Last week, twenty-five Republican Senators wrote a former member of their caucus and the man President Obama wants to lead the Defense Department a letter demanding full disclosure of his financial dealings. To date, Sen. Chuck Hagel has demonstrated afresh his contempt for the legislature by declining to do so.
To their credit, the Senators, including the GOP leadership and every member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have thrown down the gauntlet. They warned Mr. Hagel: “Your refusal to respond to this reasonable request suggests either a lack of respect for the Senate’sresponsibility to advise and consent or that you are for some reason unwilling to allow this financial disclosure to come to light.” The signers added:
“Until the Committee receives full and complete answers, it cannot in good faith determine wither you should be confirmed as Secretary of Defense.”
It may be that the Hagel appointment has now been effectively checkmated. Should the nominee continue to stonewall, even Democrats – who are under immense pressure to hew to the party line, but were privately appalled by his performance during a confirmation hearing two weeks ago – get a face-saving way to disassociate themselves from this loser.
But Mr. Hagel may have, as a practical matter, no choice but to try to brazen it out. Breitbart.com last week (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/02/07/Hagel-Friends-of-Hamas-WH) quoted Senate sources as saying that among the requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is one listing “a group purportedly called ‘Friends of Hamas.’” At this writing and absent the requested disclosure, it cannot be determined whether Chuck Hagel is literally associated with the “friends” of a designated terrorist organization. But the mere fact that it seems entirely plausible – given the nominee’s record of hostility towards Israel and his affinity for its enemies (including Hamas’ long-time sponsor, Iran), his refusal to make the sort of disclosure expected of all Cabinet appointees should be the last straw for Senate Republicans and Democrats, alike.
Incredibly, President Obama’s candidate to lead the Central Intelligence Agency could reasonably be considered a friend of Hamas, as well. After all, he has been among the Obama appointees to engage with a group called the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). This despite the fact that no fewer than four federal judges have, in connection with the 2008 federal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation on terrorism financing charges, concurred that CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood front.
Indeed, in the course of that prosecution, the government established that CAIR had been founded in 1993 for the purpose of providing political and fund-raising support for Hamas. Yet, on John Brennan’s watch as counterterrorism czar for the first term of the Obama presidency, administration officials have, according to one, met “more than 100 times” with representatives of this terrorist organization’s U.S. influence operation.
Read more at Center for Security Policy