Speaking to Chris Jansing, Schiff said Hagel would come under intense scrutiny during the nomination process, but that the scrutiny would be warranted.
“[Hagel] is a combat vet, well-regarded, I mean the man still has shrapnel in his chest,” Schiff said. “He will be very helpful in the draw-down from Afghanistan, but at the same time, there are legitimate questions.”
Hagel has been criticized for being overly critical of Israel’s settlements and for comments about the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, D.C. His position that further dialogue should be encouraged with Iran has also been unpopular in some circles.
Hagel also took some heat for calling President Bill Clinton’s nomination for ambassador to Luxembourg, James Hormel, “aggressively gay” during the 1998 confirmation hearings.
“I would really want to hear what he has to say about the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, about the comments he’s made about the pro-Israel lobby, as well as the very concerning comments he made about Mr. Hormel,” Schiff said. “He has serious questions to answer, and it looks like a challenging couple months ahead of us."
-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News