A good friend, who is a genuine Conservative and has worked on Counter Terrorism issues for years as a senior U.S. Government official, was approached last September by a member of Mitt Romney’s national security team and asked for his recommendations on quality people who should staff a Romney Administration. My friend, who also is a military vet to boot, recommended Chuck Hagel as a great choice for DOD. Some of you may consider this just another reason to be thankful Romney was not elected. Not me. I think Hagel is fine.

What should alarm true Americans is the character assassination being directed at Hagel by ultra conservative Jewish groups and Neo-cons (the same clowns who led us to a useless, costly war in Iraq). Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal launches this screed:

Prejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here,” the odor is especially ripe.

Ripe because a “Jewish lobby,” as far as I’m aware, doesn’t exist. No lesser authorities on the subject than John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of “The Israel Lobby,” have insisted the term Jewish lobby is “inaccurate and misleading, both because the [Israel] lobby includes non-Jews like Christian Zionists and because many Jewish Americans do not support the hard-line policies favored by its most powerful elements.”

A “Jewish Lobby” does not exist? Are you shitting me?

Apparently, Stephens does not pay attention to the annual pilgrimage of Republican and Democrat politicians to the AIPAC Conference in Washington. If AIPAC ain’t a Jewish Lobby, what is it? An insurance group?

Hagel is guilty of being truthful and blunt. Pat Laing puts his finger on the source of the faux outrage–it is a threat to Washington status quo:

Dan Senor was the “mouthpiece” for the disastrous CPA government in Baghdad. This shifty eyed neocon front man was on “Chuck” Todd’s morning MSNBC show today to do what he could to stop Senator Hagel’s progress towards the Pentagon. Todd, himself, is a thinly disguised opponent of Hagel’s nomination.

When he wasn’t rolling his eyes or smirking over the very idea of Hagel, Senor was busy telling us all that “there is a ‘consensus’ on Israel in Washington” and that Hagel is outside it.

Yes, there is such a “consensus.” It is a consensus that results from decades of intimidation, illegal finance contributions and suppression of the opinions of anyone who does not accept the primacy of Israel in US policy. Hagel is not intimidated. His appointment to be Secretary of Defense would threaten the “consensus.”

Hagel also is faulted for not wanting to start a war with Iran. He is exactly right on that front. We, the United States, cannot afford the cost of going to war with Iran. It would more than bankrupt us. It would also destroy our influence in the region and leave Israel more exposed to intimidation, not less. I never cease to be amazed at the bravado of chickenhawks like John Bolton and Bill Kristol. Those men refused to serve in the military but have no hesitation beating the war drums when it comes to sending the sons of other mothers to war.

Presidents Nixon and Johnson, who never saw combat and wore uniforms only to secure political advantage, were eager for war. Men who actually saw the horrors of combat, like George McGovern, were unfairly derided as cowards. When it comes to committing US troops to battle, I prefer we have someone like Hagel who can counsel the inexperienced Obama. There is an advantage that a man like Chuck Hagel is not trying to kiss ass to the top. He has always been a straighshooter.

The intolerance of so-called conservative Republicans for the likes of Hagel is but one more sign of how nutty and irrelevant Republicans are becoming. Republicans would be wise to let Hagel testify and defend himself in public. Those beholden to the so-called “Jewish lobby,” however, seem incapable of that kind of restraint.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • Hokma

    “Yes, there is such a “consensus.” It is a consensus that
    results from decades of intimidation, illegal finance contributions and suppression of the opinions of anyone who does not accept the primacy of Israel in US policy.” – Pat Laing

    And this is precisely why there is AIPAC and The World Jewish Congress as well as other Jewish organizations.

    It’s about the Holocaust. It is all about the Holocaust.

    I has to do with the fact that the Holocaust could have been
    prevented. If the Jews were permitted to leave Europe, it would have been prevented. But every nation shut their doors based on immigration policy especially Great Britain and the U.S. The only place where they could go was Israel but the Brits from, 1939 and on, closed the doors there as well. That sealed the fate of Jews in Europe.

    The U.S. and Britain were aware of what the Nazis had planned almost from the outset but refused to take action that would have saved Jews. They could have bombed the railroad tracks that transported Jews to death camps. Or they could have bombed the crematoriums. They refused to do it.

    The reason? The allies could care less about Jews because
    Jews were not part of their war plans.

    The lesson from the Holocaust for all Jews is the slogan “Never Again” which translated means to never place your fate in the hands of anyone other than Jews.

    That has been the mission of The World Jewish Congress who spent years pushing the U.S. and the world to allow Jews to leave the old Soviet Union where they were persecuted.

    And the mission of AIPAC is to use their money and power to
    force U.S. policy to do whatever is necessary to ensure the security of Jews in Israel and to prevent any further holocausts.

    Following the war, Jews initially tried creating international laws and commissions to prevent another holocaust under the general theme called “human rights.”

    But over the years, that has been turned against Jews by
    ever increasing hatred of Jews. Arabs are very open about their hatred of Jews. But other people hide their antipathy by using terms like apartheid, genocide, occupation, imperialism and human rights abuses in general terms and based on false allegations or just no allegations. They use terms like Zionists and Likudniks hide their disdain of Israelis and Jews.

    Unfortunately many Jewish human rights activists have even opted to abandon their heritage in order to capitulate to their allegiance to left wing anti-Semitic human rights groups.

    Today, as it has been for thousands of years, the greatest
    form of hatred and prejudice in the world is against Jews. That level of hatred is as great today as it was in the 1930’s and not just in the Middle East but in Europe, Asia, and here.

    Regarding the Middle East, it really does not matter what Israel does and how it acts. It will never be acceptable to those who have disdain for Jews.

    Regarding Hagel and his calling AIPAC the Jewish Lobby – he is right. AIPAC exists to make sure that Jews take care of Jews to prevent any more slaughter of Jews – particularly by Muslims.

    Hagel represents a foreign policy line up by Obama to reflect
    Obama’s desire to bring Israel to its knees. You see there is no air between Obama and Jeremiah Wright – there never was. Ironically this was in part brought by Jews and by AIPAC who voted for Obama. Just ask Ed Koch and Alan Dershowitz.

    This will be the toughest four years for Israel and it likely will include a war. Fortunately Obama is there for only four years and fortunately there is AIPAC to make sure he does not go so far as to endanger the very survival of Israel.

  • Hokma

    “Presidents Nixon and Johnson, who never saw combat and wore uniforms only to secure political advantage, were eager for war.”

    Political history was never my major but still is my passion to the point where I volunteer as a tutor to certain kind of students in college.

    Let’s get some facts straight here on Vietnam.

    I am not an LBJ fan but he did not get us into Vietnam or even bring us to the inevitable edge of war – Eisenhower did that. The Geneva Accord partitioned Vietnam along the 17th parallel with the stipulation that a national election be held that would unite the country in 1956. By Eisenhower breaking that agreement the path toward war was inevitable and our involvement as the surrogate for South Vietnam was also inevitable. The Gulf of Tonkin was just a spark that escalated the conflict.

    As far as Nixon, he never said he wanted to win the Vietnam War or that is was even winnable. His goal was to gain a peace that would allow the U.S. to not lose world stature. Unfortunately that was also not winnable by the time he came into office and the way it played out.

    What made the Vietnam War what it was is that it was fought
    as a political strategy and not as a war to win. Most of the soldiers who saw combat were in Vietnam (and in the Army) not by choice, because of the draft. As a result there was tremendous division between combat soldiers and officers – particularly resentment for young ones fresh out of ROTC. Friendly fire incidents were not just rumors.

    Regarding Hagel and Vietnam, he was a Sergeant and not an officer. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, and Bush as well as McGovern were all military officers and were inclined to listen to and respect the advice of military officers. Hagel may not be inclined to do that since he is always harkening back to his Vietnam experience. When it comes to decisions on scaling back on the military budget, that may be fine – although I am not convinced. But when it comes to making battlefield decisions (or potential ones) that is why Hagel may be the exact wrong choice.

    In his first term, Obama did a good job of appearing to be a
    hawk on defense by having Gates/Panetta and Clinton. Obama is no longer answerable to anyone anymore (including women’s groups or minority groups) is the way he sees it and as he told Medvedev in Russia, he will now have more flexibility to do whatever the hell he wants.

    It is clear that Obama wants to neuter the U.S. Defense ir
    order to drastically reduce our influence and move toward Soros’ New World Order which requires the greatly diminished power of the United States. The way toward that is by making sure the U.S. is no longer the world military power it was after World War II. With that goal in mind, Hagel is the perfect choice.

    Obama had a number of better options including people who had already worked for him.

    The choice I would have thought was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mich%C3%A8le_Flournoy

    A more interesting and effective choice by crossing the aisle would have been: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Herbits

    But Obama is not interested in a responsible reduction in
    the defense budget.

  • http://www.dwarfhamster.com/ dst

    Being at the time a loyal WBAI and Air America listener you could say on odds based on that that I was not highly favorable towards either our Iraq or Afghan ventures.
    How ever looking at that 800-billion one has to look at what it was used for along with other relative expenses. Of the total some portion has gone to soldiers salaries, building equipment, producing soldiers food, transport (air, train, truck, ship) from states to the war zone. All those Hum-V’s did just sprout and the number of workers needed for this activity is far higher that say required to run multi-million dollar solar or wind sights. OK so $830- billion or thus about $83-Billion/year. My comparison, anyone remember the “Dept Clock” , didn’t it way back in August hit $16-Tril.. Guess
    what within a month we will pass $16.5 with 17 by August and unless the whole system becomes unglued
    $20,000,000,000,000.00 ($20-Trillion) before the end of 2017. Now I can’t say I know the current or future interest rate required to support this dept, but I can say for sure that a 20 trillion dollar dept requires 200- Billion dollars per percent interest per year. So say the rate is just 3%, that would be a mere $600 Billion each year and unless paid down it continues with out end unlike a war. Lastly what return is there on interest payed especially that portion going overseas?

  • Sally Vaci

    Kudos for saying it up front, no holds barred Larry. I agree with 25% or so of what you say but as a [Christian] NeoCon and huge fan and admirer of both Bret Stephens and Dan Senor, I cannot embrace your disgust and contempt for the Jewish Lobby – which DOES EXIST, of course. (I know it exists because I’m a lay member.)

    There’s quite a bit of over-dramatization going on over Hagel from both sides. My own view is that Hagel is unfit to serve as head of DOD. I think David Brooks got it mostly right when he wrote that Hagel provides Obama with bi-partisan cover for dismantling the U.S. military.

    I think the greatest qualification Hagel has is a perfect fit in Obama World – he is so open-minded that his brain is open on both ends…. and very little info gets rationally processed. Also like Obama, I think Hagel absolutely HATES Republicans.

  • JJ_the_PUMA

    My number one foreign policy issue is keeping Iran from getting the bomb. Do i think Hagel is committed to this?? NO!!
    Do I think Obama is?? NO!! I don’t like the Hagel pick,but he likely reflects the true views of Obama.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ND2FCCGVV2IZTTAZQTXKJTCPNI Ruth

    well larry kudos for stating your views fearlessly. i am undecied on hagel. i don’t trust obama under any circumstances so i wonder just why obama wants him. maybe you can comment to that.

  • KenoshaMarge

    Usually agree with you or simply admit I don’t know enough to disagree. Not this time.

    I don’t say that Chuck Hagel is not a good man, or as good a man as most politicians.What I believe is that he is a Trojan Horse. He will be used as way for the Dems to cut the military and blame it on the Republicans.
    Hagel will be their “token” Republican who can be used against the rest of the Republican Party. If he doesn’t see that then he is letting his ambition get in the way of his common sense.

    Everything that Obama does at this point in time is not for the betterment of the country but to do as much as he can to destroy the opposition. Hagel will help with that. So I say no.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Dear, Marge

      Thanks for voicing your opinion. You are always a classy lady in your disagreements and I thank you for hanging in with me. Take a look at the data at this link http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0912.pdf. In Sep 2005 we spent 474,436 billion on DOD. Seven years later, that number jumped to $650,869 billion. That’s almost a 30% increase–yet our costs for the war in Iraq have gone down and we have fewer troops in Afghanistan. DOD is out of control and needs to be reined in.

      • HARP2

        While I don`t disagree with your numbers, I think the DOD may be getting a bad rap on some of this.

        The congress critters in both houses keep spending money in their own districts to boost their own chances of winning the next election.

        DOD has stated more than once, that some of these programs are not needed. The money could be better spent on weapons systems that REALLY work.

      • KenoshaMarge

        I agree completely that the spending at DoD as well as everywhere else in government must be reined in.

        However I want to see those “cuts” done with a filleting knife not an ax. Will Hagel be enough of his own man to resist the Dem determination to use an ax?

        I respect and admire his service to his country as I do any vet. Aside from that, I find it difficult to trust anyone who is a part of the Obama administration. He doesn’t allow for other viewpoints.

        Hagel would serve at the pleasure of the POTUS. I honestly believe that Hagel is being used to further divide the GOP.

        So I guess we will, at least this time, have to agree to disagree. Hell, I don’t even agree with myself all the time.

        • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

          You never have to agree with me. I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

          • KenoshaMarge

            Thank you. I try to argue, or disagree with people whom I respect, respectfully.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rex.duplichan Rex Duplichan

    Boy, I’m really confused now. I don’t know who to believe anymore. I guess it’s time for me to tune in to Leave It to Beaver again.

  • arturo_ui

    Right on, Larry!

  • Fred82

    Hagel is a good guy and very pro veteran.

    If not for the efforts of Hagel and Webb, I would have a harder time getting through college, especially in this crap economy.

    BTW, I agree with Larry completely here. The Republicans are losing their identity and hurling themselves towards irrelevancy.

    The Republicans need to get things together. If not, we will continue to end up with the likes of Feinstein, Pelosi, and Valerie Jarrett.

  • HARP2

    This is same guy that voted for the war after saying it was all for oil.

    This is the guy that said the surge wouldn`t work.

    I will vote with and support the pro-life movement,” Hagel said in a piece of 1996 campaign literature.

    I guess that`s out the window now, since it is politically convenient.

    Just another phony.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      the surge did not work. do you seriously believe that Iraq is not firmly under control? the surge had nothing to do with stopping the insurgency. we started paying the sunni sheiks. they stopped the bombing. we now have an iraq that is effectively under the control or iran. how does that serve our interest. hagel was right on this. do you consider iraq one of our “allies” in the middle east?

      • HARP2

        I thought the plan was to leave troops there for training purposes and to show a presence. However Obama refused to negotiate with them about troops coming under Iraqi law and therefore pulled them all out.

        That been said, we should not have gone there in the first place. Saddam could have been taken care of in other ways.

        My point with Hagel is he is being used to oversee the drastic reduction of our military and Obama can say it was a republican at the helm.

        Hagel is like all the rest. Just like wheat in the wind.

    • Fred82

      Well when it comes to the surge,

      The surge did encourage Iraqis to provide better intelligence and helped do damage to AQI while reducing violence.

      That said, political reconciliation didn’t go so well, Iraq’s government seems closer to Iran than us, and AQI is making a comeback.

  • Popsmoke

    The so-called non-exsistant Israeli/Jewish Lobby along with the so-called nonexsistant Saudi Lobby needs to pick another fight because this dog is All-American….
    By the way; Lindsey and Junior…. shut the foxtrot up….

  • Popsmoke

    The so-called non-exsistant Israeli/Jewish Lobby along with the so-called nonexsistant Saudi Lobby needs to pick another fight because this dog is All-American….
    By the way; Lindsey and Junior…. shut the foxtrot up….

  • FloridaFI

    Amazingly brilliant!

    I have really been waiting for this article from LJ on the Hagel appointment.

    I have watched for the last couple of days at the criticisms directed at Sen, Hagel from both sides of the aisle. I actually think that, finally, damn – this is refreshing, someone that sits in the middle of the aisle!

    I then got the chance to watch an interview of Sen. Hagel from 2005 on PBS, and I really feel that this is the right man, in the right spot, at the right time in our history.

    This gentleman has sand (a western expression meaning grit, gumption, integrity and backbone). A trait sorely missing from the vast bulk of our appointed representatives and senators.

    Larry – Thanks for the great article!

  • Dbb3

    Good for you, Larry, thought that in your hatred for Obama you had thrown the Wilsons and everything else you declaimed about pre-2007 under the bus. Looks like you lost one wingnut follower already.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      I have always called it as I see it. I’m not here to write to please others. I write for myself.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      I have always called it as I see it. I’m not here to write to please others. I write for myself.

  • Andy_Lewis


  • foxyladi14

    I think he will be fine.