Worst Obama nominee ever?

The U.S. Senate is about to get bogged down in a debate over whether Chuck Hagel is pro-Israel enough to be President Barack Obama’s secretary of defense. An amusing sideshow will feature Republicans appalled by Hagel’s anti-gay remark about a 1998 nominee of President Bill Clinton. After much time is wasted, senators will confirm Hagel to run the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, there is likely to be little debate over Obama’s most appalling nominee yet: John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency. I don’t have much to add to concerns the American Civil Liberties Union and Glenn Greenwald raised yesterday. It’s bad enough that the Obama administration is still doing renditions, spying on Americans without a warrant, and escalating its use of drone strikes that kill many civilians. The president is promoting his top terrorism adviser, who’s deeply associated with those policies, and it’s not even a controversial appointment. The Senate should have a real debate about this policy but won’t. Greenwald noted, “the reason Obama needs a new CIA chief is because David Petraeus was forced to resign. Here we see the ethos and morality of imperial Washington: past support for torture and rendition does not disqualify one for a top national security position; only an extramarital affair can do that.”

Any comments about Obama’s cabinet appointments are welcome in this thread. UPDATE: Senator Chuck Grassley commented on Hagel’s nomination today but did not say whether he plans to vote for or against confirming him.

Apparently Brennan denies having supported torture as U.S. policy, but he is on record backing “coercive methods” of interrogation.

  • Hagel

    Why does no one correctly point out that all Hagel did was make public statements about how bad the conflict in Iraq was getting, yet he offered no legislation ti change course?  Or did he?  I remember him rebuking some of his colleagues, but there wasn’t a change in his legislative record  trust me, everybody and their dog was criticizing Don Rumsfeld and that crew at some point.  

    Hagel is sufficiently pro-Israel/and or pro-zionism.  All he basically said was be careful about who you hurt when imposing sanctions against Iran.  

    • I think he opposed the "surge"

      and was one of few Republicans to do so. I don’t remember him casting any brave votes against Iraq war funding. I know he voted for the original authorization for the use of military force in Iraq.

      • Surge

        If there’s a roll call vote where he actually broke from the Republicans on the surge I would like to see it.  I remember statements critical of a surge, but I’m not sure he voted against it.  

        I’m a proponent of Hagel’s nomination, I just don’t understand HOP opposition to him, particularly if they are portraying him as some sort of anti-war hero.  He voted with them on such questions as far as I can tell.  The public statements were helpful, but votes matter more.  

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