Fear and Loathing on the House Intelligence Committee, Part Deux
The September 11, 2001 terror attacks lays bare the oversight panel's dysfunction
“Congressional oversight for intelligence,” the 9/11 Commission Report stated bluntly, “is now dysfunctional.”
Period. And that was a kind way of putting it.
It was 2004. The House Intelligence Committee, in particular, was a smoldering wreck after years of partisan rancor, mostly fanned by Newt Gingrich, the incendiary Republican Speaker of the House. From 1995 until 1999, when he was forced to resign under a cloud of ethics violations, Gingrich had pursued a policy of payback against Democrats who controlled the House for 40 years.
In 2000, its Republican staff director had committed suicide after waging a secret vendetta to destroy CIA Director John Deutch, who had launched a campaign to scrub the spy agency’s payrolls of murderous and corrupt informants, particularly in Latin America. Deutch was forced to resign over security violations and narrowly escaped prosecution.
Then came the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, a tragic, fiery exposure of the panel’s oversight dysfunction. Ex…
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