(Washington)- The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) notes its deep appreciation for the decision of the Senate to continue debate on the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel. The Senate voted 58-40 to continue debate. EMET firmly believes that more time is necessary to review the rather problematic record of Sen. Hagel. More information continues to come out, even as recently as February 14th, regarding troubling speeches Sen. Hagel
has given. In 2008, Hagel reportedly spoke before the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), but no transcript of the speech was provided to the Armed Services Committee, despite the Committee’s request for documents. This failure to comply with a standard request continues to raise concerns from Ranking Member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) among others. In 2007, Senator Hagel spoke at Rutgers University where he reportedly
described the US State Department as “adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office.” If an accurate reflection of Hagel’s remarks, this revelation would be extremely worrisome and raise questions regarding Hagel’s temperament and ability to serve as a suitable representative of the American government in relations with close military allies such as Israel. Senator Hagel has also been unwilling to release financial information regarding his involvement as a board member of the Ploughshares Fund, which has provided millions of dollars to organizations with ties to foreign governments.
“We are delighted that the Senate voted to continue the debate on Chuck Hagel,” said Sarah Stern, President and Founder of EMET. “Obviously Senator Hagel’s failure to disclose relevant information about accepting funds from questionable sources and speeches he has given in front of questionable groups, has led the Senate to make a well informed decision.”
EMET believes that given the contentiousness of the nomination, and these most recent revelations, the Hagel nomination requires more time to consider. EMET urges Senators to continue to keep debate open until the Committee members are satisfied by the nominee’s disclosures to the Committee. EMET is extremely encouraged by this outcome. The next cloture vote is scheduled for Feb. 26th. EMET will continue to work with Senators to educate them on Sen. Hagel’s positions and statements in preparation for the Feb. 26th Cloture vote.
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