Are you getting this? Hagel essentially went from "Obama strongly favors containment" to "he doesn't have a position at all on containment" to "he opposes containment." Even the most forgiving reading of the transcript could not reasonably lead to the conclusion that Hagel had the slightest idea what the president's policy is or should be on possibly the most important threat facing the United States and its allies today. This was astonishing.
But Hagel wasn't done demonstrating his cluelessness about Iran. Under intense questioning, he wouldn't concede that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps -- one of the worst exporters of terrorism in the world and responsible for killing countless of Americans and supporting the Iraqi insurgency -- is a terrorist entity.
How does one advise the president on terrorism when he apparently doesn't understand what it is and who some of its greatest practitioners are? Then again, if confirmed, he will be advising a president whose administration rejects the term "war on terrorism" and characterized the Fort Hood massacre by a confirmed jihadi as "workplace violence" and whose ego and warped ideology compel him to insist that a very active al-Qaida has been virtually dismantled because he approved the kill order on Osama bin Laden -- an action made possible only by interrogation techniques he strenuously opposed.
Then there are Hagel's shameless reversals on such serious matters as sanctions against Iran -- reversals he wouldn't even acknowledge, much less retract -- which cast doubt on his integrity. Sen. Roger Wicker pointed out, incredulously, that in a private conversation, Hagel confirmed a statement he'd made to an Omaha, Neb., paper that he opposed unilateral sanctions, yet Hagel took a "substantially and substantively different" position in a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer just a week later.
Perhaps most objectionable is Hagel's bigoted accusation that "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people (in Congress)." When pressed, Hagel wouldn't name any specific people he had in mind, nor did he come close to giving a satisfactory explanation for his disgraceful terminology -- because there is none.
President Obama may very well succeed in securing confirmation for a defense secretary as ensconced in liberal appeasement as he is, but the Constitution does not require the Senate to approve a man who is ill-equipped to advise him on these issues and to serve as anything other than a Republican show puppet who will help Obama further dismantle our military and diminish our military readiness and national security.