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Letters: Perspectives on Chuck Hagel

February 03, 2013

Re "Hagel hearing reopens Senate wounds," Feb. 1

By grandstanding their grievances with former Sen. Chuck Hagel for leaving the fold to serve in President Obama's administration as secretary of Defense, the neoconservative Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee rubbed salt in their own self-inflicted wounds. What a shameful spectacle of badgering, interrupting and berating a decorated war veteran with a stellar record of public service.

While wasting the day on cherry-picked policy positions that don't even pertain to what a Defense secretary does, Republicans tellingly showed zero interest in the one that does: the 19,000 sexual assaults of military servicewomen that occur each year. Kudos to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) for questioning Hagel about this "invisible war," to which he promptly and correctly pledged no tolerance.

Wendy Blais

North Hills

Re "Hagel in the hot seat," Editorial, Feb. 1

In contrast to The Times' favorable review of Hagel's performance, the Defense secretary nominee demonstrated that he is unfit for the office. His stated views at the hearing are in direct contradiction to his long record of opinions on the military, Israel and sanctions against Iran.

He has been a chameleon recently as he has courted senators, claiming that he did not mean what he said previously or that he had been misinterpreted. We do not need as secretary of Defense an individual with this kind of credibility.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring, Md.

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