Chuck Hagel's big problem: being a realist about American power and Iran | Stephen Kinzer
What do Nebraska and Iran have in common? Not much - but enough to cause big trouble for former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, whose possible nomination to be secretary of defense is being challenged by the powerful bomb-Iran-yesterday lobby.
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#1 Jan 1, 2013
President Obama would like to appoint his friend Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.
But the President has many friends who like Barney Frank strongly object to Hagel's appointment.
I hope the President will not risk the political cost of loosing the confirmation battle on this terrible choice.
For gay people the issue goes beyond the nasty and bigoted remarks he has made. Hagel's entire record is a nasty and bigoted one. That is why he got a 100% rating from the NRA and an 11% rating from the NAACP.
Hagel's bigotry is not reformed enough as President Obama believes. As Barney Frank and Ambassador Hormel have pointed out, he never said one positive word before this job was at stake.
Even now, he has not said one word to advocate for the equality of gay military families.
There are many ways a Secretary of Defense could help gay military families no matter how DOMA is decided and Hagel has not come out in favor of any of these.
Reports to the contrary, LGBT equality is not yet a done deal in the military. There is still the matter of partner benefits. There still remain a handful of regulations that could be revised independent of the Defense of Marriage act that could bring some equity of compensation and benefits to gay and lesbian servicemembers. but remain denied due only to Department of Defense foot-dragging:
Included in the discretionary benefits currently denied are spousal identication cards, and on base PX shopping cited in the Pentagon's own Working Group study as not requiring DOMA repeal to deliver.
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