Updated Hagel Memoir Fails to Mention Son’s Pot Arrest, Fuels Concern Over Citizenship

Chuck Hagel, self-professed American (AP)
• March 24, 2014 3:57 pm


Defense secretary and former almost presidential candidate Chuck Hagel has published an updated version of "America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers," the memoir you probably didn’t even know he wrote back in 2008.

Hagel’s attempt to cash in on his newfound celeb status features a new four-page introduction that is stacked with pearls of wisdom such as: "Long-term challenges that require long-term resolutions for America and the world will only come through understanding and respect for one another’s points of view and consensus."

What this new version does not contain, however, is any mention of his son Charles Ziller "Zilla Thrilla" Hagel’s arrest for marijuana possession in May 2012, months before President Obama nominated Hagel for secretary of defense. The charges were ultimately dismissed last year.

Even more troubling is the fact that Hagel fails to address concerns regarding his nationality. Skeptics had voiced concerns about the implications of the memoir’s opening paragraph: "Above all, I think of myself as an American. If you had asked my dad, he would have said the same thing."

Why does Hagel merely "think of himself" as an American? Can anyone other than his own father corroborate this claim? These questions remain unanswered. Meanwhile, calls for Hagel to release his long-form birth certificate continue to be ignored. The lingering doubts are especially disconcerting given Hagel’s history of accusing foreigners of being members of the Taliban.

Highlights of Hagel’s tenure as secretary of defense include having his calls ignored by the Ukrainian defense minister during the height of the EuroMaidan protests.



Published under: Chuck Hagel