The political witch-hunt continues.
It's getting downright ridiculous now, though.
From the piece:
Friedman also put the question into email form, presumably thinking his joke would not be taken seriously. He was in for a surprise.
The following day, an article appeared on the conservative website Breitbart.com with the headline, "SECRET HAGEL DONOR?: WHITE HOUSE SPOX DUCKS QUESTION ON 'FRIENDS OF HAMAS.'" Conservative pundits, including Mike Huckabee, and other websites also addressed the rumor. It even came up during aFox Business segment with host Lou Dobbs. Other outlets published articlesquestioning if the group "Friends of Hamas" even existed.
From the piece:
Hagel also delivered some of the earliest warnings about the potentially disastrous effects of George W. Bush's ill-grounded "Axis of Evil" speech, in which the president needlessly alienated Tehran only days after the Iranians had actually delivered up aid and support to stabilize post-Taliban Afghanistan. Ironically, Bush's own officials on the ground in Afghanistan, such as Dobbins, had testified to Iran's measured policies at the time.
They noted that at a 2002 donor's conference in Tokyo that occurred only a week before the Axis of Evil speech, Iran pledged $500 million--at the time, more than double the Americans' contribution-- to help rebuild Afghanistan. "Iran actually has been quite helpful in Afghanistan," Hagel, then a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Congressional Quarterly on Feb. 1, 2002. "And we're giving them the back of our hand." Hagel added: "We're not isolating [the Iranians]. We're isolating ourselves.... We ought to be a little more thoughtful. That [axis] comment only helps the mullahs."