Chuck Hagel
American politician
Chuck Hagel
Charles Timothy "Chuck" Hagel is a former United States Senator from Nebraska. A member of the Republican Party, Hagel was first elected to the Senate in 1996. He was reelected in 2002 and then retired in 2008. He is currently a professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has also served as chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board since 2009.
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'We Should Have Pushed Harder': Obama's Gitmo Czars Reflect On His Failure To Close The Prison
Huffington Post - about 1 month
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Huffington Post article
Republicans Used To Care About Cabinet Disclosures. Then Trump Won.
Huffington Post - about 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Senate Republicans used to care about Cabinet nominees making full disclosures ― at least they cared when President Barack Obama was the one doing the nominating. So concerned with the potential for foreign conflicts of interest that, in 2013, Republicans demanded unprecedented disclosures from a member of their own party: former Sen. Chuck Hagel, Obama’s nominee for secretary of Defense. “This Committee, and the American people, have a right t ...
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Huffington Post article
What Will Be The Future of The Democratic Party?
Huffington Post - 3 months
Photo by Rhododendrites, Wikimedia The 2016 election may be the most confounding political event in living memory. And the need to understand it is urgent. That a candidate so obviously lacking in virtue, principal, and understanding of the world beyond his own narrow ambitions, should break out from the large field of Republican contenders and win the nomination speaks volumes about the failure of the Republican establishment to offer a credible vision for America's future. That so many Americans would choose an outcome that is so obviously to their detriment calls for an explanation. And on the other hand, that the tone deaf Democratic Party establishment considered Hillary Clinton entitled to their loyalty may at first be understandable. But ignoring the unparalleled enthusiasm engendered by Bernie Sanders, then putting every possible obstacle in his way, and actually plotting to sabotage his campaign, revealed a very undemocratic mentality at the core of the party establishme ...
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Huffington Post article
Fundraising Histories And Lots Of Experience In Speculative Clinton Cabinet
Huffington Post - 4 months
Gary Gensler is former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and earlier in his career logged time at Goldman Sachs. His name is now in circulation to be Treasury Secretary if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson) By: JACK NOLAND Washington thrives on speculation and now, after months of guessing at things like primary contenders and vice presidential picks, it's time to draft potential cabinets. With no shortage of well-educated guesses on who might lead the various executive departments, certain names crop up more often than others, often officials and bureaucrats with substantial political and policy experience. The key for would-be President Clinton, of course, is winning the election, which at this writing, seems more likely than not. So, here's a look at the fundraising and influence backgrounds of some of the elected officials, nonprofit leaders and businesspeople who have appeared on the lists. These selections, of course, ar ...
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Huffington Post article
America's Election HQ - How We Fight
Fox News - 4 months
Nearly a generation into the War on Terror what is America's place in the world?  What is the purpose of our military? Do we need more ships, more guns, more planes... or more humility?  Are we the indispensable nation that saves the world from rising threats? Or are we just one nation among many? We have the largest fighting force on Earth, but many experts believe our preparedness is lower than it's been since the War on Terror began 15 years ago.  How We Fight examines the military's rules of engagement-do they work on today's battlefields, fought without clear borders, and against an enemy that doesn't wear a uniform?  Some fear the military is too concerned with policies designed to ensure social justice within the ranks, while missing the bigger picture-the military's purpose is to fight, and kill, if necessary, and anything that gets in the way of that undermines our strength. In How We Fight Bret Baier speaks with a remarkable cast of characters, including military ex ...
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Fox News article
Why Fellow Americans Must Reject Torture Now
Huffington Post - 6 months
In our current socio-political climate, we're dealing with difficult times. Despite the United States' longstanding bipartisan opposition to torture and strengthening of the U.S. torture ban, recent rhetoric and public opinion have demonstrated a disturbing rise in the tolerance and even support of the use of torture. Polls have shown an alarming fact: over half of Americans feel torture is justified in cases of suspected terrorism (Pew Research Center). Television shows and movies glorify the practice of torture as if it were an effective practice for gathering information. This is unacceptable. The purpose of torture is often less about interrogation or saving lives than it is about intimidation, control, breaking an individual's will, instilling fear and silencing dissent. CVT is launching its Call to Reject Torture campaign, including a declaration with signatures from more than 100 military members, public officials and faith leaders, including Former Secretary of State Madelei ...
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Huffington Post article
After Iowa: A Ticket To Ride
Huffington Post - about 1 year
So, on the other hand ... Hillary Clinton won. But there was a big surprise in Iowa after all. Ultra-right Texas Senator Ted Cruz -- that's ultra-right as in falangist -- trailing in the polls and supposedly in danger of finishing third behind Marco Rubio, surged instead to an impressive four-point win over Donald Trump. Which means the next move for Trump is not consolidating the party and beginning to morph into a more general election-friendly "reality" TV-style figure but actually winning next week's New Hampshire primary. Trump has a big lead in the Granite State, but he had a lead, albeit smaller, in the Iowa caucuses, where he ran a primary-style campaign, over former Iowa poll leader Cruz. It looks like a quarter of Trump's supporters didn't show up at the appointed time and frequently unfamiliar place to caucus. Showing up in an all day-long primary at a familiar nearby polling place is easier to do. And his backers may have figured he would win anyway. All because of his do ...
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Huffington Post article
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: 'More War' Will Not Fix Syrian Conflict
NPR - about 1 year
NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel about U.S. policy in Syria. Since leaving office, Hagel has been critical of the Obama administration, which he says lost credibility by not acting when the Syrian regime crossed a "red line" and used chemical weapons on civilians.
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NPR article
An Honor Too Far, or Far Too Many Honors?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Should more of our heroes who have displayed "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty" be awarded our nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor? This is a question that has been frequently raised, especially during the more intense periods of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. During a period when our troops were slugging it out and dying by the thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration saw fit to award "a measly five" Medals of Honor to our heroes, all of them posthumously. In contrast, there were 245 Medal of Honor recipients during the Vietnam War, and 27 Medals of Honor were awarded for the single World War II battle of Iwo Jima. The Military Times at the time put those numbers into perspective: Although numbers don't tell the whole story, America's 20th-century wars produced highly consistent rates of Medal of Honor heroism...From World War I through Vietnam, the rate of Medal of ...
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Huffington Post article
Pentagon Thwarts Obama's Effort To Close Guantanamo
Huffington Post - about 1 year
WASHINGTON, Dec 28 (Reuters) - In September, U.S. State Department officials invited a foreign delegation to the Guantanamo Bay detention center to persuade the group to take detainee Tariq Ba Odah to their country. If they succeeded, the transfer would mark a small step toward realizing President Barack Obama's goal of closing the prison before he leaves office. The foreign officials told the administration they would first need to review Ba Odah's medical records, according to U.S. officials with knowledge of the episode. The Yemeni has been on a hunger strike for seven years, dropping to 74 pounds from 148, and the foreign officials wanted to make sure they could care for him. For the next six weeks, Pentagon officials declined to release the records, citing patient privacy concerns, according to the U.S. officials. The delegation, from a country administration officials declined to identify, canceled its visit. After the administration promised to deliver the records, the d ...
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Huffington Post article
Pentagon Mutiny on Syria Dismissed by 'Liberal' Media
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The American mainstream press has both neglected and disparaged Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh recently for reporting on how, for more than two years, senior U.S. military leaders subverted President Obama's strategy to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, with some attacking Hersh for having the temerity to rely on unnamed sources. The so-called liberal media has exhibited a tendency to defend the Obama administration mantra that Assad "must go," and Hersh's account runs counter to this well-established gospel. Vox, a purported liberal news site, assaulted Hersh for basing his report on an anonymous senior advisor to the Joint Chiefs, claiming that the journalist made "bizarre" claims in the past, "giving us little reason to trust him." Further, not a single major news agency picked up Hersh's allegations, the nature of which typically would be handled as a front-page bombshell. Let's be clear -- Hersh is not some amateur blogger-conspiracist to be marginaliz ...
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Huffington Post article
Obama’s Slapdash Approach to Protecting Syrian Rebels
Yahoo News - about 1 year
Outgoing United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel welcomes Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta (not pictured) to the Pentagon during an honor cordon in Washington February 11. Hagel recently gave his first extended interview since resigning, in which he claims that staffers would call generals "asking fifth-level questions that the White House should not be involved in."Gary Cameron/Reuters
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Yahoo News article
Chuck Hagel Says About-Face on Syria Hurt Obama’s Credibility
NYTimes - about 1 year
The former defense secretary wrote that the president’s decision in 2013 to ignore his own “red line” on Syria’s use of chemical weapons hurt Mr. Obama around the world.
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NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Chuck Hagel
  • 2015
    Age 68
    Hagel was also the Featured Speaker at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Chemistry Council at Colorado Springs.
    More Details Hide Details Hagel has two younger brothers: Thomas is a professor at the University of Dayton School of Law, and Michael, an artist resident in Omaha, Nebraska. Hagel's third brother, James, died in an automobile accident at the age of 16.
    In December 2015, during an interview with Foreign Policy, Hagel stated he was "backstabbed" and accused administration officials of making anonymous comments after his resignation in an effort to destroy his reputation.
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  • 2014
    Age 67
    On November 24, 2014, it was announced that Hagel would resign from the position of Secretary of Defense following conflicts within the administration, particularly relating to issues concerning ISIL.
    More Details Hide Details Hagel was born in North Platte, Nebraska, a son of Charles Dean Hagel, and his wife Elizabeth (Betty) Dunn. His father was of German heritage, while his mother was of Irish and Polish ancestry. Growing up, Hagel lived across Nebraska; in Ainsworth, Rushville, Scottsbluff, Terrytown, York and Columbus, Nebraska. Hagel was the oldest of four brothers.
    On November 24, 2014, The New York Times reported that Hagel would be resigning from his position as Secretary of Defense under pressure from the Obama administration.
    More Details Hide Details Later that day, President Obama announced Hagel's resignation and thanked him for his service. Hagel said in a statement, "You should know I did not make this decision lightly. But after much discussion, the President and I agreed that now was the right time for new leadership here at the Pentagon." Hagel did not deny rumors that Obama asked for his resignation, but he explicitly contends that it was a "mutual decision" between him and President Obama. Senator John McCain offered his own insight: Hagel was frustrated with the White House decision-making process, national security policy, and "excessive micromanagement" within the White House.
    In May 2014, speaking at the Wilson Center on the future of the NATO, Hagel focused on the alliance's imbalance in defense spending and called for "renewed financial commitments from all NATO members".
    More Details Hide Details According to Hagel, the alliance "should expect Russia to test our alliance's purpose, stamina and commitment".
    After Yanukovych's impeachment and the beginning of the Crimean crisis in February 2014, Hagel warned Russia against military maneuvers "that could be misinterpreted, or lead to miscalculation during a very delicate time".
    More Details Hide Details In several phone calls with the Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu Hagel expressed deep concerns about Russian military activities near the Ukrainian border and called for an end of any "destabilizing influence inside Ukraine". He was assured by Shoygu that the Russian army would not invade Ukraine.
  • 2013
    Age 66
    Speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum in November 2013, Hagel announced the Pentagon's new Arctic strategy emphasizing the commitment of the United States "to detect, deter, prevent and defeat threats to the United States, and continue to exercise US sovereignty in and around Alaska". He also called for more international cooperation to protect the Arctic's environment and to keep the region "peaceful, stable and free of conflict". In December 2013, after the suspension of an Association Agreement with the EU by the Ukrainian Government of President Victor Yanukovych in November 2013 had led to massive protests, Hagel in a phone call warned the Ukrainian Minister of Defense Pavlo Lebedyev "not to use the armed forces of Ukraine against the civilian population in any fashion".
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    On August 27, 2013, Hagel told the BBC that the United States was ready to launch a strike against Syria if given the orders.
    More Details Hide Details Hagel has pushed National Guard leadership to provide benefits for same-sex domestic partnerships, as directed by the Department of Defense.
    On July 31, 2013, Hagel announced the results of his Strategic Choices and Management Review, undertaken in response to the budget sequestration in 2013.
    More Details Hide Details One of the options he highlighted was to reduce the navy's Aircraft carrier groups down from 11 to as little as eight.
    In May 2013, during a visit to Asian countries whose "main doubt" was American staying power in the region, Hagel called the decline of American military power a "good thing", because it forced American allies to share responsibilities.
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    Hagel was sworn in on February 27, 2013, taking over from Leon Panetta.
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    The Senate voted 71-27 for cloture on Hagel's nomination on February 26, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Later that day the Senate voted to make Hagel the Secretary of Defense by a vote of 58-41. The hearings were criticized in the media. In Time magazine Brandon Friedman presented a chart showing that Israel was mentioned 106 times while Afghanistan was mentioned only 24 times; nuclear-armed Pakistan was barely mentioned. Friedman asked if the Senate committee was more concerned with Hagel's "relationship with Israel than with the future of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the fate of U.S. troops engaged in both locations." A Michael McGough Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times was entitled "Hagel hearings: Is Israel more important than Afghanistan?" Gene Healy in Reason called the hearings "farcical" and wrote there was "plenty of bloviating, grandstanding and browbeating—but, apparently, not enough time for serious deliberation over key policy questions facing any new Pentagon chief." Mark Mardell, the BBC News North America editor, criticized the "whole process, which has been used not to examine a candidate's fitness for high office, but to underline the rather obvious fact that the Obama administration does not share the world view of Republican senators, and they don't like their former colleague joining it." Mardell noted the senators repeatedly "insisted he gave a simple 'yes' or 'no' to complex questions. These are old men who hold themselves in high regard, but seem to see serious examination of difficult problems as a personal affront. They desperately want to play 'gotcha', but haven't the self-restraint to design effective questions."
    Despite the committee's February 12, 2013, 14-to-11 vote to approve Hagel, committee member James Inhofe vowed to use procedural tactics to delay a full Senate confirmation vote.
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    Shortly thereafter, on February 13, 2013, the Senate's first openly LGBT member, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) stated that after meeting with Hagel, she would support his nomination.
    More Details Hide Details Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina predicted that Hagel would be "the most antagonistic Secretary of Defense toward the State of Israel in our nation's history" and called it an "in-your-face nomination." The New York Times reported that the media campaign opposing Hagel's appointment was financed by new groups including a conservative group, Americans for a Strong Defense and a gay rights group, Use Your Mandate. The donors of these groups were mostly anonymous and running advertisements on issues raised by critics. The Times described the campaign as "unmatched in the annals of modern presidential cabinet appointments".
    On January 24, 2013, Senator Jeanne Shaheen stated that Hagel will oppose restrictions on LGBT military family benefits.
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    Hagel, who became, upon confirmation, the first former enlisted combat soldier to hold the office of Secretary of Defense, was interviewed by the Senate Armed Services Committee during a seven-and-a-half-hour hearing on January 31, 2013.
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    President Obama nominated Hagel to succeed Leon Panetta and serve as his second term Secretary of Defense on January 7, 2013.
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    He took office on February 27, 2013, as his predecessor Leon Panetta stepped down.
    More Details Hide Details Hagel previously served as a professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, chairman of the Atlantic Council, and co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. Before his appointment as Secretary of Defense, Hagel served on a number of boards of directors, including that of Chevron Corporation.
    On January 7, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Hagel to serve as Secretary of Defense.
    More Details Hide Details On February 12, 2013, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved Hagel's nomination by a vote of 14–11. On February 14, 2013, Senate Republicans denied Democrats the 60 votes needed to end the debate on Hagel's nomination and proceed to a final vote, citing the need for further review. It was the first time in U.S. history that a nominee for Secretary of Defense was filibustered, although candidates for other cabinet offices have been filibustered before. On February 26, 2013, the Senate voted for cloture on Hagel's nomination and confirmed his nomination by a vote of 58–41.
  • 2012
    Age 65
    Reasons given included a demand for more White House information about the 2012 Benghazi attack, remaining questions about Hagel's views on Iran and Israel, and assertions two weeks after the hearings was insufficient time.
    More Details Hide Details Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Republicans were politically motivated and that the vote would proceed after the recess. Senate Republicans successfully filibustered his nomination after a cloture vote failed 58-40 with one present and one not voting. This filibuster marked the first time a cabinet nominee was successfully filibustered.
    Hagel apologized to Hormel in December 2012.
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    In 2012 he endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska.
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  • 2011
    Age 64
    In 2011, after he left office, Hagel stated that President Obama needs to start "looking for the exit in Afghanistan", and that "We need to start winding this down."
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  • 2010
    Age 63
    Hagel served as the 2010 Clifford P. Case Professor of Public Affairs at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics, speaking at public programs in New Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey.
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    In 2010, Hagel endorsed Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak in his run for the United States Senate.
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  • 2009
    Age 62
    Following Hagel's retirement from the Senate, in February 2009 he accepted a position as Distinguished Professor in National Governance at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He was chairman of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy think tank; co-chairman of President Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board; a member of the Defense Department's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee and the Energy Departments Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future; a member of The Washington Center's board of directors; and a member of the Public Broadcasting Service's board of directors.
    More Details Hide Details In the private sector, he served on the board of directors of Chevron Corporation, Deutsche Bank's Americas Advisory Board, and the advisory board of Corsair Capital, and was a director of the Zurich Holding Company of America and a senior advisor to McCarthy Capital Corporation. In October 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked Hagel to chair an advisory committee for the Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemoration. While a Senator, Hagel co-sponsored the bill creating the commemoration committee. Hagel identifies with Ronald Reagan's nuclear disarmament policies and was an initial signatory to the Global Zero campaign which advocates the international elimination of nuclear weaponry. He also served on the board of the Ploughshares Fund, which pursues the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and seeks to prevent their use.
    In a 2009 The Washington Post op-ed after being nominated as Chairman of President Obama's Intelligence advisory board, Hagel said that "We cannot view U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan through a lens that sees only 'winning' or 'losing,' Iraq and Afghanistan are not America's to win or lose."
    More Details Hide Details And that "We can help them buy time or develop, but we cannot control their fates."
  • 2008
    Age 61
    In Hagel's 2008 book, America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers (with Peter Kaminsky), he suggests that the United States should adopt independent leadership and possibly another political party.
    More Details Hide Details He also believes that the Iraq War is one of the five biggest blunders in U.S. history. Hagel is critical of George W. Bush's foreign policy, calling it "reckless." He has been a major critic of the war since it started, and has stated that the United States should learn from its mistakes in the Vietnam War. He considered Bush's foreign policy a "ping pong game with American lives."
    He also declined to run for president in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details He decided to go into academia.
    During his first campaign, Hagel indicated that, were he to be elected, he would retire in 2008 after two terms in the Senate.
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    In August 2008, Hagel indicated that he wouldn't endorse either candidate or get involved in their campaigns.
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    Explaining his reason for not endorsing John McCain in the 2008 election, Hagel told The New Yorker, "In good conscience, I could not enthusiastically—honestly—go out and endorse him, when we so fundamentally disagree on the future course of our foreign policy and our role in the world."
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    On June 20, 2008, Hagel said he would consider running with Obama if offered the VP spot, though he added that he didn't believe that Obama would pick him for the position.
    More Details Hide Details At the time he also was mentioned as a potential United States Secretary of Defense to succeed incumbent Robert Gates in the Obama administration. Hagel said that he would consider serving if asked.
    Hagel was rumored to be a possible running mate for Vice President for then Senator Barack Obama, in his 2008 presidential campaign.
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    In the 2008 Presidential election, Hagel was seen as a likely choice to hold a top cabinet position in a future John McCain or Barack Obama administration.
    More Details Hide Details In 2006, John McCain told the New York Times that he would be "honored to have Chuck with me in any capacity. He'd make a great Secretary of State."
    In 2008, along with then-Senator (and presumptive Democratic nominee for president) Barack Obama, and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Hagel visited Iraq in a congressional delegation trip, meeting with U.S. service members, General David Petraeus, and the Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki.
    More Details Hide Details While talking to reporters in Iraq, Hagel said, "Each one of us who has a responsibility of helping lead this country needs to reflect on what we think is in the interests of our country, not the interest of our party or our president." In his first term in the Senate, Hagel voted in favor of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat Reduction Act, establishing criminal penalties for possession of Chemical or Biological weapons, and he cosponsored the American Missile Protection Act, deploying an effective National Missile Defense system capable of defending the U.S. against limited ballistic missile attacks. Hagel voted to establish the United States Department of Homeland Security, and supported increasing Defense Department spending, voting in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act every year he served in the Senate. Hagel voted for spending increases in preventing HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria funding, and voting against caps on the U.S.'s Foreign aid budget.
  • 2007
    Age 60
    Harvard University Professor Stephen Walt, co-author of a 2007 book critical of the Israeli lobby wrote in Foreign Policy that "The real meaning of the Hagel affair is what it says about the climate inside Washington.
    More Details Hide Details Simply put, the question is whether supine and reflexive support for all things Israeli remains a prerequisite for important policy positions here in the Land of the Free." Commentators at The American Conservative and Pat Buchanan endorsed Hagel. Hagel's nomination received support from founder Justin Raimondo and the libertarian think tank Cato Institute; Justin Logan, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, expressed the hope that Hagel's confirmation might "loosen the neoconservative stranglehold on the GOP." During his Senate hearing opening statement Hagel said that he endorsed use of American military power, supported Israel and supported using special operations forces and unmanned combat aerial vehicles ("drones") on terrorist groups in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa. He stated "I believe, and always have, that America must engage—not retreat—in the world". During the hearing he explained his 2001 and 2002 votes against unilateral American sanctions on Iran as being for strategic reasons. He said he supported President Obama's drawing down troops in Afghanistan and said he would do "everything possible under current law" to support gay and women service members equal benefits and combat roles.
    Hagel and Senator John McCain were close friends until 2007 when they diverged regarding Iraq policy; Hagel did not endorse McCain for President in the 2008 Republican primaries or in the general election.
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    In November 2007, he rated the Bush administration "the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus—almost every area" of any presidency in the last forty years.
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    After an April 2007 visit to Iraq with U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA), Hagel stated his belief that the occupation of Iraq should not continue indefinitely and expressed his intention to cooperate with Senate Democrats in voting for a bill that would set a timeline to get out of Iraq.
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    In January 2007, Hagel openly criticized President Bush's plan to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details He called it "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out." Together with Democrats Joe Biden and Carl Levin, he proposed a non-binding resolution to the Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which rejected Bush's policy as "not in the national interest" in a 12–9 vote.
  • 2006
    Age 59
    According to a SurveyUSA poll, in August 2006 Hagel had a 10% higher approval rating among Nebraska Democrats than Republicans.
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    Following heavy Republican losses in the 2006 midterm election, Hagel penned an editorial in The Washington Post highly critical of military strategies both employed and proposed for Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details He wrote that "There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq," and called for a "phased troop withdrawal."
    In July 2006, Hagel criticized the Bush administration on its handling of the 2006 Lebanon War, saying "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now.
    More Details Hide Details President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop." He also said "Our relationship with Israel is special and historic... But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice."
    In January 2006, Hagel took issue with Karl Rove's statement that the Republican and Democratic worldviews were "pre-9/11" and "post-9/11", respectively.
    More Details Hide Details Hagel stated, "I didn't like what Mr. Rove said, because it frames terrorism and the issue of terrorism and everything that goes with it, whether it's the renewal of the Patriot Act or the NSA wiretapping, in a political context."
  • 2005
    Age 58
    In December 2005, in reference to Bush, the Republican Party, and the Patriot Act, Hagel stated "I took an oath of office to the Constitution, I didn't take an oath of office to my party or my president."
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    In November 2005, Hagel defended his criticism of the Iraq war, stating "To question your government is not unpatriotic — to not question your government is unpatriotic."
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    On August 18, 2005, Hagel compared the Iraq War to Vietnam, and openly mocked Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes."
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  • 2004
    Age 57
    In August 2004 Hagel acknowledged that he was considering a presidential campaign in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details In 2006 he cooperated with Charlyne Berens who wrote a biography entitled Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward. On September 10, 2007, Hagel announced that he would retire and not seek a third term.
  • 2002
    Age 55
    On October 11, 2002, Hagel, along with 76 other Senators, voted in favor of the Iraq Resolution.
    More Details Hide Details Hagel, a later critic of the war, commented on his vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq saying, "How many of us really know and understand much about Iraq, the country, the history, the people, the role in the Arab world? I approach the issue of post-Saddam Iraq and the future of democracy and stability in the Middle East with more caution, realism, and a bit more humility." In July 2007, Hagel was one of three Republican Senators who supported Democratic-proposed legislation requiring a troop withdrawal from Iraq to begin within 120 days. He told Robert D. Novak "This thing is really coming undone quickly, and Minister Maliki's government is weaker by the day. The police are corrupt, top to bottom. The oil problem is a huge problem. They still can't get anything through the parliament—no hydrocarbon law, no de-Baathification law, no provincial elections."
    Six years later in 2002, Hagel overwhelmingly won re-election with over 83% of the vote, the largest margin of victory in any statewide race in Nebraska history (see below or link to: United States Senate election in Nebraska, 2002).
    More Details Hide Details According to David Boaz, of the Cato Institute, during the Bush administration, Hagel maintained a "traditionally Republican" voting record, receiving "a lifetime rating of 84 percent from the American Conservative Union and consistent A and B grades from the National Taxpayers Union." On the Issues describes Hagel as a "libertarian-leaning conservative." According to Boaz, among his most notable votes, Hagel: Hagel co-sponsored the failed Kosovo Resolution, authorizing President Bill Clinton the use of U.S. military force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hagel voted in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 23, authorizing "necessary and appropriate U.S. Military force" in Afghanistan against those who planned or aided the September 11 attacks. During his tenure in the Senate, Hagel continued his support for NATO involvement, and funding in the War in Afghanistan.
    He was reelected in 2002, but did not run in 2008.
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  • 1999
    Age 52
    I'm a United States senator." Hagel later clarified these remarks saying he was referring to the Israel lobby. Hagel also has been criticized by the American Jewish Committee for an incident in 1999 where he was the only senator not to sign an open letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin threatening to cut aid to Russia if it did not take action against rising anti-Semitism in the country.
    More Details Hide Details However, Hagel's refusal to sign the letter was consistent with his policy of never signing letters to foreign heads of state. Hagel, instead, wrote to Bill Clinton on this issue, saying "Anti-Semitism or any form of religious persecution should never be tolerated."
  • 1998
    Age 51
    The group demanded that Hagel apologize for this 1998 remark.
    More Details Hide Details The Log Cabin Republicans ran full-page newspaper ads opposing Hagel's nomination.
  • 1996
    Age 49
    In 1996, Hagel ran for the open US Senate seat created by the retirement of Democrat J.
    More Details Hide Details James Exon. Hagel's opponent was Ben Nelson, then the sitting Governor of Nebraska. Hagel won and became the first Republican in twenty-four years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska.
    A member of the Republican Party, Hagel was first elected to the United States Senate in 1996.
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  • 1995
    Age 48
    On March 15, 1995, Hagel resigned from the board of AIS as he intended to run for office.
    More Details Hide Details Michael McCarthy, the parent company's founder, was Hagel's campaign treasurer. Until at least 2003, he retained between $1 million and $5 million in stock in Election Systems & Software's parent company, the McCarthy Group.
  • 1992
    Age 45
    Although he was pressured by some to run for Governor of Virginia, where he had lived for 20 years, in 1992 Hagel moved back to Nebraska to become president of the McCarthy Group, LLC, an investment banking firm.
    More Details Hide Details He also served as a Chairman and was CEO of American Information Systems Inc. (AIS), later known as Election Systems & Software, a computerized voting machine manufacturer jointly owned by McCarthy Group, LLC and the Omaha World-Herald company.
  • 1990
    Age 43
    After leaving government employment, Hagel co-founded Vanguard Cellular, a mobile phone service carrier that made him a multi-millionaire. While working with Vanguard, he served as president and chief executive officer of the United Service Organizations and the Private Sector Council, as deputy director and chief operating officer of the 1990 G7 Summit, and on the board of directors or advisory committee of the American Red Cross, the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute, Bread for the World, and the Ripon Society.
    More Details Hide Details He also served as Chairman of the Agent Orange Settlement Fund and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • 1985
    Age 38
    He married his second wife, Lilibet Ziller, in April 1985.
    More Details Hide Details The couple live with their daughter, Allyn, and son, Ziller, in McLean, Virginia. While a Senator, Hagel had a tradition of wearing costumes to work on Halloween, usually masquerading as one of his colleagues or other notable political figures, including Joe Biden, John McCain, Colin Powell, and Pat Roberts in past years. He gave back a portion of his salary for the 2013 fiscal year in solidarity with his department's workers who are facing 14 days of furloughs. Documentaries, topic pages and databases Selected speeches Selected news articles
  • 1982
    Age 35
    After Reagan's inauguration as President, Hagel was named deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration. In 1982, however, he resigned his post over a disagreement with VA Administrator Robert P. Nimmo, who was intent on cutting funding for VA programs.
    More Details Hide Details Nimmo had referred to veterans groups as "greedy", and to Agent Orange as not much worse than a "little teenage acne."
  • 1980
    Age 33
    For the next four years, he worked as a lobbyist for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and in 1980, he served as an organizer for the successful presidential campaign of former California Governor Ronald Reagan.
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  • 1979
    Age 32
    In 1979, Hagel married Patricia Lloyd. The couple separated in 1981 and divorced a year later.
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  • 1971
    Age 24
    In 1971, Hagel was hired as a staffer for Congressman John Y. McCollister (R-NE), serving until 1977.
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  • 1969
    Age 22
    After his discharge, he worked as a radio newscaster and talk show host in Omaha from 1969 to 1971 while finishing college on Veterans Administration (VA) assistance under the GI Bill.
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  • 1967
    Age 20
    Hagel volunteered to be drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War, rejecting a draft board recommendation that he go to college instead. He served in the United States Army infantry in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968.
    More Details Hide Details As a Sergeant (E-5), he served as an infantry squad leader in the 9th Infantry Division. Hagel served in the same infantry squad as his younger brother Tom, and they are thought to be the only American brothers to have done so during the Vietnam War. They also saved each other's lives on separate occasions. Hagel received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
  • 1964
    Age 17
    He graduated from St. Bonaventure High School (now Scotus Central Catholic High School) in Columbus, Nebraska, in 1964, the Brown Institute for Radio and Television in 1966, and he earned a BA degree in history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1971.
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  • 1962
    Age 15
    His father, a veteran of World War II, died suddenly on Christmas morning, 1962, at the age of 39, when Hagel was 16.
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  • 1946
    Born on October 4, 1946.
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