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Sen. Schumer’s Unseemly Haste

We were dismayed by the sudden announcement last week by New York’s senior U.S. senator, Charles Schumer, that he would support President Obama’s nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.

The hearings on the nomination aren’t scheduled to begin until January 31, and Sen. Schumer had publicly echoed some of the pro-Israel community’s misgivings about Mr. Hagel’s positions on Israel and Iran, his refusal to sign a Senate resolution letter declaring Hizbullah a terror group, and his “Jewish lobby” comment, among other things – about which many members of the Senate had expressed their own concerns.

Hearings – with questions drawn up by Armed Service Committee staffers – will likely make for a possibly explosive but certainly informative proceeding. So why the haste on the part of Sen. Schumer, who is not exactly known for his expertise on defense issues.

Sen. Schumer met with Mr. Hagel and White House officials for ninety minutes a week ago Monday and issued a statement certifying that “Senator Hagel could not have been more forthcoming and sincere. Based on several key assurances provided by Sen. Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation. I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him….”

To be sure, Sen. Schumer provided two or three sentences about each of the issues Mr. Hagel addressed. But how much insight could Mr. Schumer have gleaned from a relatively brief sit-down in an environment decidedly friendly to Mr. Hagel? Would it not have been more prudent for Sen. Schumer to have waited to see what would emerge from full-blown Senate hearings?

Several members of the Senate have already publicly deferred to Mr. Schumer and more have doubtless already taken their cue privately from him as well. Indeed, many were looking to Sen. Schumer for guidance because he is the number three Democrat in the Senate and the most senior Jewish senator. And, frankly, he has always stood up for Israel. So though the hearings will still take place, their impact has been greatly diminished.

Even so, from where we sit the questions raised about Mr. Hagel are perhaps the most serious ever regarding a nominee for so senior a position. A robust inquiry was appropriate prior to any decision-making about support.

Frankly, Mr. Schumer’s speedy certification of Mr. Hagel smacks of political expediency – an effort by a loyal and influential Democrat to take the steam out of the hearings and blunt a serious inquiry. And that’s truly unfortunate.

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6 Responses to “Sen. Schumer’s Unseemly Haste”

  1. Senator Schumer sold out Israel and the United States under political pressure.

    No matter what promises Chuck Hagel made to him his appointment is a huge risk.

    for both Israel and the US and Senators should vote no.

    Chuck Hagel has made a phenomenal total reversal of his views on several major issues.

    But in 2013, the Road to Damascus is too perilous to accept pretend conversions.

    Hagel does not believe that a military option is an option even if negotiations fail.

    He has just recently changed his previous stated views on this issue.
    to making military plans against Iran his top priority, in order to advance his career. It means he now believes that it is expedient to use the threat as.
    a public lever in negotiations, but if negotiations fail, he would advise in private, that the US should allow a nuclear armed Iran.
    Many of those who are in favor of confirmation such as Nicholas Kristof, writing in the New York Times, have said the same thing. Iran certainly understands this, and is rooting for him.

    Iran’s English language propaganda arm said last week that the choice of Chuck Hagel for secretary of Defense indicates that the United States would allow Iran to get a nuclear bomb rather than confront the Islamic Republic. The Iranians used a former Democratic Senator, Mike Gravel, as the centerpiece of their report.

    A nuclear Iran has sworn to eliminate Israel and every mosque in Iran has a poster "Death To Israel."

    After Iran drops an atomic bomb over Tel Aviv, the issue of whether Hagel is anti-Israel or pro-Israel becomes mute.

    Iran has a high tolerance for the deaths of huge numbers of people. The war between Iran and Iraq ostensibly over a territorial dispute concerning 0.1% of Iran's land mass had a million casualties.
    Iran has spread it's terror all over the globe and has murdered more than a thousand Americans.
    It's ideology is identical to Al Quaeda, and certainly has America, the Great Satan in it's cross hairs.

    A Hagel confirmation kills any chance of Iran agreeing to stop it's nuclear weapons program through negotiations. why would they take the tremendous political risk of telling their people that years of sanctions privations was for nothing when they know their really is no risk of an American military action?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Those of us who truly Love Israel are fed up with these ( small 'J' ) jews like schumer who are only Jewish by accident of birth but liberals by choice. Indeed, political ideology is their religion.

  3. Anonymous says:

    chuck schumer: liberal by choice but ( small 'J' ) jew by accident of birth. Let's call these people what they are.

  4. Jillian Noyb says:

    I think CHUCKY should buy some TEETh, he looks like the sesame street dracula. MORON, LEADER? vNo he's a partisan suck up.

  5. Jillian Noyb says:

    Related Posts? Vote on Schumer's War Against Women's Act or whatever the f it is. KMFA Schumer. I'd DIE before I voted for anything you believe in.

  6. Jillian Noyb says:

    Liberal Jew is a misnomer in itself.

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