Hagel Hearings Ended With Last Salvo of Smears
Dana Milbank thinks Congress should be ashamed of itself
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 27, 2013 1:26 PM CST
New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks to service members and civilian employees at the Pentagon, Feb. 27, 2013, after being sworn in.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – Chuck Hagel was finally sworn in as defense secretary today, but not before enduring one last salvo of smears before yesterday's confirmation vote. Two Republicans said Hagel had accused Israel of "commiting, quote, 'sickening slaughter,'" Dana Milbank reports. "There was something sickening about this, but it wasn't Hagel's quote," he writes in the Washington Post. What Hagel actually said, in a 2006 speech about the Lebanon war, was, "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end."

"It was one of many moments from the past few weeks that Joe McCarthy would have admired," Milbank writes. Republicans repeatedly lobbed baseless accusations; some even suggested that Hagel got speaking fees from "extreme or radical groups," or Saudi Arabia, or North Korea. Yesterday, they congratulated themselves for their unprecedented obstruction—either ignoring or explicitly pleased that it would weaken Hagel overseas—and said they hadn't impugned his honor. "No, they merely suggested that he is on the payroll of terrorists and in the pockets of America’s enemies." Click for the full post.

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
Feb 28, 2013 12:39 PM CST
Whose pocket are they in? Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) Remember these names.
Feb 28, 2013 3:51 AM CST
Cons are just frightened scum that live in a huge vat of hate and conspiracy.
Feb 27, 2013 4:29 PM CST
Hagel: "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end." Republicans: "He accused Israel of sickening slaughter." This is the classic "straw man" attack. Rush Limbaugh would be proud, it's his bread and butter. Take what someone said, mis-interpret or take it out of context and then rant about it. Then profusely pat yourself on the back for always being "right". In reality, the incurably biased are the only ones who fall for this.