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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 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
June 7, 2012
Today in the U.S. losing patience (part two): While Hillary Clinton was toughening up her stance against Bashar al-Assad, Leon Panetta was getting similarly tough on Pakistan, which he claims is ”allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces.” Panetta has been tough on Pakistan in the past, particularly their inaction regarding fighting terrorism, despite the U.S. giving the country billions of dollars in aid. Pakistan’s relationship with the U.S. was recently strained when they jailed a doctor who helped American forces find Osama bin Laden. (Above: Panetta with Afghan Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak, via the Secretary of Defense’s Flickr page)

Today in the U.S. losing patience (part two): While Hillary Clinton was toughening up her stance against Bashar al-Assad, Leon Panetta was getting similarly tough on Pakistan, which he claims is ”allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces.” Panetta has been tough on Pakistan in the past, particularly their inaction regarding fighting terrorism, despite the U.S. giving the country billions of dollars in aid. Pakistan’s relationship with the U.S. was recently strained when they jailed a doctor who helped American forces find Osama bin Laden. (Above: Panetta with Afghan Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak, via the Secretary of Defense’s Flickr page)

10:11 // 2 years ago
May 2, 2012
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is Starbucks’ newest barista!
We jest. Today, Starbucks announced that Gates joined the company’s board, and will serve on its nominating and corporate governance committee. Gates was appointed Secretary of Defense by George W. Bush in 2006, and retired in 2011 after just under three years with the Obama Administration. Prior to joining the Starbucks board, Gates was acting as chancellor for the College of William & Mary, his alma mater. (SFB illustration) source
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We jest. Today, Starbucks announced that Gates joined the company’s board, and will serve on its nominating and corporate governance committee. Gates was appointed Secretary of Defense by George W. Bush in 2006, and retired in 2011 after just under three years with the Obama Administration. Prior to joining the Starbucks board, Gates was acting as chancellor for the College of William & Mary, his alma mater. (SFB illustration) source

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15:12 // 2 years ago
March 14, 2012
Pentagon: Panetta, other government officials not hurt by truck explosion
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is safe after a stolen pickup truck exploded near the runway where his plane was scheduled to land during a trip to Afghanistan. Although all of the pieces of the story are still being put together, no evidence of explosive material was found in/near the truck, and the driver may have simply lost control of the vehicle. Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed that truck’s driver is currently being treated for burn injuries, and that no one else was injured in the incident. (Photo via the Office of the Secretary of Defense) source
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US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is safe after a stolen pickup truck exploded near the runway where his plane was scheduled to land during a trip to Afghanistan. Although all of the pieces of the story are still being put together, no evidence of explosive material was found in/near the truck, and the driver may have simply lost control of the vehicle. Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed that truck’s driver is currently being treated for burn injuries, and that no one else was injured in the incident. (Photo via the Office of the Secretary of Defense) source

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16:10 // 2 years ago
April 27, 2011

Two P’s in a pod: Obama shuffles the defense end of his cabinet

  • Panetta Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, and Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, is on tap to replace Robert Gates, who is retiring as Defense Secretary pretty soon.
  • Petraeus Who’s gonna replace Panetta? General David Petraeus, who will leave the front lines of Afghanistan to head the Central Intelligence Agency. source
10:22 // 3 years ago