This wasn’t even fair. Ted Cruz is wasting no time making his presence felt in the U.S. Senate. Today at the Hagel confirmation hearings, Cruz grilled Hagel on a range of subjects, and Hagel looked silly and completely out of his depth. Which he is. The highlight was when Cruz played audio of an interview Hagel conducted with Al Jazeera in 2009 in which he didn’t dispute Al Jazeera’s assertion that Israel committed war crimes when they defended themselves against terrorist attacks. Via The Dallas Morning News:
Sen. Ted Cruz grilled Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel this afternoon.
Cruz reprimanded the former Republican Nebraska senator for failing to submit to the Armed Services Committee speeches from the past five years. Cruz said Hagel submitted just four speeches, even though records showed he had been paid for 12 in the past year alone.
Playing snippets of a 2009 Al Jazeera interview with Hagel, Cruz launched into a series of questions challenging his views on Israel. When asked if he thought Israel had committed war crimes, Hagel said no and added that Cruz had taken his response in the interview out of context.
Cruz also took issue with Hagel’s 2006 characterization of Israel’s military campaign against the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as “sickening slaughter.”
“Does one typically characterize defending yourself against terrorism as a sickening slaughter?” Cruz asked.
Hagel again said he’d want to look at the full context of that quote but wasn’t able to finish his sentence before Cruz jumped back to the 2009 interview, this time featuring a caller asking about the perception of the U.S. as “the world’s bully.” Hagel said that while he called the observation “a good one” and “relevant” during that interview, that didn’t mean he agreed with it.
Cruz, in turn, accused him of broadcasting propaganda to countries hostile to the U.S.
“To explicitly agree with the characterization of the United States as the ‘world’s bully,’ I would suggest is not the conduct one would expect of a Secretary of Defense,” Cruz said.
Indeed. Hagel tries to make the case that he’s being taken out of context, but Cruz refuses to let him get away with that nonsense. There’s plenty more Cruz packed into his brief Q&A with Hagel and the video below is a must see. Bottom line: Hagel is mumbling and grasping for straws and generally has no answers for Cruz. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did:
It’s not hard to understand why Governor Palin worked so hard to help Ted Cruz get elected. If we had a few more like him in the D.C. the Washington the cesspool would get cleaned up in short order. Via Hot Air, even Lindsey Graham brought his ‘A’ game today as he also went after Hagel very effectively for his past anti-Israel comments … specifically his repeated references to the evil “Jewish Lobby”:
I agree with those who’ve suggested that Obama picked Hagel because Hagel is viscerally anti-military and will be a team player in Obama’s quest to eviscerate the one and only federal government entity that is good at what it’s supposed to do.