Hagel Defends Record at Confirmation Hearings

Is he bloodthirsty enough for Senate?


Braced for a potentially bruising confirmation hearing Thursday, secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel defended his record and testified that if confirmed, he would ensure U.S. policy is "worthy of our troops and their families and the sacrifices we ask them to make."

In a prepared statement submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee in advance of the hearing, Hagel provided a detailed rebuttal to criticism that he has faced in recent weeks, including allegations that he is too dovish on Iran, foolhardy on nuclear containment and eager to slash defense spending.

"Like each of you, I have a record," Hagel, the former Nebraska senator, wrote in the prepared remarks. "A record I am proud of, not because of any accomplishments I may have achieved, or an absence of mistakes, but rather because I've tried to build that record by living my life and fulfilling my responsibilities as honestly as I knew how and with hard work."