15 Dec 2006

Which Is Worse: Corrupt or Dumb?

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Those who were relieved when incoming democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi, under pressure, reconsidered her first choice for House Intelligence Committee chairman, and refrained from appointed Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was previously removed from the federal bench for corruption, are worrying again.

Canada Free Press reports:

Law enforcement and intelligence experts are scratching their heads in disbelief upon discovering that the next House Intelligence Committee Chairman doesn’t possess even a basic understanding of terrorism or terrorist groups. In fact, he’s never heard of Hezbollah.

Representative Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), who was Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi’s second choice to head the sensitive and vital committee, did not know what Hezbollah was and incorrectly described Al-Qaeda as being Shiite rather than Sunni.

Rep. Reyes appeared disoriented when a reporter asked him basic questions about the Islamic groups that are the principal targets of America’s intelligence agencies, including Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and others.

“Al-Qa’eda is what — Sunni or Shia?” Jeff Stein, the Congressional Quarterly magazine’s national security editor, asked Mr Reyes. “Al-Qaeda, they have both,” replied Reyes.

“You’re talking about predominately?”Predominantly — probably Shiite,” said the puzzled Democrat from Texas.

As Mr. Stein noted in his CQ column, “He couldn’t have been more wrong. Al-Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an Al-Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.”

He also asked Reyes about the terrorist group Hezbollah. “Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah…” he said, laughing. “Why do you ask me these questions at five o’clock? Can I answer in Spanish? Do you speak Spanish?”

“This is no laughing matter. Where was this man when Israel and Hezbollah battled for almost two weeks?” asked a former intelligence officer and now New York City detective.

“We went from an impeached judge to a man ignorant of the basic facts regarding terrorist groups. What kind of oversight will that be?” he added.

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Dominique R. Poirier

Well, at least the Director of the CIA will feel more confident during Congressional hearings.



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