‘Time’ embarrasses Hagel’s Senate questioners for Israel focus

on 28 Comments
Time magazine index of Israel mentions Hagel hearing
Time magazine index of Israel mentions Hagel hearing

Time Magazine online asks the obvious question about Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week, why did the Senators refer constantly to Israel, 106 times, and barely mention Afghanistan (and the issue of military suicides, twice). In “Just Who Do They Represent: At Hagel Hearing, Concern for Israel Tops U.S. Troops in Combat,” author Brandon Friedman, a veteran, doesn’t take the next step and address the Israel lobby, but we get it.

[Utah Senator Mike] Lee—by himself—made reference to Israel and its security a total of 16 times.

Why is this important? It’s important because Lee never mentioned Afghanistan and the 66,000 U.S. troops at war there.

And Lee was not alone.

Freshman Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas also grilled Hagel about Israel. He mentioned the Jewish state 10 times—without ever once referring to Afghanistan or the U.S. troops in combat there.

When it was their turn to question Hagel, GOP senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Roger Wicker of Mississippi each referred to Israel in a half dozen instances.  Neither mentioned Afghanistan.

In nearly eight hours of interrogation and testimony, Israel and its interests were referred to by the Senate Armed Services Committee a total of 106 times. On the other hand, there were a mere 24 references made to Afghanistan and the Americans fighting there—most by Democratic Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the committee.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan—where the U.S. frequently targets militants with drone-launched Hellfire missiles—barely merited mention at all.

It’s difficult to interpret this message any other way: the Senate Armed Services Committee—particularly its Republican membership—is more concerned with the apparent American defense secretary’s relationship with Israel than with the future of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the fate of U.S. troops engaged in both locations.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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28 Responses

  1. Hostage
    February 5, 2013, 7:54 am

    It’s good to see someone is reminding the voting public that these idiots do not represent the members of the military from their own states that they’ve sent off to fight their ill-advised wars against the rest of humanity.

    Why aren’t they asking about the administration’s memo that says any government official, not just the President, may kill any US citizen on the basis of mere suspicion and that they don’t even need evidence that the suspect is planning an attack against anyone? The notion that the 16-year old kid they murdered in Yemen was playing a significant role in al-Qaida operations is simply ludicrous and doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.


    • Kathleen
      February 5, 2013, 8:51 am

      emptywheel (Marcy Wheeler) has quite a bit up about the ability to kill American citizens on the basis of mere suspicion. She has been focused on this issue for years now.

    • marc b.
      February 5, 2013, 11:30 am

      The report said the 16-page document offers a detailed explanation of when it’s appropriate to use deadly force against Americans, even if there is no definitive evidence they are involved in planning a specific attack against the U.S.

      this is what is called evidence of ‘pre-terrorism’. the french are already prosecuting french citizens, on french soil, for the crime of ‘pre-terrorist’ inclinations, i.e. any fundamental opposition to the state.


  2. pabelmont
    February 5, 2013, 8:23 am

    Oh, did time wake up from a deep sleep? well, it is a far, far better thing that institutions of the establishment start talking sensibly despite previous long silences than that they feel (as NYT seems to feel) the need to remain silent forever.

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil about Israel? NYT, sure, but Time breaks what I presume is its silence on Israel.

  3. marc b.
    February 5, 2013, 8:43 am

    don’t think that this israel myopia will get past the attention of service members and veterans as the likes of that coprophiliac vitter are grilling a vietnam veteran over his less than fulsome allegiance to the state of israel.

  4. Kathleen
    February 5, 2013, 8:49 am

    Good for Time on line. The hearing was horrific. Not a hearing at all a vicious effort to barbecue Hagel.

  5. seafoid
    February 5, 2013, 9:10 am

    Who funds these senators? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that in many cases it’s the same racketeering companies who make money selling the weaponry that keeps the war on terror going.

  6. Chu
    February 5, 2013, 9:51 am

    The more times you say Israel the more the funds will compile when reelection comes round.

    Gillibrand hit a home-run that day and will ensure her status as a New York senator for years with this show of exuberance. She had to say Israel enough times to make up for the fact that Shumer was not on the committee.

    • Citizen
      February 6, 2013, 4:20 am

      @ Chu

      And, also for the chair Levin’s relatively few mentions of Israel during the hearing?
      Plenty of GOP Gentile Shills available, we saw. Christian Southerners love the word Israel. Must be something Confederate about it.

  7. eGuard
    February 5, 2013, 11:01 am

    Time’s earlier post on the Hagel grilling, by Winslow Wheeler (Feb. 1), did not note this at all.

    This is how much Wheeler saw and did not report: How ironic that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) should use intimidation to corner the cowering Hagel into professing he could think of no senator that was intimidated by the Israel lobby.

    Having seen that sort of intimidation for decades as a Senate staffer (both from senators and lobbyists), it was a sad moment indeed in the annals of the Senate to see a witness not stand up to the tawdry tactics; a historic moment for pride as a citizen it was surely not. [emphasis added]

    Nor pride as a reporter, we can add.

  8. sydnestel
    February 5, 2013, 1:06 pm

    Unless I am mistaken, the two Jews on the committee have a lot more green than blue showing on the graph.

    Just sayin

    • Annie Robbins
      February 5, 2013, 7:41 pm

      yyyeah..didn’t you get the memo? aipac is supposedly off the radar on hagel, it’s been sourced out. max kinda puts the hasbara to shame w/his latest josh block/israel project video.

  9. seafoid
    February 5, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Levin is a massive disappointment. If he is so bent wrt Israel why would you trust him on anything else?

  10. DICKERSON3870
    February 5, 2013, 3:17 pm

    RE: “[T]he Senate Armed Services Committee—particularly its
    Republican membership—is more concerned with the apparent American defense secretary’s relationship with Israel than with the future of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the fate of U.S. troops engaged in both locations.”
    ~ Brandon Friedman


    . . . He [Mark Twain] quotes his childhood friend as saying, “You tell me where a man gets his corn pone (bread), and I’ll tell you what his opinions are.” Meaning that one’s opinions can be told based on where that person got their bread. . .

    SOURCE – http://english414fall2011.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/corn-pone-opinions/

  11. Les
    February 5, 2013, 3:18 pm

    It is remarkable that this appeared in Time. It also is a reminder that the Israel Lobby’s grip is on both Republicans and Democrats.

  12. Dan Crowther
    February 5, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Alright, but let’s not go all Nationalist, ya know?

    • Citizen
      February 6, 2013, 4:30 am

      @ Dan Crowther

      Yeah, do as the big bankers do and ignore all borders to scam all for the 1% within each nation-state.

      • Dan Crowther
        February 6, 2013, 1:23 pm

        Yeah, cuz I’m so sympathetic to bankers and such. I’m just saying, the whole “who is a more loyal nationalist” isn’t the framing I’d like… but that’s just me….

  13. seafoid
    February 5, 2013, 5:09 pm

    Nobody asked any question about this


    Israel is more important than mangled American soldiers.

  14. traintosiberia
    February 6, 2013, 8:11 am

    Times used to routinely publish even handed opinion pieces and the news happening at the scene of the I-P conflicts back in . It featured Admiral Thomas Moorer,Chairman of the Joint Chief of the Staff addressing the same concerns that the recent anti-American activities at the Hagel’s testimony again have exposed . He openly said that no American President had the courage to stand up to Israel in that column.That was 1974!

    • Citizen
      February 7, 2013, 4:48 pm

      @ traintosiberia

      Same Moorer who showed aware Americans with no bias that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was intentional?

  15. chris o
    February 6, 2013, 8:00 pm

    It takes a Friedman to say this! And a freed man!

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