Obama to name anti-Semite Hagel as secretary of defense
President Barack Obama is ready to nominate former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense, the Daily Beast reported Friday, citing sources privy to the process.
According to key Democrats working on the nomination, Obama reached the decision this week, after ruling out Ash Carter, the current deputy secretary of defense, and Michèle Flournoy, a former top Pentagon official, for the position.
When Hagel’s name was first brought up last month as a possible replacement for Leon Panetta, it drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike, indicating Obama might be facing a fight with lawmakers over the decision. “Chuck Hagel’s opposition to Iranian sanctions and support for direct, unconditional talks with its leaders is both at odds with current US policy and a threat to global security,” he said. “To make matters worse, he has called for direct negotiations with Hamas.
“The worst possible message we could send to our friend Israel and the rest of our allies in the Middle East is Chuck Hagel.”
Hagel has also attracted support from pundits and former national security officials known for their opposition to what they perceive to be a vast pro-Israel lobby. Hagel has frequently made anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements.