Friday, February 15, 2013

It Gets Worse

Sounds like John McCain is suddenly satisfied with the response he's gotten to his questions on Benghazi and is ready to move ahead on getting a vote for Chuck Hagel. Maybe it's because even he, a man who still denies being embarrassed over selecting as his running mate a person who'd need to gain a hundred pounds of gravitas to be considered a lightweight, is getting twitchy at the depths to which his party and its spokespeople have descended regarding the Hagel nomination.

On February 7, Breitbart News's Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro published an explosive-looking story under the headline "Secret Hagel Donor? White House Ducks Question on 'Friends of Hamas.'" Quoting "Senate sources," Shapiro claimed that crucial documents on Hagel's "foreign funding" might be kept from the Senate Armed Services Committe because "one of the names listed is a group purportedly called "Friends of Hamas."...


Here's the problem: There's no proof that "Friends of Hamas" actually exists. At best, it's an organization so secret that nobody in government has thought to mention its existence. At worst, it's as fake as Manti Te'o's girlfriend. The Treasury Department, which designates sponsors of terror, has done so to many charities tied to Hamas. "Friends of Hamas" is not among them. The State Department doesn't designate it, either. And a bit less holistically, a Lexis search for the group reveals absolutely nothing...


But the "Friends" accusation goes further than that. It supposes that a pro-terror group exists, and further supposes that the non-existent group would back Hagel somehow. This morning I wrote Shapiro to clear up the accusation. "Have you found any more proof that this group exists?" I asked. "Is it just shorthand for some people who might support Hagel, or a real group?"
"The original story is the entirety of the information I have," he said.
I'm getting tired of saying it, and really depressed: these are truly awful people. I can only wonder what's really behind their smearing of Chuck Hagel; to whom are these people beholden, at whom their  despicable act is aimed? He'll be fine as a Defense Secretary. Seems about time to have one who knows the horror of war from the point of view of the grunts who fight them. Or maybe he'll just be like all the rest; but in stooping to suggesting he's some sort of a traitor, and to do it by innuendo made of whole cloth (not to mention, for the first time in history, filibustering a cabinet nominee,) Congressional Rs and their media cheerleaders show there's simply no bottom to their mendacious cynicism.

And yet, teabaggers and those who defend them show they're of that same cloth: no moral barriers or uncrossable lines whatsoever. As long as it's in service of their pre-failed and wholly selfish agenda, it's okay by them. Slime away!

(Useful insight update: it's because Chuck Hagel wasn't nice to George Bush, says John McPOW: "He was anti-his own party and people — people don’t forget that." Well, okay then. The grownups are surely in charge.)

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