Bravo to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) for bringing the Hagel nomination to a halt with his letter to his Senate Armed Services Committee colleagues. Hagel did himself in when he refused to disclose foreign contributions to non-profit groups he joined since leaving the Senate in 2009. Credit for the halt issued by Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) also goes to Secure America Now that has been relentless in lobbying Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and leading Republican Minority members, including John McCain (R-AZ), James Inhofe (R-OK) and Cruz. Hagel's refusal to disclose and Chairman Levin's hold on a confirmation vote for Hagel may reflect more than just his poor presentation at his nomination hearing.
In late January, Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beaconreported several pro-Iranian and anti-Israel progressive groups that Plowshares Fund financed; Hagel was a board member. Kredo wrote:
Hagel sits on the board of Ploughshares Fund, a progressive foundation that has granted more than $2 million to organizations that employ some of Hagel’s most outspoken advocates, who favor lifting sanctions on Iran, oppose military action against its nuclear program, and hope to weaken the U.S.-Israel alliance.
Organizations that have received donations from Ploughshares include the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the Center for American Progress (CAP), J Street, the National Security Network (NSN), and the Truman National Security Project, among others.
[. . .]
NIAC, an advocacy group long suspected of concealing its illicit ties to the Iranian regime, has emerged as perhaps the most vocal defender of Hagel’s nomination as it pertains to Iran.
The group has received more than $600,000 in grants from Ploughshares since 2007.
“Hagel’s prospective nomination should never have been controversial in the first place,” NIAC President Trita Parsi recently wrote in the Huffington Post. “Hagel is a highly respected military mind who served both in the military and in the Senate with dignity and courage.”
This halt in Hagel’s nomination process reflects the arrogance of the Obama West Wing who just might be frustrated a second time in seeking a Senate vote on confirmation of Hagel to run The Pentagon. Let us not forget what happened to US UN Ambassador Susan Rice who unwisely spun the early Administration line about the anti-Islam film triggering the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi on Sunday Morning news programs in October 2012. She and her West Wing minders had no alternative but to have her graciously withdraw her name from nomination. Next up tomorrow is John Brennan who is now caught up revelations about drone wars against American Jihadi terrorists.
Note the role the Cruz letter played in halting Hagel’s nomination in this Fox News Report:
A letter to Hagel from 23 Republican senators, obtained by Fox News, expresses concern about fees Hagel may have collected for speaking engagements from various groups. The senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip John Cornyn, argue Hagel did not disclose to the panel which “entities” he has dealt with.
“Your refusal to respond to this reasonable request suggests either a lack of respect for the Senate’s responsibility to advise and consent or that you are for some reason unwilling to allow this financial disclosure to come to light," the letter reads.
The Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said in a written statement Wednesday that he had hoped to hold a vote when the committee met on Thursday for a separate hearing on the deadly attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.
But Levin said the committee's review of President Obama's nomination has not been completed. He said he would schedule a vote as soon as possible.
May we suggest that Hagel’s nomination vote may never be scheduled? Further, among those embarrassed by that possibility would be New York Senator Charles Schumer who gave Hagel his support after the latter allegedly answered his questions satisfactorily. He took his cue from the positions of major American Jewish groups. Mort Klein, President of the National ZoA ,and Irwin Hochberg, Vice Chairman, in a recent Jerusalem Postop ed commented:
Yet, following Hagel’s nomination, virtually all Jewish groups except the Zionist Organization of America refused to oppose Hagel. Even the Orthodox Jewish groups, like the Orthodox Union, were silent.
AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman asserted that “AIPAC does not take positions on presidential nominations.”
AJC’s executive director David Harris explained that, though still “concerned,” AJC is “not in the opposition camp.”
ADL’s Foxman averred: “I respect the president’s prerogative” – something no-one had called into question and which in no way reduces the corresponding prerogative of the Senate to decline confirmation.
NJDC issued a statement saying, “We trust that when confirmed... Hagel will follow the president’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel.”
In contrast, Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel was strongly opposed to Hagel’s nomination before it was even announced. It has dispatched a delegation to Washington to lobby senators against confirmation.
Powerful Jewish lobby? It looks more like neutered cats, unwilling to face up to pressure from the Obama White House. A White House bound and determined to hollow out our military imperiling our national security and that of our only democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.