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January 31, 2013

Chuck Hagel Told a Really Funny Lie Today About Tables

It's the law, everybody in the U.S. government has to tell this funny lie:

SEN. CLAIRE MACASKILL: Do you believe that all options should be on the table when we confront Iran?

HAGEL: Absolutely.

Now, of course Hagel does not "absolutely" believe this. For instance, one obvious option for dealing with any Iranian ambitions to build nuclear weapons would be for the U.S. to push for a zone free of all nuclear weapons throughout the mideast. Short of the extermination of every Iranian, that's certainly the only possible stable resolution of this issue. But it will never happen because it would require that the U.S. pressure Israel to give up its nuclear weapons. (While everyone has forgotten this, Iraq wasn't just required to give up its WMD by itself. According to the relevant 1991 UN resolution, that was supposed to "represent steps towards the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction." Saddam used to plaintively mention this in speeches.) Likewise, Hagel also doesn't believe that the U.S. should consider giving up its thousands of nuclear weapons if that turned out to be the most likely path to a positive resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

The reason this is important is that it shows what the true priorities of the U.S. are. If the U.S. had to rank various possibilities in order of desirability, they'd go like this:

FIRST CHOICE: Render Iran incapable of building nukes without war.

SECOND CHOICE: Render Iran incapable of building nukes via a devastating war that would likely kill hundreds of thousands of people and destroy the world economy.

THIRD CHOICE: Render Iran incapable of building nukes via the peaceful disarmament of the entire Mideast.

I also just love the idea that "all options" are on the table. There are lots of options on earth. What if, in order to confront Iran, it becomes necessary for Hagel to run naked around the Washington Monument three times while singing "I'm bringing sexy back"? It could happen, and then we'd find out just how committed Hagel is to the whole table thing.

P.S. I believe that under this law Hagel could definitely be prosecuted for lying to Congress.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at January 31, 2013 04:43 PM

FOR ONCE, I am happy to note, a nominee has told a lie.

I believe that under this law Hagel could definitely be prosecuted for lying to Congress.

NOW, if it is a LAW to tell a lie, he could not be prosecuted. However, knowing our Congress, if it does try to prosecute him, I would start a petition against it!

Posted by: rupa shah at January 31, 2013 05:37 PM

All options are NOT on the table because we have the rule of law. I am fucking sick to death of being dominated by dirty gangsters!
They CANNOT just bomb Iran because that would be a war crime! Everyone start confronting media outlets and celebrities, use a video camera, and tell them you had enough with gangster world, we demand that these people adhere to the rule of law! Are we REALLY going to sit back and allow these bastards to start world world three? Threats of force are a violation of international law. Any politician who opens his mouth about "all options'" has no right to be in office. Come on people, let's start moving on this.

Posted by: Tom Murphy at January 31, 2013 07:53 PM

imho, these hearings for nominees are a farce or a fiasco or a joke.....
I did not hear them live but intend to do so later. However, this certainly gives me an idea of how irrelevant the Republican senators, who are questioning, are, by NOT ASKING relevant questions!


Posted by: rupa shah at January 31, 2013 09:33 PM

Some folks are born with star-spangled eyes
Oooooh, they'll send you down to war
And when you ask them
"How much should we give?"
They only answer
"More, more, more, more!"----CCR.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 31, 2013 11:43 PM

More singing options would be nice.

"All options are on the table" is meant to be a threat to furriners, and an expression of Beltway machismo solidarity. Hagel is a vet unlike the chickenhawks, but I expect it to be business as usual except perhaps on the margins.

Posted by: Batocchio at February 1, 2013 02:19 AM

yeah, like when obama said all options are on the table for healthcare reform, while the head of the AMA lobbying for single payer was escorted away from the seats observing the seats around the table via armed guards

Posted by: frankenduf at February 1, 2013 09:10 AM

i agree that "just bombing iran" would be a war crime

with regard to this general topic - this week, in the letters column of the financial times, someone pointed out that the invasion of iraq in 2003 was a war crime, and estimated the value of the reparations owed as being approximately one trillion dollars

one the other hand, it would be very surprising if reparations anywhere near that amount are ever paid

of course, surprising things do happen - and as nineteenth century experimental psychophysiologist and theoretical metaphysician gustav fechner once put it, "of all miracles, the greatest is that anything exists at all"

about hagel's appearance before the senate committee yesterday - this morning i heard nbc's chuck todd talking on the radio, speculating that hagel consciously chose to refrain from roaring back at those who castigated him at the hearing - preferring to "appear weak" rather than getting into the sharp exchanges that could have resulted if he had responded in kind - this sounds plausible to me

let us continue with our own plans, and if they are in accordance with destiny we may reap a rich reward

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at February 1, 2013 09:57 AM

I am just wondering if the kind of information demanded by Republican Senators of Sen Hagel should be demanded of ALL elected officials who gave Bibi Netanyahoo nth number of standing ovations!!


Posted by: rupa shah at February 1, 2013 10:48 AM

Mr. Hagel is not the evangelist for holy war that some of his former senate homies want him to be.

Posted by: Dredd at February 1, 2013 12:35 PM

"All options on the table" is code for blowing them the fuck up. Although I certainly appreciate your more nuanced view.

Posted by: Pathman at February 1, 2013 01:00 PM

rupa shah: Congress, they wanna hear about the money,---first, no doubt.

Dredd: Christians, seems like there's a different kinda one behind every tree these dayz.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 1, 2013 01:09 PM

Emergency Committee for Israel ( ECI ) has paid for a website
and is asking Americans to tell their Senators, Sen Hagel is not a good choice.
If anyone would be interested in letting it know what he/she thinks of its action, one can send an email to

Posted by: rupa shah at February 1, 2013 02:47 PM

rupa shah: NPR purports that Hagel appeared "weak and unprepared to the point of incompetence"(Brooks or that other guy). So I'm wondering what to think. the President seems to like him, but Republican Guard doesn't, more stalling on Congress' part. The man is no less qualified than Dick Cheney.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 1, 2013 09:57 PM

Mike Meyer, I do not pay much attention to the media ... not even NPR... I have lost a lot of respect for NPR...
I guess, Sen Hagel was "not well prepared" because he was probably in a state of shock at the total lack of civility and badgering by his former colleagues... he probably never expected that kind of attitude... he would have answered questions in not 'yes' and 'no' format but by 'giving explanation' and which Sen McCain refused to listen to.

And, this might explain something..

Posted by: rupa shah at February 1, 2013 10:31 PM

Everyone's got an Ed Koch story, and here's mine:

We were hunting boar in the mountains of western North Carolina, maybe having wandered over to the Tennessee side seein as we were lost.
Clem was in a pretty bad way havin gotten gored by that sow a few days back and his leg was festerin something awful. Josiah was
gettin weak from the hunger aftern we lost all our vittles in that creek accerdent. We was trackin a big ol boar thet Clem he winged but
couldn bring down with his .270 which I tol him was not a big enough chamber for boar but Clem he don lissen none and now he was gittin
feverish and night and a storm was comin as we tramped up and down those poison ivy hills. It started hailin right as Clem begun seein
things like wombats and sechlike in the falling light and Josiah was near nuff to swoonin and we was holed up in a holler with a lean to I builded from fallen branches. We was in a purty bad way when Clem reared up like from a ghost from a grave and says lookie lookie yonder and I of course think he's gone to halluminating agin but finally ah look and sho nuff there's a light coming our way and its Ed Koch all 6 foot 4 a him. He's smiling kinda grim and sets on his haunches and takes one look at Clem and opens his bag which is real nice leather and takes out some Mets trading cards Strawberry and mookie Wilson and then talks some about John Gotti and then we're drinkin some Bacardi and then Koch jes stands up and takes his leave but not before askin howmydoin? and Clem he done die that night holding that Darryl Strawberry tradin card and two days later I got durn tired carryin Josiah so I left him fer dead in a crick and got rescued
a week later by some 7 toes folk over by them Muskrat Shoppes.

Posted by: Ernie Hemi at February 2, 2013 12:17 PM

this post is funny. i like.

Posted by: N E at February 2, 2013 02:41 PM

He had a hard, Jewish, stubborn streak.

Posted by: godoggo at February 2, 2013 02:44 PM

Actually I suppose I should resist speculating about such things but I can't help wondering if the above commenter is the same who came by a while back saying something about "a pound of flesh" at which time I wanted to respond "A Daniel, a Daniel come to judge," but I bit my tongue, or rather my finger, I guess.

Posted by: godoggo at February 2, 2013 02:54 PM

Probably different people, in fact, although perhaps not so very different.

Posted by: godoggo at February 2, 2013 03:04 PM

boo hoo my comment was spam

Posted by: hapa at February 2, 2013 07:25 PM

Or maybe my thumb.

Posted by: godoggo at February 2, 2013 08:02 PM

Anyway that comeback has been eating me up inside. It's like that Seinfeld episode about the jerk store.

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Posted by: godoggo at February 5, 2013 06:51 AM

No I don't.

Posted by: godoggo at February 5, 2013 12:22 PM

Kinda late commenting, but those three choices are (with minor variations), the key to understanding everything about US foreign policy, and maybe a lot of domestic policy too.

First choice--Get everything we want without violence

Second choice--Get everything we want with violence

Not even remotely considered as a choice-Look for some sort of peaceful solution where everyone's concerns are treated with respect.

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