Skip to comments.Hagel blasts civilian bosses in Pentagon
Posted on 12/20/2004 11:19:06 PM PST by Pikamax
Deteriorating conditions in Iraq are a consequence of "the arrogance and incompetency of the civilian leadership at the Pentagon," Sen. Chuck Hagel said Monday.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel shakes hands with Alexandra Engler after speaking to an eighth-grade American history class at St. Joseph's School. (James Colburn)
Increasing violence and instability spring from "the accumulation of a series of bad judgments," the Nebraska Republican said.
Pointing to decisions to disband the Iraqi army, dismantle the Baathist government bureaucracy and attempt to secure the country with an inadequate number of U.S. troops, Hagel suggested "the buck does stop somewhere."
Hagel's sharp words came in response to news media questioning after an appearance before about 60 eighth-grade students at St. Joseph School.
"It's always the uniformed military that has to bear the brunt of bad decisions," Hagel said. "They do the dying and the suffering," he said, and their families sacrifice, too.
Never will he utter "a criticism of the warrior," Hagel said, but the military's civilian leaders must be held accountable.
"I went through one of these wars," he said. As a member of the Senate, he said, "I am not going to stand back and allow it to happen again."
Hagel was twice wounded as an Army sergeant in Vietnam.
"These men and women deserve leadership that is worthy of them," Hagel said. When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "flippantly dismisses" a young soldier's question about lack of protective armor on military vehicles in Iraq, Hagel said, "that is not worthy."
When it was discovered Rumsfeld's signature on letters of condolence to slain soldiers' families was signed by an auto-pen rather than by the secretary himself, Hagel said, "that tells me an awful lot."
Rumsfeld has said the auto-pen was used to assure the promptest possible communication with survivors, but he promised he would sign future letters personally.
The secretary's response to the soldier's question in Iraq included the statement: "You go to war with the army you have."
Rumsfeld won a vote of confidence Monday from President Bush, who said the secretary has done "a really fine job."
As Hagel critiqued Iraqi policy decisions, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi warned of the growing danger of sectarian civil war in the wake of Sunni insurgent attacks in Shiite holy cities on Sunday.
Civil war and the possible establishment of a post-Saddam Iranian-style theocracy are among the future consequences that may be faced, Hagel said. The senator warned about such possibilities when he argued against a precipitate U.S. military attack on Iraq without broad international support and careful planning for the aftermath.
Responding to questions from students, Hagel said he believes the United States needs to seek more international cooperation rather than simply exercise its military might.
"I would put a whole new focus on diplomacy, building coalitions of common interest," he said. "We have strayed from that very wise course."
Hagel told the students increasing deployment of a downsized military, with heavy reliance on National Guard and Reserve troops, eventually may force future consideration of a military draft.
"A moral societal concern" is also at issue, he said: "Is it fair to ask a very few people to carry all the burden, do all the dying?"
Hopefully, he said, the nation can avoid reinstituting compulsory military service.
Hey Hegal .. Tell me .. Who appropriates what the Pentagon can and can't do with the money??
Hey Hegal .. just who was it that helped cut the military 28% during the Clinton administration??
Could it have been ... oh .. maybe CONGRESS??
I'll admit there are things Rummy could have handled better .. But stop complaining about Rummy passing the buck ... when Congress is just as much to blame, you jerk
Oh and Hegal .. it's isn't the President who reinstates the draft .. Congress has to give approval
Looks like Hagel is running in 2008. I'm almost dreading the 2008 primaries. Rudy, McCain, Hagel, etc. are all running.
December 20, 2004
Rumsfeld Failed to Lick Stamps on GI Death Letters
by Scott Ott
(2004-12-20) -- Forensic DNA testing has revealed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did not personally lick postage stamps on letters to families of troops killed in Iraq.
"We're still looking for a positive DNA match on the stamp saliva," said an aide to Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NE. "We've asked to swab the cheeks of dozens of Pentagon office staffers."
This new evidence of Mr. Rumsfeld's psychological detachment from the war in Iraq follows his admission that letters he wrote to families of soldiers and Marines included a facsimile of his signature, rather than a unique one done with his own hand each time.
Mr. Hagel could not be reached for comment, the aide said, because "the senator is busy handwriting a news release on the topic."
Hegel has figured out from his mentor McCain the best way to get plenty of network face time. Be a backstabbing RINO, and undercut the war effort and destroy morale.
Hagle and McAinal are a matched pair of Rinos.
The politicians and the MSM lost the war in Nam, while our Military never lost a battle in Nam.
If that is the slate of candidates I will set that election out but, it is way too soon to be thinking who will run. Hell Both McCain and Rudy may too sick or not live long enough to run.
For the democrat nomination I presume.
Nebraska can do better. They need to dump this blowhard and elect a conservative who cares more about the country than his press clippings.
So in Hagel's world we should've kept the Bathist, and sent massive #'s of troops over? I guess we would have needed them, since we would be supressing the 80% of the population that is Shia or Kurd. Hagel didn't want to topple Saddam to bring in a stable non-threating govt. He wanted his job!
The primaries are going to be awful, just awful.
Leaving the Saddam army in place would have been tantamount to leaving the Nazi Wehrmacht intact after Germany deafeat in WWII (+ the NSDAP into the bargain). If Hagel had lived then it would probably have happened. Do these guys have an atom of common sense in their barains (if any).?
Hagel, the military genius, is always ready with his hair brained statements and the press is always willing to furnish the paper and ink. Quite a combination, sleazy and sleazier professionals.
Personally, my fondest wish is that Iraqis take ownership of their newly elected government next February. With every household sporting an AK47 the populace could drive the insurgents out of the country. These media whores would end up looking pretty stupid (again). That's my grownup Christmas wish.
Are you talking about the Democrap Primary or the Republicrats Primary?
What can we do as FReepers to stop Hegel now? Let's get this oaf off of the campaign trail.
How about a www.stopchuckhegel.org website? Anyone know how to set it up and maintain it?
Sounds to me like a trip to the woodshed is in order. And not just for Hagel. All these RINO's that are trying to position for 08 could use a good verbal bitch-slap.
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