After word leaked from the White House late last week that Chuck Hagel was in line to become the next secretary of defense, Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard manned the Patriot missile batteries to shoot down that trial balloon.

The neoconservative journal, no fan of the iconoclastic former Republican senator, published a smear under the headline: “Senate aide: ‘Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite.’ ” In the posting, this anonymous aide went on to accuse Hagel of “the worst kind of anti-Semitism there is.” As evidence, the article included a quotation from Hagel referring to the “Jewish lobby.”