” The American Spectator has been provided with the text of a political message sent on Saturday evening, using Department of Defense communications systems, on behalf of President Obama and Secretary of Defense Hagel.
It is addressed to “all US government employees” and further specified by the DoD sender to go to “all subordinate commands,” in compliance with Hagel’s call for “the widest possible distribution.”
The message contains standard presidential lauding of public service, but goes on to attack the current government shutdown by specifically castigating the House of Representatives, saying that the House — which is unsubtle code for Republicans — should “follow the Senate’s lead…without trying to attach…partisan measures in the process.”
The Secretary of Defense, as a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee falls into a class of federal employees considered “further restricted.”
According to a Department of Defense ethics document (describing the application of the Hatch Act to further restricted employees), “political activity is defined as an activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group.” “
Tag Archive: Chuck Hagel
” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently warned that sequestration would cause “suspension of important activities, curtailed training, and could result in furloughs of civilian personnel” but the spending cuts haven’t killed the green fuels program, as the Pentagon has continued purchasing renewable fuel at $59 per gallon
” Tehran’s intercession in the Korean crisis on the side of its ally in Pyongyang was predictable, even though the US preferrs to ignore the close interrelations between the two allies.
And so, on Friday, April 5, Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri stepped forward to point the finger at Washington:
[“The presence of the Americans in [South] Korea has been the root cause of tensions in this sensitive region in the past and present. The US and its allies will suffer great losses if a war breaks out in this region,” he said, adding for good measure: “Independent countries will not submit to the US mischief. The time for Washington’s bullying and extortion is long past.”
The inevitable convergence of the Korean and Iranian crises confronts America’s three top officials, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, with their most challenging international test.
Kerry would be well advised to take a break from his Sisyphean efforts to crack the latest of umpteen Israel-Palestinian disputes, call off his weekend appointments with Israeli and Palestinians leaders and instead fly to Moscow and Beijing.
There, he could start bargaining with Russian and Chinese rulers for preliminary understandings with Washington on Iran and Syria that would make it worth their while to use their leverage for bringing the out-of-control North Korean firebrand to heel.
So long as the Obama administration sticks to its current separate policies on Syria and Iran, Iran and Korea, Moscow and Beijing won’t lift a finger to apply the brakes to Kim Jong-Un before he drives the world to catastrophe. “
Illustration by Dana Summers
- Kim Jong-Un’s Wife On Nuclear Threats: ‘This Isn’t The Man I Was Forced To Marry’ (theonion.com)
- Iran lines up behind North Korea, warns the US of “great losses” (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
- Crackpot North Korea leader Kim Jong-un could nuke UK if missile claims are true, PM David Cameron warns (thesun.co.uk)
- Lunch With the Ft – Kim Jong-un (aangirfan.blogspot.com)
- Iran’s commander warns US over any possible war on Korean peninsula (en.trend.az)
- Is North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s Young Age A Factor In Today’s Korean Peninsula Tensions? (warnewsupdates.blogspot.com)
- Disarmed despots are soon-to-be-dead despots Iran, North Korea Learn Lessons From Gaddafi – Nuke Up Fast (countdowntozerotime.org)
” Ten years ago, along with three-quarters of the American people, including the men just appointed as President Obama’s secretaries of state and defense, I supported the invasion of Iraq. A decade on, unlike most of the American people, including John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, I’ll stand by that original judgment.
Three weeks after Operation Shock and Awe began, the early bird naysayers were already warning of massive humanitarian devastation and civil war. Neither happened. Over-compensating somewhat for all the doom-mongering, I wrote in Britain’s Daily Telegraph that “a year from now Basra will have a lower crime rate than most London boroughs.” Close enough. Major-General Andy Salmon, the British commander in southern Iraq, eventually declared of Basra that “on a per capita basis, if you look at the violence statistics, it is less dangerous than Manchester.”
Ten years ago, expert opinion was that Iraq was a phony-baloney entity imposed on the map by distant colonial powers. Joe Biden, you’ll recall, advocated dividing the country into three separate states, which for the Democrats held out the enticing prospect of having three separate quagmires to blame on Bush, but for the Iraqis had little appeal. “As long as you respect its inherently confederal nature,” I argued, “it’ll work fine.” As for the supposedly secessionist Kurds, “they’ll settle for being Scotland or Quebec.” And so it turned out. The Times of London, last week: “Ten Years After Saddam, Iraqi Kurds Have Never Had It So Good.” In Kurdistan as in Quebec, there is a pervasive unsavory tribal cronyism, but on the other hand, unlike Quebec City, Erbil is booming.”
” KABUL, Afghanistan, March 12 (UPI) — At least two missiles were fired at the U.S.-run military facility in Bagram, in Afghanistan’s northern Parwan province, a local official said.
Bagram district security chief Zmarai Nasiri said no casualties were reported after two missiles landed inside the airfield Monday, Khaama Press reported Tuesday.”
- Official: 5 US troops killed in helicopter crash (thenewstribune.com)
- ‘Humiliated’ Hamed Karzai claims US and Taleban working together (thetimes.co.uk)
- The Art of Moving Troops Out of Afghanistan in Just 22 Months (nation.time.com)
- Transfer of Bagram jail to Afghan control postponed (nation.com.pk)
” KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Militants staged two suicide attacks that killed at least 19 people on Saturday, the first full day of U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to Afghanistan. They were a fresh reminder of the challenges posed by insurgents to the U.S.-led NATO force as it hands over the country’s security to the Afghans.
“This attack was a message to him,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said of Hagel, in an email to reporters about the bombing outside the country’s Defense Ministry in Kabul.
Hagel was nowhere near that attack, but heard it across the city. He told reporters traveling with him that he wasn’t sure what it was when he heard the explosion.”
- Afghan bombers strike during U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit (suntimes.com)
- 18 Killed in Afghan Attacks During Hagel’s Visit (voanews.com)
- Suicide bomber strikes as Hagel visits Kabul; 9 civilians dead (latimes.com)
- Bombs, Clashes With Karzai Mar Hagel’s Afghan Trip – NPR (npr.org)
- Afghan bombers strike during US official’s visit (sfgate.com)
- Afghan bombers strike during U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit, officials say (newsday.com)
” In just two months, Mr. Cruz, 42, has made his presence felt in an institution where new arrivals are usually not heard from for months, if not years. Besides suggesting that Mr. Hagel might have received compensation from foreign enemies, he has tangled with the mayor of Chicago, challenged the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat on national television, voted against virtually everything before him — including the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state — and raised the hackles of colleagues from both parties.
He could not be more pleased. Washington’s new bad boy feels good.
“I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo,” he said in e-mailed answers to questions, in lieu of speaking. “That is what I intend to do, and it is what I have done in every way possible in the responsibilities that have been granted to me.”
In a body known for comity, Mr. Cruz is taking confrontational Tea Party sensibilities to new heights — or lows, depending on one’s perspective. Wowed conservatives hail him as a hero, but even some Republican colleagues are growing publicly frustrated with a man who has taken the zeal of the prosecutor and applied it to the decorous quarters of the Senate.”
- A very junior senator delivers a jolt (staradvertiser.com)
- Senators wary of combative Cruz (politico.com)
- Sen. Ted Cruz Is ‘Cruz-ing’ (usnews.com)
- How Dare Ted Cruz? (commentarymagazine.com)
- THE NEW MCCARTHYIST: Cruz Rocks The Senate (huffingtonpost.com)
- Let’s All Sail on the ‘Ted Cruz’ Ship from Texas (godfatherpolitics.com)
” You don’t have to be that good to fend off a committee of showboating senatorial blowhards. Hillary Clinton demonstrated that a week or so back when she unleashed what’s apparently the last word in withering putdowns: What difference does it make?
Quite a bit of difference, it seems. This week, an oversedated Elmer Fudd showed up at the Senate claiming to be the president’s nominee for Secretary of
Defense, and even the kindliest interrogators on the committee couldn’t prevent the poor
chap shooting himself in the foot.
Twenty minutes in, Chuck Hagel was all out of appendages.
” For the past two months or so, ever since Hagel’s name was floated as a possible Defense Secretary, his past statements and positions on Israel, Iran, defense cuts and nuclear disarmament have been widely debated in the media. Yet he was unable to respond to the most basic charges of his critics on the Senate Armed Services Committee when given the chance.
Though he expressed regret for using the term “Jewish lobby” – he couldn’t explain the philosophy behind his general statement about there being a pro-Israel lobby that intimidates lawmakers into doing dumb things, whatever the lobby was called. Though he said he thought all military options should be on the table on Iran, he couldn’t adequately explain why in 2006 he declared it not a “viable, feasible, responsible option.” Moments after mentioning the Obama policy of “containment” of Iran, he was passed a note leading him to backtrack to say the administration didn’t have a policy.”
The “smartest man in the room” sure picks some idiots for company .That’s one way to remain the “smartest man in the room” .
- Hagel’s Disastrous Hearing Ought to Make ‘No’ Vote a No-Brainer (breitbart.com)
- Video: Hagel ‘Doesn’t Know’ Why He Said ‘Jewish Lobby’ Remarks (israelnationalnews.com)
- Graham Corners Nominee: Hagel Can’t Name One Senator ‘Intimidated’ By ‘Jewish Lobby’ (breitbart.com)
- Defense Nominee Chuck Hagel’s Hearing: A Grilling Worth a Third Purple Heart (nation.time.com)
- Defense nominee Hagel defends his record in Senate (cnsnews.com)
- Chuck Hagel refuses to draw ‘red line’ on Iranian nuclear development (upi.com)
- Defense nominee Hagel defends his record in Senate (news.yahoo.com)
- Hagel Clashes With ‘Old Friend’ McCain Over the Iraq War (bloomberg.com)
” Much has been written so far about the choices that President Barack Obama made for his second term cabinet. His new appointees—Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as secretary of state, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to Treasury, and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as secretary of defense—are people who have played a key role in Obama’s election or first term administration and are close friends of the president.
As president-elect, FDR picked a cabinet exclusively composed of people who were closes associates from New York or politicians who had helped him win his fight for the Democratic nomination or the general election in 1932.”
- Obama’s cabinet shaping up to be a boys club (edition.cnn.com)
- Obama chooses advisers who agree with him gasp! (sacbee.com)
- Obama deflects criticism about lack of diversity (cnsnews.com)
- Much Ado about Nothing on Obama’s White Guy Appointees (examiner.com)
- Second-term Obama will play defense (cnn.com)
- Crony capitalism: Obama Going for Gun Control with Tactic Used to Pass Obamacare (gds44.wordpress.com)
- ‘The Daily Show’ on President Obama’s cabinet appointments (video) (washingtonpost.com)
- Stewart Shreds ‘All-White’ Obama Cabinet Controversy: A Black Guy ‘Appears To Be Running’ The Show (mediaite.com)
” She grappled with trying to bolster the U.S. workforce at a time of fiscal crisis and recovery from recession. “There is still much to do, but we are well on the road to recovery, and middle-class Americans know the president is on their side,” she said.
Obama, in a statement, called her a “tireless champion for working families.”
So far, Obama has picked white males for the three biggest Cabinet positions – Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and former Senator Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. He was due to announce Jack Lew as treasury secretary on Thursday, a source said.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a close confidante of Obama, withdrew her name last month from consideration for the secretary of state post in the face of what promised to be a contentious Senate confirmation battle. ”
- Obama to name Jack Lew Treasury secretary as Solis resigns from Labor (denverpost.com)
- Obama Labor Secretary Quits (voicerussia.com)
- One Less Woman In Obama’s Cabinet: Hilda Solis Quits (theatlanticwire.com)
- Latina pioneer Solis resigning as labor secretary (reuters.com)
- Lew ‘picked to lead US Treasury’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Hilda Solis leaves Labor Department (politico.com)
- Solis resigns as labor secretary (usatoday.com)
” Mr Brennan, a 25-year CIA veteran, is expected to be announced by the White House later today.
An Obama administration official told the Associated Press that the president will also formally announce that he is nominating Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary. Both men must be confirmed by the Senate.
Mr Obama considered Mr Brennan for the top CIA job in 2008. But Mr Brennan withdrew his name amid questions about his connection to enhanced interrogation techniques while serving in the spy agency during the George W. Bush administration.
Mr Brennan denied involvement in the controversial interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, and has spoken out against them.
The CIA’s top job is vacant after David Petraeus resigned in the wake of a sex scandal. An FBI investigation uncovered that Mr Petraeus, a former four star general, was having an extramartial affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. ”
*Editors Note : We have no problem with enhanced interrogation per se . We merely point out the hypocrisy of the left in condemning the Bush administration while turning a blind eye to whatever the Obama administration does .
- Obama taps Hagel for Pentagon, Brennan for CIA – Boston.com (boston.com)
- Obama to Nominate John Brennan to Head CIA (swampland.time.com)
- Hagel nomination, along with CIA announcement, planned for Monday (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Obama to nominate John Brennan to head CIA (thehindu.com)
- Obama may round out natl. security team next week (thehimalayantimes.com)