian]

    Here is (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:22:32 PM EST
    the link from the ACLU.
    And thank you, ACLU.  (I have been a member for over 25 years.)  

    This (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:29:45 PM EST
    "To the extent these questions can be answered by the Intelligence Committee's still-undisclosed report on the CIA's role in torture, the Senate should use the report to determine what role Brennan had and whether his conduct was consistent with both the law and American values," Murphy said.

    Reminded me of this quote:

    I told Smith (Director of the Bureau of the Budget) that one thing was certain--this country wanted no Gestapo under any guise or for any reason.

    -  President Harry S. Truman, Memoirs Vol I

    i.e., the Senate should not move forward... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:34:52 PM EST
    ... until the end of time itself.

    I read (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:34:03 PM EST
    speculation about how Obama would show his true progressive self once he did not have to fear reelection.

    So now he is free.

    And he selects Brennan.

    I don't think we've had a breath of fresh air in the last twelve years.

    There was so much speculation about that (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:44:38 PM EST
    wasn't there?  So many assurances that he could at last be his True Self.  Which was, frankly, actually true.  They just couldn't see that he was already being his True Self.

    How that notion got any traction I can't even guess.


    It came with the pompoms (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by nycstray on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:05:59 PM EST
    that were passed out . . . didn't you get yours?

    Dang (none / 0) (#11)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:18:16 PM EST
    I must have missed out because of the move to Maryland.

    Oprah assured everyone (none / 0) (#33)
    by Amiss on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:47:00 PM EST
    "He is the one". No joke.

    The people (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:49:03 PM EST
    saying that Obama could be his "true" progressive self were the same usual suspects that were saying four years ago that he had to x, y or z to win the election but once he got into office we would see his "real" progressive self. Didn't buy it back then and certainly no one should have bought into that garbage this time around.

    The Speculation Was on Social Issues (none / 0) (#26)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:07:18 PM EST
    No one though the use of drones was posturing to get votes, not true of the social issues like MM, gay marriage, immigration reform.

    His (5.00 / 7) (#28)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:15:40 PM EST
    betrayal of progressive issues is across the board. In every sphere.

    You deny that people thought of him as a peace candidate?
    He certainly conned those Norwegians didn't he?


    You Changed Gears... (none / 0) (#52)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:41:24 PM EST
    ...or at least when you mentioned the election I thought you meant this one.  And I wasn't disagreeing with you, just pointing out that no one expected progressive cabinet posts, especially this one.

    Supreme Court yes, but there was no posturing or flimflam in regards to his views on the National Defense.


    Two links on Brennan (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:53:25 PM EST
    that pretty much say it all IMO.  Jane Mayer.  Mel Goodman on Democracy Now.  Or Brennan lying about waterboarding after it had already come out that we had used waterboarding.

    He is very game to trot on TV and tell a lie so if that's the quality we're going for, great choice.  

    Do you trust this guy?

    I also assume some of this promotion dates back to his being an adviser to Obama early in his 08 campaign.  Which is just gross.  

    Well, gee (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:48:59 PM EST
    I am so glad we have a Democratic President.  Aren't you?  {/snark}

    An (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:13:39 PM EST
    unbelievable interview by Amy Goodman.
    Thanks for the link.

    Hair raising.

    Obama is worse than I thought - and I already had a pretty low opinion of him. Seeing these Bush era felons continuing to operate is chilling.

    And it ensures that there will be no accountability for rendition, for torture, for warrantless wiretaps, not to mention drones and the rest of the nauseating list of things to which we have become accustomed to accept as the moral baseline of our beloved country.


    Hagel (5.00 / 7) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:17:35 PM EST
    and Brennan.

    I can't wait for the pick for the Supreme Court.

    I'm so glad we didn't elect Romney.
    He might have nominated Hagel and Brennan.
    And then where would we be?

    yeah (none / 0) (#17)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:42:26 PM EST
    on the other hand, Obama's first two picks for the supreme court weren't bad.  I hope that now not having to face reelection he doesn't go with a conservative republican catholic male... we have enough of those on the court.

    Oh right. (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by sj on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:45:16 PM EST
    Obama now is free to show his true progressive self because he doesn't have to worry about re-election.

    I was just thinking about that...


    Yes, no kidding (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:51:17 PM EST
    Oh, wait..............
    What you see is what you get.  Not what was said, but what is done.  {{Sigh}}

    Yes, Obama now is free (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:58:14 PM EST
    to show his true progressive self and his true progressive self just nominated Hagel and Brennan.

    How (none / 0) (#24)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:40:56 PM EST
    about a conservative republican gay male?

    You got it! (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:51:52 PM EST
    If he can find a Log Cabin Republican to put on the Supreme Court I'm sure he will be deliriously happy!

    hey, lindsey graham is sticking his hand in (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by womanwarrior on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:46:13 PM EST
    Sen. Lindsey Graham might block Obama pick, Brennan, to head CIA, according to McClatchy - don't know how to post the link

    Lindsey Graham (none / 0) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:26:10 AM EST
    is a blowhard, doing his best to keep the far right from sending a primary opponent his way.

    My GOP dentist asked me the rationale (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:34:42 AM EST
    for GOP Senators' opposition to Hagel so I filled him in.

    Did you charge him (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:48:36 AM EST
    for the filling?

    I saw a copy of Time mag. On the counter. (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:51:00 AM EST
    Says I, who was the person of the year. He sd., Obama. I sd., why?  He sd., that ' s what I'd like to know n

    Democrats need to support Hagel, (4.40 / 5) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:06:21 PM EST
    the guy who opposed President Clinton's pick for Ambassador to Luxembourg, because a president has a right to pick his team..   And, President Clinton's pick was opposed, not because of his inadequate qualifications, but because of Hagel's expressed reason that he opposed the nominee because he was gay.  

    Hagel was opposed to repeal of DADT, and, unlike Colin Powell and even the odious Sam Nunn,  did not show regrets or signs of evolution at that time.   Of course, on the eve of his nomination, he apologized to James Hormel and anyone who might have been offended, acknowledging that his remarks were "insensitive". Not wrong, but insensitive.  

    Now, that is a long time ago, and he is clearly the only person in the country that is qualified for being at the helm of Defense.    He has some nice anti-war rhetoric and I am willing to overlook his votes to continue  to fund the wars he came to oppose.  

    And, I will forget that Hagel was a very conservative Republican, because we need a Republican at Defense and  he brings the coveted bipartisanship that will make it easier to work with the Republicans, although their present opposition may degrade that attribute.  Moreover, Hagel's reasonableness will counterbalance Brennan.  

    All liberals need to get with the program. If a future Democratic president nominates Todd Akin to be Sec HHS, we will need to get behind him if he just makes an apology about his insensitive remarks, bolstered by a certificate of successful completion of continuing education credits in human biology.  After all, it is laudable when jerks catch-up.  

    What do you think of (none / 0) (#16)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:29:17 PM EST
    center-left and openly gay geopolitical blogger Steve Clemons basically coming out for Hagel and saying he has met with him and finds him sufficiently evolved on gays?

    And openly gay Sen Tammy Baldwin isn't opposing him at this point, though she wants to question him about his evolution on the topic.

    Of the two, I'm a little more perturbed by the Brennan at CIA nomination, elevating someone with a very suspect past re eenabling torture.  Seems like O could have done much better with that one, while Hagel at least offers some promise as cover to push for more Pentagon cuts.


    Steve Clemons is a respected (none / 0) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:05:15 PM EST
    thinker in matters of foreign affairs. it is well to know of his assessment of Hagel's new position on equality on the basis of his private interactions.  However, it is important that Hagel bring his evolution on gay rights to the public forum.  So far, we have only his apology on the once infamous Hormel confirmation, that necessitated a recess appointment by President Clinton.  

    It will be difficult for Democratic senators to vote against Hagel's nomination, particularly given that the stakes have risen and, in the case of Tammy Baldwin, is beginning her senatorial service.  Glenn Greenwald has also given his support, in what to me, is a rather tortured argument, as I registered in a Friday News and Open Thread exchange.

     Barney Frank was strongly opposed to Hagel's nomination way back in the final days of December 2012, but has now changed his mind.  

    However, the issue transcends what gay people think to what people think.  Is this satisfactory behavior and actions for a prospective Cabinet officer in a Democratic Administration?  We need only substitute  Hagel's  Hormel and gay for some other individual or class of individuals and test for acceptability.


    Did you see (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:03:20 PM EST
    Did you see (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:03:23 AM EST
    the NYT editorial (Jan 8?)      ....It is a puzzle that Mr. Obama has nominated as defense secretary a person whose views on gay rights are in question at this sensitive time in the Pentagon's evolution.  The military's odious DADT was finally legislated out of existence in 20ll, under the administration's leadership.  But there is a long way to go to ensure that equal rights are institutionalized.

    While a member of the Senate from Nebraska in 1998, Mr. Hagel criticized the nomination of James Hormel to be ambassador to Luxembourg because he was "openly, aggressively gay".  That was a repugnant reason to oppose anyone for public office.  Last month, Mr. Hagel issued a statement in which he described his comments 14 years ago as "insensitive" apologized to Mr. Hormel and insisted he is "fully supportive of 'open service' and committed to LGBT military families."

    Some leading foreign policy professionals who are gay, including Mr. Hormel, have since said they could support Mr. Hagel's candidacy.  Still, it will be important to hear Mr. Hagel explain at his confirmation hearing how his views have changed and how he plans to make sure that all service members are treated equally and receive the same benefits regardless of sexual orientation.  It would also help if he acknowledged that the past comments were not just insensitive but abhorrent.


    I did see that. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by indy in sc on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:29:20 AM EST
    I don't condone or excuse Hagel's odious homophobic statements.  I agree that he should have to address these comments and explain how his thinking on the subject has changed (if indeed it has).  

    I also believe that we should allow people the opportunity to recognize their faults and to change if they truly have seen the error of their ways.  Again, I don't condone what he said in the past, but in my own family, I have seen pretty radical transformations in thinking about the LGBT community and their rights over the same time span as Hagel's.  I am so happy about these changes in thought and deed and I recognize that nothing would be accomplished by me beating them up about what they said in the past or how they previously felt because I know their current views are their true feelings.  


    History of Hormel nomination (none / 0) (#30)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:44:17 PM EST
    From Wikipedia

    In 1994, President Bill Clinton considered Hormel for the ambassadorship to Fiji, but did not put the nomination forward due to protests from Fiji officials.[1] Gay male sexual acts were punishable with prison sentences in Fiji and Hormel's being open about his sexuality would stand in conflict with the culture. Instead Hormel was named as part of the United Nations delegation from the US to the Human Rights Commission in 1995, and in 1996 became an alternate for the United Nations General Assembly.[1] In October 1997 Clinton nominated Hormel to be ambassador to Luxembourg, which had removed laws prohibiting consensual same-sex acts between adults in the 1800s.[1][2] This appointment was the first nomination or appointment of an openly LGBT person from the US.[1]

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved his nomination with only Republican and conservative Senators Jesse Helms and John Ashcroft opposed. Three other Republicans, James Inhofe, Tim Hutchinson, and Robert C. Smith, with the urging of religious and social conservatives campaigned vigorously against Hormel's nomination. Trent Lott, the Republican Majority Leader, worked to block the vote and publicly called homosexuality a sin and compared it to alcoholism and kleptomania.[1] Christian-based conservative groups like the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) and the Family Research Council (FRC) publicly accused Hormel of being pro-pornography and anti-Catholic and the Senators presented those charges to derail the nomination.[3] They asserted that Hormel would be rejected in the largely Catholic Luxembourg. To support the pornography allegation, a list of materials in the Hormel collection at the San Francisco Public Library was compiled by the TVC; it was later pointed out that the same works were also in the Library of Congress.[3] The anti-Catholic allegation stemmed from a 1996 San Francisco Pride parade television interview where he was seen laughing at the same time the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group that pokes fun at religious conventions, walked by.[4] The Catholic League opposed his nomination because of his "embrace" of the Sisters which the League considers an anti-Catholic group.[5] Although it was unclear why he was laughing, Christian right conservative group FRC distributed video tapes to the entire Senate of the brief event.[6]

    Concerns about Hormel's reception in Luxembourg were "blunted when officials of the country, which has laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation, indicated that he would be welcome."[7][8] Senator Alfonse D'Amato of New York found the obstruction of the nomination an embarrassment and urged that Trent Lott bring the issue up for a vote.[9][10] When Lott continued to stall, Clinton employed a recess appointment in May 1999. Hormel was sworn in as ambassador in June 1999. His partner at the time, Timothy Wu, held the Bible during the ceremony.[11][12][13][14] Also in attendance were Hormel's former wife, his five children, and several of his grandchildren.


    Some Buffoon from the Weekly Standard (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:18:48 PM EST
    Dogging Hagel just said that soldiers really don't care if Hagel once served.  I may not be crazy about Hagel, but can we talk about how hated Rumsfeld became because he was a clueless Phucking "businessman" who had No Idea WTF he was doing or killing?

    It matters, I don't care what the doughy faced never saw body armor or a push-up  flaba$$ from the Weekly Standard has to say about what he thinks soldiers think.  If you can get someone with some service in their history it does matter.

    Just look at what Rumsfeld and Cheney thought was okay to do to a military and for what reasons and it is pretty obvious that past service matters, if and when that is a good choice for other reasons as well.

    Phucking Weekly Standard makes me defend Chuck Hagel because they are despicable clueless liars.  They know their crazy party will all just agree with them and no lefty is likely to call them out so they can just assert anything at all and that's okay.

    Rumsfeld served in the Navy for a number (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:41:20 PM EST
    of years. He was active duty from 1954-1957. He then moved to the Navy Reserves where he served from 1957-1975. In 1975 he joined the Ready Reserve, and served there until 1989. He retired with the rank of captain.

    Cheney is a total chicken hawk who skated through VietNam on deferments.

    Clearly, Rumsfeld's military service did not make him a good SoD. He appeared to have no concept whatsoever of the damage he was doing to the military. Nor did he seem to care.

    I do not believe that a SoD needs to have served in the military. The SoD does need to have an abiding respect for the people under her/his command. TheSoD needs to value those lives. And, IMO, the SoD needs to believe in a cautious approach to the use of our military.

    None of those qualifiers describe Rumsfeld, Cheney or Bush.


    I don't believe they need to have served (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:15:28 PM EST
    And I suppose I am horrible for saying this but Rumsfeld's lack of serving in a possible dangerous position just made him more of a snob.  Especially as a war free fly boy.  And even today if I want to in general hear a really insane wingnutty stance on war from someone in uniform I can easily find that in the Air Force.

    There seems to be something very humbling and sanity producing about having to look those you shoot at and kill in the eye and see your friends wounded or die.  

    I also remember who the worst Generals were during the Iraq Debacle?  Air Force Generals.  But before Bush submitted to Petraeus leadership those were the only Generals left who would tell Bush what he wanted to hear and would agree to his vision and strategy, and they were commanding troops and attempting tactics they were clueless about.

    I shudder remembering Myers and how hated he was by many in the Army because he was turning their lives into hell on earth and was utterly clueless about it. They weren't the troops he was accustomed to maneuvering, their risks were not his risks.  He was horrible and there was little method to his madness, it was just madness.  Nor did he have the training or experience to argue with the White House about the insanity of their goals and vision, it was exactly what they wanted....a paper tiger staying their course without any discernible conscience or consciousness.

    Gates surprised me upon his leave taking.  His job had marked him.  He felt the price of Afghanistan was no longer worth paying and said so.  So no, it would seem that serving on the front lines isn't a must have to have a soul about the business of war.

    I don't think you have to have served, but I think Chuck Hagel understands the reality of war in a way that deeply benefits him and this country as Sec Def.  And having served his nation as Hagel has does matter to soldiers serving in very dangerous MOSs no matter what the freak at the Weekly Standard tries to sell.  I don't get the vibe from Chuck Hagel that my husband's life means nothing to him.  I can't say that about Donald Rumsfeld.  Donald Rumsfeld did not care what happened to this family or what his insane ideas and leadership cost us, according to his book still doesn't care.


    For Rumsfeld, casualties (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:39:37 PM EST
    were just the cost of doing business.  



    They were the "known unknowns" (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by shoephone on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:40:16 PM EST
    Tracy..... (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:45:26 AM EST
    "There seems to be something very humbling and sanity producing about having to look those you shoot at and kill in the eye and see your friends wounded or die."

    And that, in a nutshell, is the essence at the center of any debate regarding guns, and killing.  Whether it's soldiers on the battlefield, or civilians buying guns for protection, unless you've been in a "kill, or be killed" situation your opinion about "what I would do"  is worth as much as what you paid for it.......exactly Nothing.

    Having been a soldier in battle is also the reason why I believe Hagel may be the Secretary of Defense who finally, really, gives a fig about what happens to veterans after they've done their "service."


    We haven't hit a certain wall yet (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:02:20 PM EST
    But the GOP is getting very close to being just flat out evil.  Over the years and fights that this home has hosted, a few things have been learned that will die when the vets from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan are gone unless the real history becomes our real history.  The decisions that elected leaders made and then based on Bush being re-elected a majority supported, how can they be off the hook now for nursing and fixing what was broken?

    The detachment a lot of the population experienced with those wars and the desire to then sweep it under the rug and not deal with the aftermath, makes the next war that the next soulless administration wants to start that much easier.  And if the nation has to take full responsibility for the damage, and witness it, will make it that much harder.

    Nobody serving ever wants their nation to go unprotected though, but shattering lives for politics can no longer be allowed.  We worry all the time here that the documentation of the ongoing destruction of lives back home isn't taking place.  The country is still in denial about what the Iraq Debacle stole from all of us not only in treasure but sanity/mental health.

    When did that devastation from Vietnam begin to sink in?  I was a baby and a small child, but by the time I hit early teens I knew that my nation understood the horror that would not go away for many who had to serve in that war.  Even the anti-war protests that took place in Colorado Springs that I witnessed, the energy and the juice came from the Vietnam suffering....and it was only the trauma of the 9/11 attack that swung the pro-war just a little bit harder.  How did the accounting begin to take place for Vietnam?  It must happen again, so that the next time America is attacked her masses can think just a little clearer.


    For me it began to sink in (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Amiss on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:04:33 PM EST
    my first year of college,when I was getting letters from friends that were in Viet Nam, my boyfriend at the time among them. My room-mate's only brother showed up one nite on the news. (back then the reporters were actually in the thick of it, the injured,dying and dead soldiers were shown on the NEWS) What we get now is laughable, compared to 40 yrs. ago.
    Both of my Aunt' s sons were in Nam at the same time(this was supposed to be a no-no) nevertheless it happened.
    Friends that did return were never the same.
    Eliminating the caskets being shown on teevee, to me, at least, was one of the things that let our "leaders" get away with much more than they would have otherwise.
    Hang on! I feel another one is coming now that Obama is "free to show his true colors" as others have said since there is not another election to worry about".
    BTW I lived the 60's.

    Just a general question about McCain (none / 0) (#34)
    by Amiss on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:29:02 PM EST
    Why does he have a corncob up his buttocks about Hagel? Is he mad that he wasnt asked or other things.

    Why? (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:47:30 AM EST
    Who nominated Hagel?

    That's all that's necessary for today's "leaders."


    I'd suggest that they're all "buffoons" (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:46:32 PM EST
    over there, except that for me, the term connotes a sort of benign and clownish cluelessness, and these "Weakly" Standard-types are anything but benign.  Clueless, of course, and clownish, also, but in the Stephen King-style that makes people want to cry.

    Just thinking about them makes me want to go take a shower to wash off the smarm and slime.


    WSWS on Obama choosing Brennan (none / 0) (#35)
    by Andreas on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:58:09 PM EST
    The WSWS writes:

    In choosing Brennan to lead the spy agency, Obama gave a clear signal that he intends to expand the illegal program of drone assassinations that has already killed thousands of innocent civilians--men, women and children--and mutilated thousands more in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. ...

    The White House and Justice Department claim that the president has the right to unilaterally order the killing of any individual, anywhere in the world, as part of the so-called "war on terror."

    This open repudiation of the most basic democratic rights and assertion of dictatorial powers has evoked no serious opposition from any section of the liberal establishment or its pseudo-left periphery.

    Obama names head of drone assassination program to lead CIA
    By Barry Grey, 8 January 2013

    This says it all: (none / 0) (#40)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:48:29 AM EST
    Last month, Mr. Hagel issued a statement in which he described his comments 14 years ago as "insensitive" apologized to Mr. Hormel and insisted he is "fully supportive of 'open service' and committed to LGBT military families."[my emphasis]

    Hmm, mighty quick and timely evolution on the subject. If he had really had a change of heart, why wait until Obama is about to nominate him for SoD? Why not apologize privately sometime in the past fourteen years, or even right after Obama evolved last year during his desperate pursuit of gay money and votes.

    Well, I doubt this will be a major issue in the Senate, but at the very least the following questions should be asked during the confirmation hearings:

    1. Since the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) currently prevents the military from providing marital benefits to gay and lesbian families, what will you do to standardize the way the Pentagon treats all troops?
    2. What will you do to ensure that DOMA is quickly repealed so all troops are treated equally under the law? Will you testify in support of the Respect for Marriage Act currently under consideration in Congress? (Yes or No answer please.) What key points will you make in your testimony?
    3. What will you do to repudiate the conscience clause of the defense budget bill that President Obama signed this month. Since that clause created special rights for service members who oppose serving with gays and lesbians on the basis of their religious or moral beliefs,  how will you mitigate the damage to lesbian and gay service members until it is eliminated?
    4. Since the statute repealing DADT did not include a  non-discrimination mandate in the military's treatment of gay and lesbian troops, are you willing to sign an official Pentagon directive or call for a White House executive order to prevent discrimination? Simple answer, Yes or No.
    5. What specific steps will you take to prevent anti-gay harassment currently occurring in the ranks?
    6. There are transgender troops who are already serving with distinction and honor, but whose readiness and morale are compromised by a host of discriminatory Pentagon policies. What specific steps will you take to address the current discrimination against our transgender service members?

    Fourteen years does not equal (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:36:18 AM EST
    "mighty quick" in my view.

    Miscommunication (none / 0) (#49)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:57:55 AM EST
    I should have said sudden, as in right before Obama announced he's nominating Hagel for SoD.

    Like Obama's evolution on gay marriage, this apology rings shallow. But perhaps the scrutiny along with tough questions during the hearings will result in Chuck Hagel being forced to commit to real sociopolitical change. One can only Hope...


    Whatever it takes. (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:47:15 AM EST
    He never apologized to Hormel (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:07:39 PM EST
    Never. Therefore, it is a phony apology, cooked up for the nomination process.

    And what of Hagel's views on women (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:49:29 PM EST
    and reproductive choice? Like other Republicans, he's not even concerned about abortion rights in  cases of rape or incest, because, according to him, those cases are so rare as to not be "relevant." And yet... the issue of rape in the military does not seem to be going away. And, as I pointed out on an earlier thread, Hagel repeatedly voted against allowing female soldiers to pay out of pocket for their abortions while abroad.