In what has to be one of the most ridiculous examples of Republican, post-election desperation questions about Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel’s association with Hezbollah and Hamas are proven false, based on a joke by a New York Daily News reporter. Similar to past Republican gullibilities as belief in a Planned Parenthood abortion factory and Mitch McConnell’s latest flub, believing an Onion-esque article about Guantanamo detainees given veterans’ benefits, Senate Republicans have once again fallen for fake information.
Amidst the inappropriate accusations leveled upon Hagel by freshman, Tea Party senator Ted Cruz that he accepted money from foreign governments and extremist organizations, the nominee was the subject of further reports insinuating he did indeed have connections with two such groups, Friends of Hamas and Junior League of Hezbollah. Ultimately, these claims proved to be nothing more than erroneous reporting on the part of the Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News, a far-right conservative blog. The groups Hagel was accused to have association with simply did not exist.
As these revelations spread across the internet and news outlets today, obstruction of Chuck Hagal’s nomination began to fade. As of late this afternoon he has garnered enough votes not only to confirm his nomination but to break any threat of continued filibuster. Despite, this turn of events, many within the far-right GOP will hold firmly to their accusations without concern for the overwhelming evidence disproving their beliefs.
Breitbart Reporter Accused Of Promoting Fake Hamas Group To Derail Hagel Nomination
Ben Shapiro, the Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News, has reported a serious accusation against Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, namely that Hagel received money from a group sympathetic to terrorism known as “Friends of Hamas.”
On Thursday, Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively that they have been informed that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called “Friends of Hamas.”…
Called for comment and reached via telephone, Associate Communications Director at the White House Eric Schultz identified himself, heard the question, was silent for several seconds, and then hung up the phone immediately without comment.
If true, Hagel’s nomination would face further opposition likely to the point of being derailed completely given the attitudes of the Senate and American public at large towards Hamas.
But Shapiro’s reporting is now under heavy scrutiny starting with Slate writer Dave Weigel who wrote a post asserting that no such group even existed.
Further problems arose for the veracity of the allegation when New York Daily News reporter Dan Friedman came forward to say he believed that he accidentally started the “Friends of Hamas” rumor.
But Shapiro is sticking to his story labeling Friedman a “hack” and “lying by omission”. This despite becoming an object of ridicule by Gawker’s editor and having his motives questioned by Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg who claims Shapiro is a “fascist” and has no credibility when reporting on Chuck Hagel.
Fake Hagel Fight Finishes: He’s Got the Votes in the Senate
There are enough votes in the Senate to confirm Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, the Associated Press’ Donna Cassata reports, signaling an end to a loud fight that that always seemed a little fake. Even John McCain, who aggressively questioned Hagel and who last week voted to filibuster in an attempt to get more information on Benghazi, had said his confirmation was a foregone conclusion. By the A.P.’s count, the vote of Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, who was quoted in today’s Decatur Daily as saying, “He’s probably as good as we’re going to get,” makes enough votes to break the filibuster that held up Hagel’s nomination before the Senate went out on recess. Along with all 55 Democrats, Hagel now has the support of three Republicans — Shelby plus Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike Johanns of Hagel’s homestate Nebraska — and two more Republicans who will vote against the filibuster — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
The fake fight over Hagel looked especially ridiculous after Slate’s Dave Weigel noticed that Friends of Hamas, a group Hagel was attacked for maybe getting funding from, was fake.