Is Hagel the biggest threat?goes after Chuck Hagel again in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal.
In each case, Mr. Hagel was articulating a view that was exactly in keeping with received Beltway wisdom. In each case, he was subsequently disproved by events. In no case was Mr. Hagel ever held to any kind of account for being wrong. In no case did he hold himself to account for being wrong.
Oh, by the way, in 1995 Mr. Hagel told the Omaha World Herald that his opposition to abortion was total and made no exception for cases of rape or incest—a view that helped get him elected to the Senate the following year. He later voted repeatedly against allowing servicewomen to pay for abortions out of their own pocket, according to the left-wing magazine Mother Jones. Now that Congress has authorized the Defense Department to pay for abortions in cases of rape, it would be worth asking Mr. Hagel if he has evolved on this one, too.
But give Mr. Hagel this: When it comes to expressing himself about Israel, its enemies, and the influence of the so-called Jewish lobby, he has been nothing if not consistent and outspoken. Maybe that's political courage. Or maybe it's a mental twitch, the kind you can't quite help. The confirmation process should be illuminating.Stephens is right of course. But what worries me is that the vehemence of the opposition and the chances of defeating the nominee seem to vary inversely with the potential danger. As much as I believe that Hagel is anti-Israel, I believe that the amount of damage that can be done to Israel and its interests by John F.N. Kerry as Secretary of State is much greater. We have almost no chance - from what I can see - of defeating Kerry's nomination.
John Brennan is a nut case when it comes to defining terrorism, but no one really seems interested in talking about that with Hagel out there.
Yes, Hagel is a bad choice for Secretary of Defense, but is he meant to distract us from the greater dangers that lurk at State and the CIA?