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August 15, 2013

Obama’s tough stance on military sexual assault apparently a little too blunt

  • then In a May speech, President Obama took a hard-line stance against sexual assault cases in the military. “I don’t want just more speeches or awareness programs or training but, ultimately, folks look the other way,” he said at the time. “If we find out somebody is engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable - prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”
  • now After a number of cases were directly swayed by the president’s comments, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent out a letter softening the administration’s stance on the issue, in part because the move was seen as an unlawful influence in legal cases by defense attorneys. “There are no expected or required dispositions, outcomes or sentences in any military justice case, other than what result from the individual facts and merits of a case and the application to the case of the fundamentals of due process of law,” he wrote in a letter obtained by the The New York Times. Nonetheless, Hagel is working on improving internal structures to ensure such cases are not swept under the rug. source
19:58 // 8 months ago
April 17, 2013

Hagel: US sending troops to Jordan

200 US troops are headed to Jordan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today. Their stated purpose is to help contain violence spilling over from the Syrian conflict, and according to Mohammad al-Momani, Jordan’s Minister of State for Information, they should be arriving “in the next few weeks.” This is a significant announcement, but we’re betting it’ll get buried under all the news today about gun control legislation and the Boston explosion. And that’s a shame. source

18:20 // 12 months ago
April 3, 2013
17:22 // 1 year ago
March 11, 2013
17:35 // 1 year ago
February 26, 2013
Only hours after a 12-day filibuster was broken, the U.S. Senate has confirmed Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next Secretary of Defense. The final vote was 57 - 41, with only four Republicans crossing party lines to vote for Hagel’s confirmation.

Only hours after a 12-day filibuster was broken, the U.S. Senate has confirmed Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next Secretary of Defense. The final vote was 57 - 41, with only four Republicans crossing party lines to vote for Hagel’s confirmation.

(Source: reuters.com)

17:15 // 1 year ago
The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Hagel’s nomination at 4:30pm EST on Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized Senate Republicans for a 12-day filibuster which delayed the confirmation, saying it earned them “nothing” and sent “a terrible signal to our allies around the world.” source

The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Hagel’s nomination at 4:30pm EST on Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized Senate Republicans for a 12-day filibuster which delayed the confirmation, saying it earned them “nothing” and sent “a terrible signal to our allies around the world.” source

15:59 // 1 year ago
February 14, 2013
We do not have, at 12 o’clock today, a Secretary of Defense.
Harry Reid, revealing today that Senate Republicans have rounded up the 41 votes necessary to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the Defense Department. Today is outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s last day on the job; if Republicans make good on their threats during Hagel’s confirmation vote tomorrow—and this is certainly a big “if”—it will be the first time a nominee for Secretary of Defense has been filibustered, and the country will be left without a Defense Secretary. A couple of Republican senators have threatened to block Hagel’s nomination unless the Obama Administration releases more information about the attack last year on the American consulate in Benghazi, an incident with which Hagel was wholly uninvolved. A Hagel spokesman said today that despite the threats of his former colleagues, the Nebraska Republican is not withdrawing his nomination. source
12:14 // 1 year ago
January 13, 2013
nbcnews:

Powell champions Hagel as defense secretary and rips some Republicans
(Photo: Meet the Press)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that President Barack Obama’s nominee to be defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, was “superbly qualified” and would be a strong advocate for Americans in uniform.
Read the complete story.

Here’s the sad part: If Powell tried to run for president today, he’d get railroaded in the primaries because he’s too moderate. His words matter in this discussion because of his time as Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but we’re not in an era where arguments favoring a moderate stance, like this one, win easy. Then again, Obama could nominate the reanimated version of Ronald Reagan as Defense Secretary and Reagan would still face an uphill battle.

nbcnews:

Powell champions Hagel as defense secretary and rips some Republicans

(Photo: Meet the Press)

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that President Barack Obama’s nominee to be defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, was “superbly qualified” and would be a strong advocate for Americans in uniform.

Here’s the sad part: If Powell tried to run for president today, he’d get railroaded in the primaries because he’s too moderate. His words matter in this discussion because of his time as Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but we’re not in an era where arguments favoring a moderate stance, like this one, win easy. Then again, Obama could nominate the reanimated version of Ronald Reagan as Defense Secretary and Reagan would still face an uphill battle.

(via nbcnews)

14:45 // 1 year ago
January 7, 2013

First reactions to President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense…

  • Sen. Inhofe (R-OK): "In the months and years ahead, the Defense Department will be confronted with significant challenges from budget issues to Afghanistan policy. … I am aware of the serious concerns about some of [Hagel’s] policy positions, his record, and some of his comments that have been publicly reported. I will be seeking clarification from him about these concerns as his nomination proceeds." source
  • Sen. McCain (R-AZ): ”I have serious concerns about positions Senator Hagel has taken on a range of critical national security issues in recent years, which we will fully consider in the course of his confirmation process before the Senate Armed Services Committee.” source
  • Rep. Cantor (R-VA): "Recent reporting has made clear that Senator Hagel’s views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream and raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East all." source
  • Barney Frank:With the attack coming out of the right, I hope he gets confirmed.” source
15:14 // 1 year ago
January 5, 2013
Former Senator Chuck Hagel is likely to be nominated for Secretary of Defense next week, according to congressional and administration sources, reports The New York Times. Hagel, 66, has been the rumored pick for weeks now, but has weathered a lot of criticism in the intervening time — specifically regarding his denouncement of openly-gay ambassador James Hormel in the 90s, as well as whether his support for the state of Israel is sufficiently rigid enough for congressional conservatives to confirm him. (Photo from Secretary of Defense) source

Former Senator Chuck Hagel is likely to be nominated for Secretary of Defense next week, according to congressional and administration sources, reports The New York Times. Hagel, 66, has been the rumored pick for weeks now, but has weathered a lot of criticism in the intervening time — specifically regarding his denouncement of openly-gay ambassador James Hormel in the 90s, as well as whether his support for the state of Israel is sufficiently rigid enough for congressional conservatives to confirm him. (Photo from Secretary of Defensesource

15:29 // 1 year ago