We do not have a clue why Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) thought it necessary to stoop to McCarthy-esque innuendo at the Senate Armed Forces Committee hearings on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense. One would have thought that Hagel’s record would have provided sufficient fodder without needing to imply that he was on the take from Pyongyang (see video below). Though they did splash some cash down in Jo’burg, we have not seen any evidence of the North Koreans sponsoring speaking events at $200K a clip, but any of you readers know of $200K speaking gigs, drop us a line. Privately, of course.
In the meantime, Senator, you can relax. We have a way of handling the issue: sanctions!
First stop, the US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control, our first line of defense with respect to North Korean sanctions and terrorism finance. If Sen. Hagel is picking up big speaking fees from North Korea, he has to report it here. And yes, we do punish folks for violating these rules; just ask Steve Park.
But that’s just a start. Any entity in North Korea rich enough to be dropping $200K on former senators is likely connected to the country’s WMD programs–and subject to UN sanctions. Next stop the UN sanctions committee! We know that Sen. Cruz is not a big fan of the United Nations, what with them trying to ban golf and take away our sovereignty, but in this case….if anyone in Sen. Cruz’s office wants to drop the dime, just contact Martin Uden–he’s the chair of the experts committee that actually does the sanctions legwork. If the lead pans out, Martin can probably get the UN Security Council to freeze all of former Sen. Hagel’s assets as well impose a travel ban (implemented by US authortities, Senator, not the UN police). Hagel will be facing criminal prosecution in the US with no money and no way to run. Sixty votes for cloture will be the least of his problems, Senator, if your ruminations have any basis in reality.