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Hagel's Greatest Hits

12:00 AM, Jan 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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With Chuck Hagel's Senate confirmation hearing scheduled for later today, it's worth reviewing a small sampling of the greatest hits of President Obama's defense secretary nominee:


On Israel:

-- Hagel, in 2007: The Israelis have “chained down [the Palestinian people] for many, many years.”

-- Hagel, in 2003: Israel "keep[s] Palestinians caged up like animals."

-- Hagel, in 2006: Accused Israel of carrying out a "sickening slaughter" in Lebanon. 

-- Hagel, in 2009: Signed a letter addressed to President Obama calling for direct negotiations with the terrorist group Hamas.

-- Hagel, in 2006: “The political reality is that … the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. ... Let me clear something up here if there’s any doubt in your mind. I’m a United States Senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States Senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is, I take an oath of office to the constitution of the United States. Not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.”

On Iran:

-- Hagel, in 2006, speaking in Islamabad, Pakistan: “A military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option.”

-- Hagel, in 2008: “Iran will not be deterred from developing nuclear arms only because the United States and the EU say they must—especially if they feel threatened and if the United States, Great Britain, France, and Israel, among others, all retain their nuclear weapons.”

-- Hagel, in 2006: Refused to ask that the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be designated a terrorist organization.

On defense: 

-- Hagel, in 2009: On an Al Jazeera show, Hagel agreed that the U.S. is “the world’s bully.”

-- Hagel, in 2012: "[R]ecommended deep reductions in the U.S. nuclear inventory and eventually retiring intercontinental ballistic missiles, which form the land leg of the military’s nuclear triad of land, sea and air delivery platforms — that has drawn the most scrutiny."

-- Hagel, in 2011: "The Defense Department, I think, in many ways, has become bloated. ... In many ways I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down."

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