In disparaging the CIA and accusing the agency of lying last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has become a "wrecking ball" to the morale of officers risking their lives in the field, the top Republican on the House intelligence committee said Tuesday.
"She has single-handedly become a wrecking ball, a wrecking crew through the morale of the intelligence community," he said. "These are people that have been on the front lines. They have seen their friends die, and they have taken risks to keep America safe, and this speaker has now said you may be prosecuted."
Oh, really? Here’s Michigan Republican Peter Hoekstra, in the Washington Post, November 2008:
An internal CIA probe has concluded that agency officials deliberately misled Congress, the White House and federal prosecutors about key details of the 2001 downing of an airplane carrying U.S. missionaries in Peru, according to a senior lawmaker who called yesterday for a new criminal inquiry into the case.
Unclassified excerpts from the report were released by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, who blasted the agency for actions that he said were tantamount to obstruction of justice.
"These are the most serious and substantial allegations of wrongdoing I've seen in my time on the committee," said Hoekstra, whose western Michigan district was home to the two Americans killed in the 2001 incident.
Hoekstra, citing the still-classified portions of the report, said the CIA's program was "actually operating and being implemented outside the law." The investigators found that CIA managers "knew of, and condoned" the violations and failed to properly oversee the program, he said.
Hoekstra said he did not know how widely the problems were known within the upper ranks of the CIA's management. But he said he had personally presided over congressional hearings attended by CIA managers who knew the facts but did not speak up.
"CIA officials in front of my committee may have allowed incomplete or misleading statements to be made," he said.
Let me guess: Rep. Hoekstra finished with his wrecking ball last November and handed it to Speaker Pelosi. Is that about right?
C'mon. I can't imagine this ploy working. Who's gonna feel sorry for the spooks in the CIA who, let's face it, have been the villains in just about every Hollywood thriller movie of the past 20 years?
The only thing more amazing to me than this blatant political grandstanding is the fact that our media repeats these talking points to begin with. Kudos to the Detroit News for pointing out the hypocrisy but it was buried at the bottom of the story and I do think that bit of information provides some rather crucial context to Hoekstra's remarks. For one thing, it shows he's simply being partisan.