February 4, 2013- The soon-to-be ex-Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, strongly criticized Senate Republicans this morning on the Meet the Press television show claiming that the opponents of President Obama’s choice for the cabinet level position have been wielding “political knives” in an effort to completely discredit the former senator.
Panetta said he was disappointed with the combative questions posed by Republicans who appeared to focus entirely on Mr. Hagel’s past remarks about Israel and the Iraq War. Hagel is considered by many to be anti-Israel which puts him “at odds” with senators of both parties. He has also been an outspoken critic of America’s military involvement in Iraq.
Left unsaid by Panetta is the fact that during the Senate hearings last Thursday, Chuck Hagel appeared tentative, unsure and even unprepared to answer the tough questions that came his way.
Panetta did say that people change their minds and their opinions and that in the case of Chuck Hagel it is important for senators to look more closely at his recent remarks about Israel, Iraq, Iran and even nuclear disarmament.
Despite the apparent strong opposition to him, Hagel is expected to receive approval from the Senate Armed Services Commission, which is dominated by Democrats, to have his nomination voted upon by the full Senate, a chamber that is also dominated by Democrats.