The battle lines are already being drawn for the upcoming confirmation of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense. The attacks being put out by Hagel’s detractors are myths: that his earlier remarks that supporters of Israel have dominant influence over Congress amount to anti-Semitism; that his skepticism about war with Iran makes him naive; that his comments about making overtures to Hamas prove he is weak on terrorism. In response, allies of the former Republican senator from Nebraska have now settled on an alternative myth, almost as removed from reality as the ones being promoted by neocons. Their argument, reiterated on the airwaves and in newspapers, is clearly part of the approved talking points by those in the Obama administration who want to placate any substantive concerns by members of both parties: The secretary of defense, Hagel’s defenders assert, does not set foreign policy. But have we learned nothing? Of course he does.
Kayyem, Juliette. "Chuck Hagel Will Too Set Policy." Boston Globe, January 14 , 2013.