Hagel in newly surfaced comments: Israel, not Iran, would start ‘nuclear exchange’

Click photo to download. Caption: Chuck Hagel. Credit: U.S. Senate.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) While defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel awaited confirmation, his latest controversial statements on Israel surfaced Sunday with the revelation of video footage of a 2008 event in which the former Nebraska senator suggests that the Jewish state would be the first to wage a nuclear attack on Iran, not vice versa.

“Someone was asking me the other day about a nuclear exchange in the world, where that would come from,” Hagel says on the video, posted on YouTube (http://is.gd/TjJYFB). “I said, ‘Well I’ll give you a scenario that’s very real. If Israel gets backed up enough into a corner and Israel uses a tactical theater nuclear weapon, you want to talk about seeing some things unravel in the world.’”

Hagel goes on to say that in such a scenario, “the United States shouldn’t even be thinking about options of bombing Iran or anybody else.”

A report on the Breitbart.com website claims that one of the reasons Hagel failed to turn over documents on foreign contributions is that one of the names listed is allegedly “Friends of Hamas.”

Meanwhile, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has leveled severe criticism at President Barack Obama’s new cabinet, accusing him of undermining U.S. national security.

“The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal,” Cheney said in comments to about 300 members of the Wyoming Republican Party. He said it was vital to the nation's national security that “good folks” hold the positions of secretary of state, CIA director and defense secretary. “Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people,” Cheney said.

Cheney also claimed that Obama nominated Hagel because he “wants to have a Republican that he can use to take the heat for what he plans to do to the Department of Defense.”

Posted on February 11, 2013 .