Senator: Confirming Hagel 'Will Embolden Our Enemies, Endanger Our Allies'

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | January 31, 2013 | 2:34 PM EST

Sen. Jim Inhofe today (R-Okla.) warned of the dangers of approving Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary.

In his opening remarks at the Senate confirmation hearing, Sen. Inhofe called Hagel's record "deeply troubling and out of the mainstream" - particularly with regards to Iran.

"In 2001, he was one of just two Senators who voted against a bill extending harsh sanctions against Iran.  A year later, he urged the Bush administration to support Iran's membership in the World Trade Organization," Inhofe recalled:

"He voted against a resolution designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps - a group responsible for the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan-a terrorist organization.

"And, on multiple occasions, he has advocated for direct negotiations with Iran-a regime that continues to repress its people, doggedly pursue a nuclear weapons capability, and employ terrorist proxies, including Hamas and Hezbollah, to threaten the security of Israel and the region."

Hagel's continuation of the Obama administration's first-term policies "will embolden our enemies, endanger our allies," Inhofe said while declaring Hagel "the wrong person to lead the Pentagon at this perilous and consequential time."

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