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Edicts From The Knave of CYA


I guess it is too much to expect that Peter Hoekstra and the rest of the Rubber Stamp Republican Leadership crew admit that they'd been trying to paint the roses red in a CYA maneuver to cover-up the fact that the President and the GOP had been lying to the American public all along:

A Democratic staff member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has had his security clearances reinstated and yesterday resumed work for the panel, ending a pre-election drama during which senior House Republicans alleged he may have leaked an intelligence report that was politically embarrassing to the Bush administration….

An earlier plan to carry on an investigation of all staff members to include possible review of their past e-mails was dropped. A spokesman for Hoekstra, Jamal Ware, said that the staff member's access to classified information had been "restored," but that otherwise the chairman would have no comment on the matter.

At the time of the suspension, Hoekstra told Harman that another committee member, Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), had questioned the timing between Hanauer obtaining the NIE for a Democratic lawmaker who requested it and the New York Times publishing a story about it days later. Although the leak allegation was not based on any evidence, Hoekstra suspended Hanauer, telling Harman he had "come to the conclusion that I cannot assume that this was a mere coincidence."

Soon after the suspension last month, House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) released statements condemning leaks and praising Hoekstra.

Jonathan Turley, Hanauer's Washington attorney, yesterday released a statement welcoming the news that "this long nightmare for Larry and his family is now over." He added that it is "regrettable that it took this long given the total absence of any evidence linking Larry to the New York Times articles." In the interim, Hanauer worked in Harman's office handling non-classified duties, and he said he received threatening phone calls as a result of the publicity.

So, let's see: a perfectly innocent man is publicly accused — by name — of violating national security secrets, putting not only his job but his reputation on the line, in a field of work where reputation is a whole helluva lot, with no evidence other than a conveniently timed politically-motivated accusation and nothing to back it up. Lovely.  Plus, his family is subjected to threatening calls from wingnut weirdos.  Classy. 

The apology to this person? Nonexistent.

And just to be certain that no one gets to spin this disgusting display of abuse of power but Hoekstra, he issued this further edict:

The antagonism between the two senior committee members seems not to have ended. Hoekstra, in his Friday letter, reminded Harman that his policy prohibits staff members from talking to the media "unless authorized by me," adding: "Even when such contacts do not deal with classified information."

He pointedly noted that he had been told "it has been the routine practice of the minority staff to have contacts with the press at your direction." Hoekstra added, referring to Hanauer: "I expect the staff member to comply scrupulously with my announced policy for the remainder of the 109th Congress."

Oh no. I've spoken about it…well, off with my head, I suppose.  Nitwit.

Just so we are clear, obviously any leak of classified information, whatever the leak's motivation, needs to be investigated.  National security matters are not to be treated as political footballs — as the consequences of such treatment can be dire across a broad ripple of sources and methods that are crucial to the safety of this nation.  It was true regarding the vile morons who outed Valerie Plame Wilson, and her entire network as a result, and the same is true for any other leak of vital information.

But investigations which result in the announcement of an accused's name early and often — with no evidence whatsoever of guilt — during the midst of a political campaign?  Well, that's just Republican politics, isn't it?  And in the end, the accusations were without merit, with no foundation in fact, vindictive, spiteful and utterly without any basis in reality…which pretty much sums up Peter Hoekstra's entire tenure as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, now doesn't it?

January cannot come soon enough.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com