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House Intelligence Committee Stonewalling

During the book salon chat on The Wrong Stuff yesterday, we discussed the House Intelligence Committee report on how Duke Cunningham managed to scam so much money for his friends. Lo and behold, the LAT has a long article on it today (hat tip Kentucky Jelly). The report, though, is pretty disappointing. If Congressional Intelligence Committees are good at one thing, after all, it is scoping investigations to hide the dirt.

The report’s principal author said in an interview that the terms underwhich he was hired to conduct the investigation prevented him fromexamining lawmakers’ roles.

"There was an agreement as to what they wanted to look at, and that wasnot anything that could be looked at under the sun," said MichaelStern, a former attorney in the House counsel’s office who was hired bythe committee to lead the internal probe. "The language did not includethe culpability or potential involvement of other members."

Stern said that the full, 59-page report he prepared a year ago wasclassified, but that he also provided the committee a 23-page versionthat had been scrubbed of classified material. The Times obtained thedeclassified version.

Nevertheless, Pete Hoekstra throws a fit every time we get close to declassifying the complete report.

Congressional sources said Reyes and other Democrats had initiallyvoted to let other members of Congress see the document, but reversedcourse after a fierce protest by the panel’s ranking GOP member, PeterHoekstra of Michigan.

Who uses lizard logic to claim the report shows nothing of interest:

Jamal Ware, a spokesman for Hoekstra, stressed that the investigationfound no wrongdoing by staffers or other members, and said the findingswere never intended to be released.

After all, if the report was scoped to exclude any inquiry into members roles, then it’s not surprising that the report found no wrongdoing by staffers or other members, right?

Of all lawmakers, though, it seems clear the report stayed furthest away from Peter Goss’ role.

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