Archive for Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts won’t back Chuck Hagel to become secretary of defense

January 8, 2013


— Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts said Tuesday he won’t support President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Department of Defense.

Roberts describes his fellow Republican as a longtime friend but says they have too many differences on foreign policy and national security. Obama nominated Hagel to replace Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who is retiring, but he must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“That’s not my choice. If Chuck Hagel would have called me, my advice to him would have been not to offer up his name,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of concern about Chuck.”

Before speaking to high school government students in Osage City, Roberts said he and Hagel have differing views on Israel and Iran, among other issues, that factor into his decision.

Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas’ other Republican senator, said he was “not at all impressed by the nomination.”

“But there is a process now under way to further evaluate the nominee’s suitability for confirmation. I look forward to fair and rigorous hearings on this issue,” Moran said.

Hagel has drawn criticism for his remarks referring to pro-Israeli interests as “the Jewish lobby” and suggesting they hold too much sway in Washington. He has also called for direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and suggested that Iran be at the table during negotiations on peace in Afghanistan.

Roberts called Hagel a “very good friend,” noting that they served on the Senate Intelligence Committee together, but he said the Nebraskan’s views on the Middle East were troubling.

Roberts didn’t know if Hagel’s nomination could get through the Senate.

“That’s tough for me because I know him, he’s a personal friend, but I don’t think he’s well-suited for that position,” said Roberts, a former Marine.

While he didn’t offer any alternative candidates for the post, Roberts did say that Panetta was doing a good job, but he knew that he was growing tired of the post.

“That’s a tough job right now,” Roberts said.

If confirmed, Hagel would be the first enlisted man to ascend to the level of secretary of defense. He served as a private and sergeant during Vietnam and received two purple hearts, experience that Roberts said worked in Hagel’s favor in arguing for the nomination.


hedshrinker 5 years, 4 months ago

here we go...if the President supports him then the Repubs have to reject him...this president has bent over backwards to be accomodating, to compromise, to work across the aisle, has nominated more "other" party candidates for cabinet, etc. than other Presidents...just can't believe how adversarial and really just juvenile...".nananananana" the political process has become and the peoples' business gets completely lost. Our needs are not addressed while Congress and the lobbyists make out like bandits. It's just idiocy.

John Hamm 5 years, 4 months ago

No. It's quite simple Hagel is Not the man for the job. Look at his record then make your comments. Liberals jeezzzzzzz

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 4 months ago

The President hasn't done jack squat to reach across the aisle since he took office. Every cabinet appointment the President has nominated has been confirmed, as have his selections for the Supreme Court. Hagel has questions he needs to answer.

riverdrifter 5 years, 4 months ago

If Moran and Roberts, two teabaggers, are against a fellow Republican in this nomination, it is a sure lock. It must really, really suck for them to be this irrelevant -much less a laughing stock to the rest of the country.

riverdrifter 5 years, 4 months ago

"Roberts did say that Panetta was doing a good job, but he knew that he was growing tired of the post." Baloney! The only one getting tired is Roberts. He's retired: he was tired yesterday and he's tired again today. Go away!

newmedia 5 years, 4 months ago

As should all senators over 70 years of age.

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 4 months ago

I am sorry to see Panetta go. I didn't necessarily see eye to eye with him on everything, but I think he did a fine job as SECDEF, given what he's had to work with.

Uncle_Jerry 5 years, 4 months ago

No...he did a terrible job and continued the thought process that congress is a consultant regarding military action....I mean acts of war. Panetta is of the mind that the military will dictate to congress.

Brennan was the muscle behind drone warfare and is the worst person to head the CIA. Obama has made a terrible terrible decision to nominate Brennan. It shouldn't be a surprise though since Obama prefers to bomb children in other countries but enact executive orders that will fail to protect children in our own country.

Constitutional law professor....what a flippin joke.

Executive orders for everyone. Wasn't he supposed to be the anti executive order president?

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Nothing to see here. Just some more ignorant republicans eating their own. Move on.

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 4 months ago

How fascinating that none of you mentioned that there are Democrats who have serious issues with Hagel too. But then that wouldn't fit w/your one-sided view of the world.

oldexbeat 5 years, 4 months ago

hmmm, the Chair of the US Senate Intelligence Coimmittee -- the one that either believed the lies about the WMD or spread them on purpose to start a war with Iraq -- is now sure that he knows that fellow Senator isn't now right for the DOD job. Hey, over there -- why was he ok on your ignorant committee, the one that had no idea about reality in the Middle East ? Or did he know what's up and tell you? Watiing. ?

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

iraq started the war by invading kuwait.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

Kuwait was our ally and asked for our help because Iraq had invaded their country. Did you just learn about the second half of the war?

While I appreciate your paleo-libertarian stance on war, I break with that policy in cases where our allies ask for help if they are attacked.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 4 months ago

"We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America." -President Bush's ambassador April Glaspie conveying the US's position on Iraq/Kuwait.

Joe Blackford II 5 years, 4 months ago

Timeline: War in the Gulf

2 August 1990 "Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, taking the emirate in one day."

28 February 1991 "Iraq accepts all UN resolutions."

Roberts was in the House of Representatives, 1981-1996. He couldn't have possibly been on the US Senate Intelligence Committee during the War in the Gulf.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

"the one that either believed the lies about the WMD or spread them on purpose to start a war with Iraq"

"2 August 1990 "Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, taking the emirate in one day."

kansanbygrace 5 years, 4 months ago

"We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America." -President Bush's ambassador April Glaspie conveying the US's position on Iraq/Kuwait.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

As humans are sometimes prone to, she misspoke.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 4 months ago

That misspoking had been the operational US State Department policy in the region for nearly 30 years. Guess she didn't get the last minute memo that it had changed. We armed both the Iranians and Iraqis for their whop-up, then supported Saddam Hussein for a long, long time, providing them with their germ- and chemical-warfare basic materials, etc., etc.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

We've done very similar things several times. We assisted the Soviets when they fought Germany, then armed the jihadists who opposed them in Afghanistan. We armed Iran when the Shah was there, then Iran when it appeared it could balance Iran's growing power after the Shah was deposed. There are many more. Circumstances change making previous decisions seem foolish. It happened in the past and it will happen again.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 4 months ago

Mostly meddlesome, and none of our business. The United States of America has a lot of people, a lot of issues, a lot of unsolved troubles of our own, and many of the international hostility against us is simply "our" refusal to respect other nations' sovereignty and perpetual meddling where we have no business being, in my opinion.

"You can't even run your own life, why the Hell should you run mine?" comes to mind. The song's "Sunshine" Who wrote it?

Abdu Omar 5 years, 4 months ago

The basis of Democracy is dissent. Can't we have a differing point of view? "Hagel has drawn criticism for his remarks referring to pro-Israeli interests as “the Jewish lobby” and suggesting they hold too much sway in Washington. " They do hold too much sway in Washington, but it is politiccal suicide to say that? Come on, let him have his opinion. Judge him on his ability to run the DOD. As I have said before, Israel is not our friend, they are taking from us as much as we will give knowing that the Christians who believe that the State of Israel must exist for Christ to return. Let me tell you, Israelis are not the same as the Children of Israel.

msezdsit 5 years, 4 months ago

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts has been lost since bush. He was bush's lapdog and mouthpiece now he has nothing to base anything on. He is a brainless, spineless idiot. His head is an empty vessel. Moran is MORON. They both are an embarrassment to Kansas.

While I support the "people" of Israel whole heartedly, the government has been allowed to operate behaving against all the standards "we" hold the other countries in the region to. They use our weapons to ruthlessly attack the Palestinian people rather than try to seek a peaceful resolution and always want to play the chicken or the egg policy to justify anything they want to do and we are not only supposed to rubber stamp them, we are supposed to jump up and down and show our support for anything they do.

I think my biggest worry about Chuck Hagel is that he won't be the person the republicans are trying to play him out to be. We need to take a tuff stance with the Israeli government. We need to be tuff with Iran but the war hawks just want another war and that is the worst thing we can do. Go to war with Iran to show our support for Israel. That is no foreign policy at all. That is stupidity. If Hagel doesn't buy into this stupidity than great. We could greatly reduce our debt if we would reign in the military spending and if Hagel will do this, he is the man for the job. We don't have to have the capacity to blow something up a thousand times. Once we've blown it up , whats the point in having the capacity to blow it up another thousand times after its already blown up. To many people are profiting from our industrial military complex and they are benefiting from it, not the country.

Don Whiteley 5 years, 4 months ago

This is a pretty typical stance from Roberts. The radical right which now controls the Republican party refuses to even support middle-of-the-road Republicans like Hagel. Personally, I think Hagel is great for the job and comments like this from Roberts only confirm that belief.

sunflower13 5 years, 4 months ago

Given the trajectory of Kansas politics, you might want to temper what you wish for.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 4 months ago

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): Chairman of the Senate Cover-up Committee

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) duty is “to provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States” and “to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” But on the most important intelligence issues facing Americans – such as the manipulation of Iraq intelligence, warrantless domestic spying, and torture – Roberts has transformed his committee into a “Senate Coverup Committee” for the Bush administration.

Warrantless Domestic Spying Iraq Intelligence Intelligence Leak Hypocrisy Torture What Editorial Boards Are Saying

msezdsit 5 years, 4 months ago

Great example of "hot air" chalk. Your hot air. I like you people who think Israel can do no wrong and if anyone points out what they actually do get wrong, the best you can do is paint it with your great big wide brush, either your with israel or your agin it. There is plenty of space in between that you don't want to admit.

texburgh 5 years, 4 months ago

Roberts position has nothing to do with Hagel's qualifications. Like all congressional Republicans he is an obstructionist so intent on voting NO on ANYTHING the President supports that he is now willing to say any Republican that Obama thinks is qualified can't be qualified.

The entire Kansas congressional delegation - from Huelskamp (such a jerk even Boehner can't stand him) to Yoder (stipping nude in front of other congressmen, their wives, and children), to Pompeo (WWKD - what would Koch do?) to Jenkins (the queen of questionable franking) to Moran (I have no positions) to Roberts (the guy who quit the committee when the Dems took the Senate rather than be just ranking minority member) - is an embarrassment to the state.

LJD230 5 years, 4 months ago

If the Kansas delegation to Washington is a butt of jokes, what does that say about Kansans who elect them? Just saying.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"Hagel has drawn criticism for his remarks referring to pro-Israeli interests as “the Jewish lobby” and suggesting they hold too much sway in Washington."

Hagel said he misspoke, and should have said pro-Israeli interests rather than the Jewish lobby. But his track record over the years clearly indicates he isn't anti-Israel or anti-Semitic, but rather pro-rational foreign policy.

But the resistance to Hagel is a perfect example of how much sway the pro-Israeil lobby really does have over policy in Washington, whether it's from neocons or the ADL or fundy Christians who support Israel because of the role it plays in their fantasies about the end-times and their ensuing ascension to heaven. (Ascend already!?!)

average 5 years, 4 months ago

My read on this is that, after the House Republicans left the Senate Republicans high and dry on their fiscal cliff deal cover, Roberts and Moran both feel vulnerable to getting right-winged out. Expect them to flail for whatever craziness they can find to prove their ultra-right bona-fides (a birther bill maybe?) over the next year until that vote is a distant memory.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

Some of our more progressive posters are conveniently ignoring Hagel's rather poor record when it comes to gay rights. He consistently voted against the interests of gays, several times earning a zero rating from human rights groups. That's in addition to some rather controversial anti-gay remarks Hagel made.

Just yesterday, there was a story on CNN about the spouse of an openly gay active duty member of the service who was being denied acceptance into an organization dedicated to providing support for just such spouses. Given Hagel's track record, what will his position be if he becomes Secretary of Defense? I'd be very curious about what questions President Obama or his people asked Hagel during the vetting process and what answers he gave.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, you're certainly doing your part to repeat the Neocons', ADL's, Weekly Standard's, et al, backdoor campaign of labeling Hagel as antigay. They even went so far as to funnel money to the Log Cabin Republicans to take out a full-page ad against him in the NY Times.

The pro-militaristic Israel lobby certainly is desperate, given that they couldn't care less about gay rights.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

Since you're responding to my remarks, I will speak for myself only. Not the neocons, not the pro Israeli lobby, not the military industrial complex.

I've had a consistently pro gay rights history, in my life and in this forum. I've spoken many times about that subject, each time being in favor of equality for gays, in marriage, employment, housing and in the military. I would welcome you to look at my previous posts which will show exactly what I just stated.

Hagel's previous comments run contrary to my positions in this matter. Perhaps his position has evolved, as Obama's has in regards to gay marriage. That would be a welcome development, in my opinion. I would like to hear that, if it is true. But until he says it, it's nothing more than hope.

Bozo, you chose to directly respond to my post, please do me the courtesy of answering my question. Given Hagel's past anti gay positions, do you support him, or does his past disqualify him, until such time as he explains himself? Or are you OK with anti gay members of the President's cabinet?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

He retracted his ill-considered anti-gay remarks long ago, and since then has exhibited no anti-gay sentiments. You should know that, if you really cared.

On the more important issue that you want to distract from, he's about as mainstream as possible when it comes to foreign/military policy, with the exception of not joining in on the warmongering policy goals demanded by the Neocons and ADL-- why don't you want to talk about that?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

According to the article I read in The New Yorker, they described his retraction as "recent", not long ago as you state. Personally, I'm less concerned about a single off the cuff comment. With a microphone seemingly in front of every politician's mouth every waking moment, a comment such as his is almost inevitable. What concerns me more is his years long voting record, one that earned him a zero rating three times from the Human Rights Campaign, a pro gay rights advocacy group. Apparently they disagree with your assessment that he has since "exhibited no anti-gay sentiments".

I don't mind at all talking about other issues, including his support or lack thereof in regards to Israel. I'm willing to speak about a wide range of topics. I originally noted the lack of discussion about this topic. Apparently, it's you who wishes to not discuss this topic.

BTW - In the most recent Presidential election, Romney was clearly seen as the more pro-Israel while Obama's support has been described as tepid. Yet I did not vote for Romney. Whether or not I support a candidate or in this case a nominee, my decisions are more nuanced than you give me credit for. Just another in a long line of you jumping to conclusions with no concerns as to whether your conclusions are correct or not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"Whether or not I support a candidate or in this case a nominee, my decisions are more nuanced than you give me credit for."

Your vote must be considerably more nuanced than your comments concerning the Israeli/Palestinian issue, which are extremely biased.

But for what it's worth, I expect I'll find a good deal more to disagree with during Hagel's tenure than to agree with. I just find it very entertaining that militant Israel supporters are so apoplectic that some small measure of common sense might be injected into the US's Mideast policies.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

"You should know that, if you really cared".

You were either wrong or you lied when you said his Hagel's apology was long ago. You were either wrong or lied when you stated he did not continue with his anti gay agenda. A simple apology would suffice. Or even a "whoops, my bad".

Whether you agree with me about the Middle East or not, whether you agree with me about gay rights or not, I continue to hope you'll eventually agree with me that comments made should be truthful. We are each entitled to our opinions. Truth stands on it's own.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't care about his comments because I don't really care if he gets the nomination. I like the idea that he isn't a total warmonger, which is why you and all the other Israel-right-or-wrong supporters are against him. But let's face it, even if he gets the nomination, the status quo will not change. Israel will continue to get $billions in US aid to allow them to act with near-total impunity towards the Palestinians, stealing more and more of their land, murdering them, men, women and children, by the thousands, and all Obama, et al, will do is issue the occasional verbal reprimand. Hamas will launch a bunch of rockets that mostly hit nothing, but occasionally kill a few Israelis that the Israeli rightwing can use to show how evil all the vermin Palestinians are, thereby justifying whatever course of action they already had planned anyway. And Chuck Hagel will just be the punching bag hollow moralists like you flail at because he makes anti-gay statements about people you couldn't care less about, anyway.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

An impassioned diatribe. Lacking in honesty. But I've come to expect that of you. Lacking in balance. That too is to be expected. But impassioned. Good night, Bozo.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

Robert Byrd was like the God-Master of the Klan and they forgave him. Ted Kennedy killed a woman driving drunk and they idolized him.

If you say what democrats want, all is forgiven.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

The guy above was correct. The dumb Republicans lost the election. They still have not learned. They will eat their own. This is one great reason not to vote for any of them.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 4 months ago

Two purple hearts, Army Ranger and he thinks for himself. I would vote for him.

Alceste 5 years, 4 months ago

Mulit millionaire Roberts needs to sit down and shut up: Better yet, he needs to be voted out of office so he can join the WELFARE ranks of his fellow political hacks.

Roberts' does not represent Kansans' in the US Senate: He represents only the wealthy who have a connection with they resident or otherwise. He is the epitome of unctuous, specious, meritricious political hackery. Way to go Patty!!

(Net worth See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Roberts' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $472,951 and $2,162,996. That averages to $1,690,045, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[8] : ) Further, see:

blindrabbit 5 years, 4 months ago

rockchalk1977: Taking a break from the KU game, but I see you've been caught in an Iowa State Cyclone. No, or few women appointed by the President you say; what about: (1) Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton, (2) Sec. of Commerce, Rebecca Blank, (3) Sec. of Labor, Hilda Solis, (4) Sec. of Healt and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, (5) Sec. of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, (6) Sec. of EPA, Lisa Jackson, (7) UN Sec. Susan Rice, (8) Dir. Small Business Admin., Karen Mills, (9 & 10) Justices of Supreme Court Sotomayer, and Kagan. Also tried to appoint Elizabeth Warren to Consumer Protection but appointment killed by Regressicans.

Only meaningful Dubya female appointee was the warmongering (and probably war criminal) Condaleeza Rice.

Got to get back to the game! Rockchalk 1969 and 1971.

blindrabbit 5 years, 4 months ago

liberty275: Dubya's wife Laura, wiped out her high school boyfriend in a hissy fit car crash proving a Corvair and a Caddy are not a fair fight. Apparently daddy knew the county sherrif so all was forgotten. The road runs both ways.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't think she has ever been elected and she isn't idolized.

That road is a dead-end.

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