Obama nominates Hagel, Brennan to top cabinet defense posts

President Barack Obama has officially named former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan to fill the positions of Secretary of Defense and Director of the Center Intelligence Agency, respectfully.

If confirmed by the Senate, Hagel would replace outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Brennan would replace Acting Director Michael Morell, who assumed the position in November after General David Petraeus’s abrupt resignation over an extramarital affair.

Ironically, the confirmations of Hagel – a “moderate” Republican – and Brennan are expected to be more controversial than that of incumbent Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), who was nominated by Obama to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State last month.

Hagel spent 12 years in the United States Senate, serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee alongside Kerry and then-Sen. Obama. Despite voting for the Patriot Act and the Iraq Resolution, Hagel was one of the first Republicans to speak out against the War on Terrorism and in 2007 co-sponsored legislation calling for an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Hagel’s views toward U.S.-Israeli relations are also questionable; in 2007 the then-Senator went so far as to say that the “Jewish lobby intimidated lawmakers.”

“This is an in your face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CNN yesterday. “I don’t know what his management experience is regarding the Pentagon — little, if any, so I think it’s an incredibly controversial choice.”

In nominating Hagel, Obama called him “the leader that our troops deserve” and a “true American patriot.”

“Chuck Hagel’s leadership of our military would be historic,” Obama commented. “He’d be the first person of enlisted rank to serve as Secretary of Defense, one of the few secretaries who have been wounded in war, and the first Vietnam veteran to lead the department.  As I saw during our visits together to Afghanistan and Iraq, in Chuck Hagel our troops see a decorated combat veteran of character and strength.  They see one of their own.”

Since leaving office Hagel has also campaigned for several Democratic politicians, including President Obama (in both elections), 2010 Senate nominee Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and 2012 Senate nominee – and former colleague – Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.).

Brennan, a New Jersey native, spent 25 years climbing the ranks at the CIA, having served as a daily intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton, chief of staff to former CIA Director George Tenet, and deputy executive director of the CIA. In 2003 and 2004 Brennan served as the director of the newly-created Terrorist Threat Integration Center; under his watch the center distributed false intelligence to President Bush that helped lead to an “Orange Terror Alert” over Christmas 2003. He also served as the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He was considered for the job of CIA Director in 2008 but withdrew his name from consideration after questions were raised about his views on waterboarding.

“Today, I can say to the men and women of the CIA:  In Director John Brennan you will have one of your own; a leader who knows you; who cares for you, deeply; and who will fight for you every single day.  And you’ll have a leader who has my complete confidence and my complete trust,” Obama commented.

Comments

One Response to “Obama nominates Hagel, Brennan to top cabinet defense posts”

  1. Breanne says:

    At the end of the paragraph it should be “respectively” not “respectfully.”

Leave a Reply

Helen Mirren is absolutely 'anti-gun'
Well, you can add actress Helen Mirren’s name to the list of celebrities who love to shoot ‘em up on screen and rant about gun control off screen. Mirren gave a wide-ranging interview to Yahoo! Movies Monday where she spoke about everything from her love of Vin Diesel to her laundry style to her opinion […]
Tom Cotton objects to his SNL parody

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) had a problem with SNL’s spoof of him—but only because the actor selected to portray him was too short.

Maher tells PC liberals 'shut the f up'

Bill Maher's politics are not always the greatest. But when it comes to knocking down the liberal PC brigade, he is on point like no other.

SNL parodies Starbucks' race campaign

What if another company--say, Pep Boys (or Girls! Or Whatever!)--took on their own campaign to talk about gender and sexual identity?

SNL's "The Rock" Obama goes beast-mode

Dwayne Johnson hosted SNL last night, so naturally he had to play a muscled-up Obama, who can finally do all the things he really wants—like throw John Boehner through a window and rip of Tom Cotton’s hand.

White House

Carly Fiorina says there’s a ‘higher than 90 percent chance’ she’s running for president

Carly Fiorina’s 2016 campaign is all but certain now—and she’s making no secret as to whom she’ll be targeting.

White House promises not to use legal loophole to keep NSA spying alive if Patriot Act expires
If the Patriot Act expires, it will stop the National Security Agency’s bulk spying too. The Obama administration promised this week that it will not take advantage of a legal loophole to keep the NSA spying alive unless Congress re-authorizes the Patriot Act, Reuters reported. Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes the NSA to collect data on […]
In honor of National Puppy Day, here are the top 10 cutest presidential puppies

Today is National Puppy Day! To celebrate, we give you the top ten cutest puppies to grace the White House Lawn.

Obama: ‘By hook or by crook’ I’ll push my agenda through
This is probably not the smartest phrasing to use. President Obama had an interview with Huffington Post over the weekend and while much of the interview was his oft-repeated lines about how Republicans are the reason nothing is getting done in Washington, he added a new phrase about his legacy that is bound to raise […]
Obama tells Prince Charles that Americans like the royal family better than their own politicians

President Obama has admitted what we all already knew: Americans far prefer the Duchess of Cambridge to Michelle.

Congress

Harry Reid doesn't care that he lied about Romney
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) might have some regrets about his more than 30 years in Congress, but his baldfaced lies on the Senate floor about former presidential candidate Mitt Romney are not among them. Back in 2012, Reid accused Romney of not paying any taxes at all for the past 10 years without […]
Sen. Harry Reid will not seek re-election
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, the wily Nevadan who dominated the Senate for a decade from the minority to the majority and back again, announced Friday he will retire after five terms. Reid, 75, who shepherded key Obama administration initiatives including the president’s health care law, lost his role as majority leader — […]
Schock: Lincoln faced challenges too
Embattled Rep. Aaron Schock (R- Ill.) gave his farewell speech on the House floor Thursday, promising that it was “not the end of a story, but rather the beginning of a new chapter.” While his own trials are more of the “Downton Abbey” decor and Katy Perry concert variety, Schock likened this tough time to that […]
Boehner, Pelosi read mean tweets
Taking a cue from Jimmy Kimmel’s famous “Mean Tweets” series, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) got in on the fun and read some mean tweets about themselves in a video for the 2015 Radio & Television Correspondents Association […]
GOP blocks Warren's student loan plan
THE HILL — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked an effort by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to attach an amendment aimed at lowering student loan rates to the budget. Senators voted 46-53 against Warren’s amendment to the Republican budget resolution. Warren’s amendment would have allowed people with college loan debt to refinance at interest rates from […]