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So Much for Oversight (Update)

Incomprehensibly, there are reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has decided to oust fellow Rep. Jane Harman of California in January as the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Mrs. Pelosi intends to replace Mrs. Harman in her Intelligence Committee leadership role with Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, who, depending upon which party achieves majority status, would either become chairman of the House intelligence panel or its ranking member. Either result would be appalling. […]

Mr. Hastings’ past should disqualify him from such a position of trust. At the recommendation of a special investigative committee of the federal judiciary, which had concluded that Mr. Hastings, then a U.S. District Court judge, had lied and fabricated evidence to win an acquittal on bribery charges in 1983, the Democrat-controlled House voted 413 to 3 in 1988 to impeach him. Several of the 17 impeachment counts, reported Congressional Quarterly, “alleged that Hastings committed acts of perjury during his 1983 trial.” Keeping in mind that Mr. Hastings would be told the most sensitive intelligence secrets, consider the fact that another impeachment count approved by the House “alleged that Hastings leaked information about a wiretap he was supervising and thereby forced a halt to an extensive federal undercover operation in the Miami area in 1985.” In 1989, a Democratic-controlled Senate convicted Judge Hastings of accepting a $150,000 bribe in 1981 in exchange for a lenient sentence and committing numerous acts of perjury at his own trial. Once he was booted off the federal court, voters in southern Florida elected him to Congress […]

Another reason not to live in the sunshine state (besides the hurricanes) . . .

I’d like confirmation that this is true before going off on a rant, but as a place-holder let me say that you can’t get a job cleaning the toilets in the IC with a record like that, but we’re to believe that such a person is suitable to oversee intelligence matters? I’m all for fresh blood in government affairs and in particular the IC but if the choice is a professional member of the opposition like Harman and a crook; that’s no choice at all.

(Update) Buddy TN weighs in with tongue firmly in cheek:

They’ve been hamstringing us for years saying that we can’t get involved with the very people who could give us access to the worst of the worst: criminals, small-t terrorists, ethnic feather dusters and the lot. This is the dem’s way of showing they’re the party that is strong on security and pro-intel-reform.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.