Membership of Chuck Hagel, a potential head of Pentagon, in the board of an oil company that invests Kazakhstan's oil sector caused hot disputes during discussion of his candidacy in Congress.
14 senators voted for and 11 against the candidacy of Chuck Hagel, an ex-senator whom President Barack Obama proposed as the new chief of Pentagon. Hearings on him entailed heated discussions and confrontation of Republicans.
Chuck Hagel, the veteran of Vietnam War, was a senator on behalf of Nebraska. Nominated from Barack Obama's security team, his candidacy caused the greatest disputes.
Criticism of Chuck Hagel
Senators paid keen interest to Hagel's position on the Middle East.
Critics remember him calling James Hormell, then to-be US ambassador, "apparent and aggressively homosexual," and looking back to 2006, as saying "Jewish lobby scares a lot of people" writes MSNBC.
The candidate's financial health too caused interest, writes MSBNC. Some senators demanded that Hagel discloses his source of income in the past five years.
Hill writes, Chuck Hagel and his wife own a share in one of the largest American oil companies - Chevron Petroleum - worth from $100,000 to $250,000 and receive dividends amounting $5,000-$15,000.
Hagel also earned $116,000 being a member of the board in Chevron, which he entered in 2010, according to Hill.
To Senate's commission he said neither himself nor his wife received a single payment within past 10 years and never run talks with foreign governments or organizations led by foreign governments, writes Washington Post.
Soon after his nomination to the post of Pentagon's director, Hagel announced he quits Chevron board.
Links to Kazakhstan
Washington Free Beacon website writes that Hagel has "connections in Kazakhstan" via Chevron, a company that has put over $10bn in the oil sector of the Central Asian nation becoming its largest investor.
Former senator planned to visit Kazakhstan in order to promote closer cooperation between the American government and Kazakhstan.
In 2010, Hagel welcomed Kazakh delegation as 'friends' at an occasion in Atlantic Council Research Institute, where he worked, writes Washington Free Beacon.
Human rights protection organizations often critisized the oil giant for the way the company leads its work in Kazakh oil sector - paying no attention to the rights of local employees and impact they could inflict to the environment, the newspaper reiterates.
If Senate approves Chuck Hagel's nomination, he will face many challenges - budget downsizing, pullout of troops from Afghanistan and a threat from North Korea.