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By WILLIAM MAYER
February 13, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - This evening, the highly regarded foreign policy think tank, Center for Security Policy [CSP], threw the gauntlet down over the rapidly approaching Hagel/DOD Senate confirmation vote, stating:
"Sen. Hagel has a highly troubling record on critical matters of national security which we believe should disqualify him from serving as Secretary of Defense, including 1) his support for U.S. nuclear disarmament, demonstrated by his co-authorship of the 2012 "Global Zero" report; 2) his assertion after passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which already cut defense spending by $487 billion over ten years, that the Department of Defense is "bloated" and needs to be "paired down"; 3) his demonstrated hostility towards the State of Israel, our most reliable ally in the Middle East; and 4) his failure to appreciate the threat posed by Iran, as demonstrated by his past lack of support for sanctions and his public statement that military action against Iran was not a "viable, feasible, or responsible option."
The editorial staff of PipeLineNews entirely and without reservation supports the CSP's position on this matter. Mr. Hagel appears to be an unsuitable candidate with potentially very troubling ties to funding sources which are suspect - according to knowledgeable sources who wish to remain anonymous - from a national security perspective. These allegation must be given a thorough and fair hearing by the entire Senate.
We believe that if Mr. Hagel wishes to serve his country, and we have no reason to believe this is not his intent, his best course of action would be to gracefully withdraw his name from contention. If after dealing with these matters it becomes apparent to a bi-partisan majority that Mr. Hagel is indeed suitable, then he can be given a fair hearing by the entire Senate followed quickly by an up or down vote.
We will support a truly non-partisan vote, under the proviso that further hearings are held and important documents are presented by Mr. Hagel's counselors into evidence as part of the official record.
A party line vote on this nomination is unacceptable.
The Dept. of Defense, which faces the serious potential of having its ability to defend the United States seriously compromised, perhaps irretrievably, by the sequestration process, has far too critical a mission to have its reputation and therefore effectiveness impaired by the mere perception of impropriety.
America deserves better and so does Western civilization - If the American flame of freedom is allowed to burn out, so does the hope of the world.