As the fight over the possible nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense continues, it’s worth noting two new contributions in his favor.
In a letter to the editor to the Washington Post, whose initial, remarkably silly editorial on Hagel helped energize the opposition, Gen. Jim Jones (Obama), Gen. Brent Scowcroft (Bush I), Zbiginiew Brzezinski (Carter), and Frank Carlucci (Reagan) denounce the attacks against the former Nebraska senator. They write:
We strongly object, as a matter of substance and as a matter of principle, to the attacks on the character of former senator Chuck Hagel. Mr. Hagel is a man of unshakable integrity and wisdom who has served his country in the most distinguished manner in peace and war.
He is a rare example of a public servant willing to rise above partisan politics to advance the interests of the United States and its friends and allies. Moreover, it is damaging to the quality of our civic discourse for prospective Cabinet nominees to be subjected to such vicious attacks on their character before an official nomination.
This type of behavior will only discourage future prospective nominees from public service when our country badly needs quality leadership in government.
Meanwhile, Tom Friedman, widely considered Washington’s single most influential columnist, hopes Obama goes through with the nomination.