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

Comments

  1. Breanne says:

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

Polititainment

Ted Cruz loves 'The Simpsons'

Ted Cruz really likes "The Simpsons." The Republican presidential candidate detailed his fandom during an interview on The Federalist Radio Hour Thursday, spotlighting two of his favorite episodes of the cartoon television series.

Rubio asked to 'spit rap lyrics'

Marco Rubio, friend of Pitbull, fan of explicit 90s rap lyrics and Nick Minaj, and 2016 presidential candidate, has sadly declined an offer to perform his lyric-spitting talents on live TV.

Gwyneth Paltrow quits food stamps

According to the New York Post's Page Six, the actress has already dumped the food stamps challenge she agreed to last week, binging on two gourmet dinners in one night.

Maher: Obama should be a better bragger

The host of HBO's "Real Time" labeled the $1 million he donated to a pro-Obama Super PAC in 2012 -- an amount he won't ever give in support of Hillary Clinton -- a "great investment," commending the president on his accomplishments.

Tiny child weeps over Hillary 2016

When Hillary Clinton announced her presidential campaign yesterday, you were probably devastated. So was tiny Zeke here.

t u

2016

Perry knocks 'young' GOP foes ahead of 2016

The possible 2016 contender during remarks to reporters in Nashua, New Hampshire, Thursday compared declared GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to President Obama in order to illuminate why the young senators aren't yet the right leaders for the White House.

Jeb Bush: 'I don't need to go to Chipotle'

While munching and mingling with fellow Republicans at the Snow Shoe Club in Concord, New Hampshire, Bush was asked whether he frequents the fast-food chain Chipotle, at which Hillary Clinton was photographed purchasing lunch earlier this week in Maumee, Ohio.

Cruz, Rubio, Santorum on attending a gay wedding

Which 2016 candidates--declared or otherwise--would attend the gay marriage of a loved one?

Hillary's 'Scooby' van is handicapped

No, Hillary Clinton is not handicapped at the ripe age of 67. However, that didn't stop the Democratic candidate for president from apparently sticking her "Scooby" van in a handicap parking spot while stopping at a cafe in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Thursday.

Hillary Clinton attacks CEO pay

The now-official Democratic candidate sent an e-mail to supporters following her campaign announcement that lamented the fact that regular Americans currently face economic difficulties "when the average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes"

Policy

The TSA trained Disney World, SeaWorld

Disneyland, where dreams come true and TSA-trained employees are watching your every yawn and fidget and marking you down as a possible terrorist.

Marijuana: Not just for stoners any more

The media always loves to accompany stories about marijuana policy with bad puns and pictures of stoners.

Cruz, Rubio, Santorum on attending a gay wedding

Which 2016 candidates--declared or otherwise--would attend the gay marriage of a loved one?

Poll: Millennials financially optimistic

Crippling college debt aside, young people are feeling pretty good about their prospects of late.

Grassley: VA wrongly putting vets on gun ban list

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is demanding the Justice Department account for the fact that a “disproportionate” share of those on a “mental defective” gun ban list are veterans.