Campaign for Working Families
Barack Obama filled out his national security team today with the formal nominations of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense and Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan to be Director of the CIA. (By the way, some liberals are demanding to know why Obama keeps appointing so many white men!)
Normally a Cabinet secretary will fight for the best interests of his or her department. But Hagel will give Obama cover to gut the Defense budget. In addition, Hagel has a terrible record when it comes to confronting America's radical Islamic enemies, especially Iran.
You don't have to take my word for it. The New York Times reported yesterday that Hagel "has long been an opponent of unilateral American sanctions against Iran Notably, he was one of only two senators to vote against the Iran-Libya sanctions act in 2001."
In 2008, Hagel single-handedly blocked a sanctions bill that had 72 co-sponsors, including then-Senator Barack Obama. CNN described Hagel's position on Iran as being "to the left of President Obama."
Hagel also seems to have a problem with Israel and "the Jews." When Hagel ran the USO, he fought bitterly to shut down the USO post in Haifa, reportedly saying, "Let the Jews pay for it." In 2009, Hagel signed a letter urging President Obama to negotiate with Hamas.
On CNN yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) described Obama's selection of Hagel as an "'in-your-face' nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel." Today, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) declared his opposition to Hagel, saying, "Sen. Hagel's record of opposing Iran sanctions is troubling. His views and positions on the Middle East and Israel are contrary to the Administration's own stated policies, and there are concerns from members of both parties about this nomination."
Senator Wicker is right. There is bi-partisan opposition to Hagel. ABC reported yesterday that Hagel does not yet have the support of 50 Senate Democrats. Moreover, MSNBC's Chuck Todd reported this morning that "as many as 10 Democratic senators could vote against Hagel."
And then there is Obama's other nomination, John Brennan. At first glance, Brennan might seem like a logical choice for the CIA -- a 25-year veteran of the CIA and counterterrorism advisor to the president. But his ideology makes him a bad choice. It was John Brennan who tried to convince us that jihad was a peaceful, "legitimate tenet of Islam." And in a 2010 speech, he referred to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, "Al Quds."
There is an old saying in Washington: "Personnel is policy." Obama's nominations of these individuals to key positions tell us a lot about the policies we can expect this administration to pursue in the years ahead.
Conservatives who have been fighting against Obama's radical agenda for years are not surprised by these appointments. But for millions of Americans who may have been confused by his rhetoric, it is getting harder by the day to avoid the obvious -- Obama is a leftist ideologue whose economic policies are socialistic and whose foreign policies are weak and pro-Islamism.