Senator Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) recommendation by the Senate Armed Services Committee for Secretary of Defense to the Senate, via a vote, has been postponed and no new date for the vote has been given. Apparently, recent audio has surfaced from a 2007 speech in which Hagel spoke to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and said that the U.S. needed to "reverse optics" in its relationship with Israel. So far there is no word that this is the issue that brought about a vote postponement.
A Tweet from Politico's Manu Raju indicated that the vote may take place as early as Thursday. This information was received from Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who chairs the committee.
Joel Pollack at Breitbart reports,
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations recently published a recording of a speech Hagel gave to its conference in 2007. In addition to calling for unconditional talks with the Iranian regime, Hagel said that the U.S. had to "reverse optics" in its relationship with Israel in order to restore its credibility as an honest broker between Israelis and Palestinians, and to boost its diplomacy in the Middle East more generally.
Hagel also offered this puzzling historical observation: "There's no question in the Arab-Israeli issue that Israel is a nation today as a result of the United States." He could be referring to the decision by President Harry Truman to recognize the State of Israel. It's not clear. But in context, the remark was intended to reinforce perceptions of Israel as a client state of the U.S., and urge more U.S. pressure on Israel as a rest.
Hagel also said: "You don't have to give up liberty for security. Don't ever give up liberty for security."
This probably doesn't sit very well with the Obama administration that believes in giving up liberty for supposed security and also holds to a policy of violating the Constitution and murdering American citizens with drones without any clear evidence that those they target are involved in any attacks against the United States.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that newly elected Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was instrumental in postponing the vote.
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Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) distributed a letter to his Republican colleagues calling on SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D., Mich.) to delay a committee vote until Hagel responds to the numerous questions about his financial entanglements, according to multiple Senate sources.
The letter has garnered at least two dozen signatures thus far, the sources said. The signatories include every GOP member of SASC.
“Your refusal to respond to this reasonable request [for more information] suggests either a lack of respect for the Senate’s responsibility to advice and consent or that you are for some reason unwilling to allow this financial disclosure to come to light,” Cruz and his colleagues state in the letter sent late Wednesday to Hagel.
“This Committee, and the American people, have a right to know if a nominee for Secretary of Defense has received compensation, directly or indirectly for foreign sources,” the letter states. “Until the Committee receives full and complete answers, it cannot in good faith determine whether you should be confirmed as Secretary of Defense.”