Joe Palermo: Kerry and Hagel (like Colin Powell) missed their historical moment. Had they opposed Bush’s war they might have made a difference. Now perhaps they can use their cabinet posts to implement a policy or two of atonement.
Nick Turse: Chuck Hagel’s views on the Vietnam War underwent a fundamental shift following the release of audio tapes of President Lyndon Johnson admitting, in 1964, that the war was unwinnable. That “cold political calculation” caused Hagel to vow that he would “never, ever remain silent when that kind of thinking put more American lives at risk in any conflict.”