LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Hagel spectacle

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Until his confirmation hearings, I had believed that after intensive and harsh questioning, former Sen. Chuck Hagel would be confirmed as President Obama’s choice for the next secretary of defense. I do not believe anyone could have anticipated the catastrophic performance of the nominee before the Senate Armed Services Committee while on the international stage (“Panetta defends Hagel, criticizes GOP questioning,” Web, Sunday). It was a performance that stunned even officials of the administration.

Mr. Hagel acknowledged that there are key foreign policy issues with which he is not familiar, and he promised to study these before beginning his new position. Most astonishingly, however, he misspoke when attempting to convey the Obama administration’s position and, presumably, his own position, on whether Iran can be contained if and when it produces a nuclear weapon. After this gaffe, an aide presented Mr. Hagel with a card which, after reading, the nominee announced had informed him that he had misspoken. It is widely believed that Iran took significant notice of the Hagel spectacle.

Many thought the worst Mr. Hagel had to fear from Senate questioners were his reference to “the Jewish lobby” and his expressed disdain for homosexuals. It turns out his problems run far deeper. If Chuck Hagel is confirmed to be secretary of defense, he will have beaten long odds.


Upper St. Clair, Pa.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts