Speaking from the floor of the Senate, Inhofe, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, began by noting that he’d just watched the 1993 film Schindler’s List for the first time three days ago. The Oscar-winning film depicts a story in the midst of the Holocaust, in which over six million Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and others were systematically killed, an event that Iranian government officials have denied actually happened.
Inhofe expressed his amazement that any state could deny such an event, then brought the whole thing back around to surreptitiously question Chuck Hagel’s support for Israel:
INHOFE: But I think the mere fact that they would say — Iran would say that the Holocaust didn’t exist. Keep in mind, I know the response to this. They say, we don’t have any control over who supports this. Isn’t it interesting, though, that Iran supports Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense? I mean, they — arguably, they could be considered to be the most — the greatest foe that’s out there for the United States, recognizing the capability that they’re going to have and statements they have a made about the United States of America. That is a frightening thing.
Watch his comments here:
The Iranians responded to the Hagel nomination by taking a backhanded swipe at the United States for its policies. The neocons picked up the comment, claiming that Iran supports Hagel, but as one expert observed, “The Iranian regime is hardly cheering Hagel on.”
Inhofe in particular has been attacking Hagel for this for weeks, including during Hagel’s confirmation hearing. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) took to task Inhofe’s pushing the Iranian “endorsement” line during the last meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioning whether he and his colleagues would appreciate it if “the worst group you could imagine” endorsed them.