Chuck Hagel’s Contempt for the Senate

By: Frank Gaffney, Jr.
Right Side News

In the run-up to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing this Thursday on Chuck Hagel’s fitness to become the next Secretary of Defense, its members have been treated to the spectacle of the nominee spinning at the RPM of a prima ballerina.

Evidently, the former Nebraska senator has very low regard for those now serving in the Senate. He seems confident that they will either not see through – or at least not object to – his concerted efforts to: disavow his well-documented public record; obscure his serial, faulty judgments; and ignore the harm both suggest he is prepared to do, if confirmed, to the national security.

The question is: Will Mr. Hagel’s cynical and contemptuous gambit be rewarded by the Senate? Or will it be properly repudiated?

For example, will the Armed Services Committee membership really accept Mr. Hagel’s current insistence that he is a strong supporter of Israel when the evidence to the contrary is manifest from his plethora of votes, resolutions, letters, and public statements? Will Senators on and off that committee trust him to execute Obama administration policy towards Iran’s nuclear threat – which their colleague, Sen. John Kerry, last week insisted was “prevention, not containment” – given his longstanding opposition to both meaningful economic sanctions and military action?

Can legislators who are alarmed at the hollowing-out of the U.S. military now becoming ever more palpable really take at face value Sen. Hagel’s current assurances about his commitment to a strong U.S. military? After all, prior to his nomination by President Obama and his attendant “confirmation conversions,” Mr. Hagel insisted that the Pentagon budget is bloated and can safely be “pared.”

Now, Hillary Clinton might ask, “What’s the difference?” Unfortunately, the difference could be a Secretary of Defense who will actively encourage, rather than steadfastly oppose, the devastation arising from: the elimination, or dramatic slowing, of virtually all Pentagon modernization programs; the reduction in maintenance of worn-out weapon systems and other equipment; the dissipation of much of what is left of the defense industrial base; the evisceration of training and other benefits, etc.

Then there is Senator Hagel’s stance on nuclear disarmament. Last May, the would-be Defense Secretary affirmed his sympathy for arms control schemes that amount to prescriptions for unilateral reductions in our deterrent forces by co-authoring a plan for achieving them sponsored by the Global Zero initiative. In so doing, as Heritage Foundation fellow Rebecca Heinrich’s has noted in the Daily Caller, he signed onto the fatuous idea that “security is mainly a state of mind, not a physical condition.” He recommended that the United States eliminate two out of three “legs” of its strategic Triad. And he called for steep cuts in the short-range nuclear weapons that are the backbone of the “nuclear umbrella” our allies have long relied upon for extended deterrence. The effect would be to undermine global stability and exacerbate proliferation.

So, are Senators supposed to accept the line currently being touted by Chuck Hagel in one-on-one meetings with them and by his defenders in public to the effect that “he firmly believes in a strong nuclear deterrent as long as we face nuclear threats”? Should they actually accept that, for example, the nominee’s “belief in a strong nuclear deterrent” is so firmly held that he will actually oppose President Obama’s further efforts in a second term – in which he has “more flexibility” – to denuclearize the world starting with our arsenal? I have a bridge to sell any such credulous legislators.

How about a Secretary Hagel on what Hillary Clinton astonishingly described in her otherwise appallingly uninformative swan-song appearance on Capitol Hill last week: the menace posed to us and our allies by “the global jihadist threat.” Never mind that Mrs. Clinton has done little, if anything, to evince such concernover the past four years – or, for that matter, during the preceding decade-plus she spent in the Senate and White House. In fact, along with President Obama’s pick for the next CIA Director, John Brennan, and his new White House Chief of Staff, Dennis McDonough, she has been one of the prime-movers behind the administration’s efforts to deny jihad’s plain meaning, namely holy war, and to submit to at least its stealthy, subversive and pre-violent version as practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood.

No amount of spinning by Senator Hagel in anticipation of Thursday’s hearing must be allowed to obscure his own, decades-long insistence that we must engage with the Islamists who are in the vanguard of that global jihadist threat. If this threat is real – and it is – Senators cannot responsibly turn over the Pentagon to someone so indifferent to it. This is a constitutional duty each and every member has, a duty that cannot be dispensed with, simply because Senator Chuck Schumer has predictably made his peace with the nominee.

In short, it will not be enough for the Armed Services Committee’s members to expose the truth about Chuck Hagel’s disposition on matters that speak to his competency as the senior civilian defense advisor to President Obama. They must also evaluate the implications of entrusting so sensitive a position to a man who holds them in such contempt at the very moment that Mr. Obama’s international chickens are coming home to roost.

Frank Gaffney, Jr. The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public.


Rep. McKinley: Serious Questions on Chuck Hagel

Right Side News
Rep. McKinley: Letter to SASC on Hagel Nomination

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from West Virginia’s 1st district

Washington, Jan 28 –
Senator Carl Levin: Chairman
Senator James M. Inhofe:Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Armed Services Senate Committee on Armed Services
228 Russell Senate Office Building 228 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Levin and Ranking Member Inhofe,

President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense has prompted a number of questions about his positions on issues of importance to our national security, specifically our relationships with Israel and Iran. It is our hope that the Confirmation Hearings held by the Senate Armed Services Committee will address these issues and shed some light on Senator Hagel’s positions and past statements.

While Senator Hagel’s record of service to the United States is worthy of respect, his position on Israel and the role of the United States in the Middle East gives us apprehension. Israel is America’s closest friend and ally in the Middle East, and it is vital to the region that this relationship grows stronger. Unfortunately, Senator Hagel’s past comments and actions could compromise this vital partnership.

We can all agree that lasting peace in the Middle East can only be achieved through negotiations between partners that renounce terrorism and recognize the legitimacy of the other. As such, Senator Hagel’s previous suggestion that the United States engage in direct negotiation with Hamas is troubling. Hamas is a terrorist organization and has vowed to destroy the state of Israel. They not only threaten the safety of Israel and her citizens, but serve as a roadblock to a peace process with legitimate Palestinian leadership. It is critical that any member of the President’s inner circle be someone who has a clear understanding of the destabilizing effects terrorist groups like Hamas have on the Middle East.

Similarly, Iran and its quest to build nuclear weapons is a severe threat to the stability of the region and the security of America and our allies. Previously, Senator Hagel has opposed unilateral sanctions against Iran and has argued against the option of responding to a nuclear-armed Iran with military force. America must keep all options open in our effort to stop Iran from acquiring and using nuclear weapons. It’s imperative that a Defense Secretary shares this view.

With the Middle East becoming more volatile, we must make it clear who our allies are in the region. Senator Hagel’s record brings much concern about the direction in which he will lead our military.

We need a Defense Secretary who is unafraid to stand with Israel and use any means necessary to guarantee the safety of United States citizens. The undersigned Members of Congress believe Senator Hagel must address these issues in order to guarantee the future of security of the United States.

Congressman McKinley


Acquittal of Barkat Masih in Bahawalpur, Pakistan

By: Aeneas Lavinium

Bahawalpur, Pakistan – the image is of the Derawar Fort

ICLA welcomes the decision of the court that acquitted Barkat Masih in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Mr Mashih had been falsely accused of blasphemy in 2011. The Pakistani authorities should be commended for arriving at this decision. Such decisions are incredibly rare in the Pakistan, but we hope that this decision is an indication that the Pakistani legal system is moving forward. However, the story that was published by Pakistan Today demonstrates how the very existence of blasphemy laws leads to abuse, intimidation, and outright persecution of minorities. This is why ICLA is completely opposed to blasphemy laws of any kind.

The Pakistan Today article focuses on how blasphemy laws can be misused. However, ICLA’s concern is less about how blasphemy laws can be misused and more about how they are allowed to exist at all. Blasphemy laws are a misuse of the law itself. They are designed to impose the views of elites and to prevent any social developments that are a threat to the interests of such elites. They are an instrument of control and coercion that is unacceptable in any society that calls itself free and open minded. That fact that such laws are based on religion does not give them any moral legitimacy.

Blasphemy laws have much in common with political correctness. That is perhaps the reason why Western elites seem so enamoured by them. Laws that are difficult to defend against are the perfect tools from the bullies and tyrants who frequently walk the corridors of power. Is this why Western political leaders seem so willing to acquiesce with demands from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to institute a global blasphemy law? Such leaders are effectively saying that the misery that blasphemy laws inflict upon people like Barkat Masih is a price worth paying if it means more power and wealth for them! How much Saudi oil money has been used to grease the wheels of blasphemy legislation in the Western world? The hypocrisy of Western leaders knows no bounds! Calls for a global blasphemy law from the OIC and the support for them by Western elites now means that blasphemy laws are perhaps the greatest threat to civil liberties and human rights in the world today.

The case of Barkat Masih shows how blasphemy laws can be used to hound an innocent man, make him fear for his life and cause him to incur potentially crippling legal expense. It shows how even legal practitioners can be intimidated if they decide even to represent someone accused of blasphemy. The right to legal representation is a fundamental requirement for justice yet blasphemy laws encourage even that to be withdrawn merely on the basis of unsubstantiated allegation. This shows how such laws can be used to undermine the rule of law.

It is quite clear that blasphemy laws are based on religious intolerance when they are applied to those who do not follow a particular religion. They are thus a potential instrument of ethnic or religious ‘cleansing’ and general persecution. They must therefore be resolutely opposed on human rights grounds both in countries into which they seek to expand as well as in those countries where they are already entrenched.

When blasphemy laws or other freedom sapping legislation become ingrained in society they develop a life of their own. The case of Barkat Masih as outlined in the Pakistan Today article demonstrates the potential for mob violence even though a court has found him innocent. Even after running the gauntlet of a legal system heavily stacked against him he is still potentially in danger. This is the sort of lawlessness that blasphemy laws bring with them. This is another reason why they should be opposed.

No religion, philosophy, ideology or belief system should be protected by the law. Any belief system that requires state protection is one that is built on very shaky foundations. If a belief system cannot stand the scrutiny of debate then it has no real legitimacy.

ICLA will watch the situation in places like Pakistan with great interest. It will also monitor the efforts of the OIC to spread its tools of religious persecution. It will oppose the creation of blasphemy laws in Western and non-Western countries alike. The 21st Century should be a century in which human rights are expanded and not reduced. Blasphemy laws and any secular laws that mimic them will be opposed by ICLA.


Interview of Alexandre Delvalle on The Persecution of the East-Christians.

By: David Erzet

The well-known French political scientist, geopolitical-professor and researcher (international relations and geopolitics) and writer Alexandre Delvalle, comes back to the television’s program of “France24” to denounce the persecution of the East -Christians.

In his last book, “The New Christianophobia. “How we kill Christians in the world today“, Alexandre Delvalle had already blown the whistle on segregation? – discrimination? that Christians who are in Islamic territories had been victims.

This program was broadcasted 8 times on France 24.

We propose, below, the newly composed version of the interview of Alexandre Delvalle.