BY ANDY McCARTHY
Powerline’s John Hinderaker thinks former senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Obama’s defense secretary is already dead. He may be right.
Then there is Iran. My friend Sam Nunberg of The Legal Project alerts me that Hagel sits on the board of the Soros-supported Ploughshares Fund, a left-wing group that allegedly funds various organizations sympathetic to the mullahs’ regime and, as night follows day, hostile to Israel. One such group is the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which is basically the Iranian regime’s lobbyist in the U.S.
That evidently did not sit well with Judge John Bates of the district court in Washington, who threw out the defamation suit against NIAC and ordered sanctions for its failure to comply with discovery orders. The case was especially embarrassing for the Obama administration since, in e-mails that actually were disclosed, it became clear not only that NIAC had deep ties to the Iranian regime but that it is also an Obama fave — one whose top official, Trita Parsi, visits the White House, consults with Valerie Jarrett, briefs Secretary of State Clinton, lectures the CIA, and so on. (See Eli Lake’s report for the Washington Times.)
Besides sitting on the board of a foundation that funds the NIAC, Hagel has had an ongoing relationship with the NIAC (and its precursor organization, the American-Iranian Council). As Ken Timmerman notes in the Washington Times, this has included giving speeches that rail against sanctions imposed to pressure Iran on its nuclear program, call for unconditional negotiations with the mullahs, etc. The NIAC, in kind, avidly supports Hagel’s nomination.