Fear and Loathing on the House Intelligence Committee

Can a new Congress fix an old problem? Don’t hold your breath, says a former staffer


On June 4, 2000 the Republican staff director of the House Intelligence Committee, John Millis, drove his car to the Breezeway Motel in Fairfax, Virginia, sprawled out in the bathtub, and blew his brains out with a shotgun. Millis had been on administrative leave from his job for, what were at the time, undisclosed reasons. Before taking his own life, he called a friend saying he might also be facing criminal charges. He was despondent. 

Only age 47, Millis knew his career in intelligence was over. Every facet of his life was now being investigated. In relatively short order, both Millis’s boss, Porter Goss, (R-Fla.), a onetime CIA case officer who chaired the intelligence committee, and George Tenet, the man Goss was hoping to replace as CIA director, both made public statements saying that Millis’s suicide was a private matter and that no classified materials had been found in Millis’s possession. Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.

But 18 years later, the former New York Times jo…

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