Crazy Pete Hoekstra Is a Big Fat* Demogoging Liar
Since Crazy Pete is out demagoging the Fort Hood killings, I thought I would put together a list of his most notable lies to serve as a reminder to journalists that they ought to think twice before crediting anything Crazy Pete says. So here goes: six of Crazy Pete’s classic lies:
Nancy Pelosi lied when she said the CIA didn’t tell her they had waterboarded Abu Zubaydah
It was clear from the start that this was a lie, given that Porter Goss’ statements about the September 2002 briefing accorded perfectly with Pelosi’s assertions about that briefing. And when pressed, Goss refused to alter that statement even after Hoekstra’s attacks on Pelosi. But in a recent uncontroverted statement, the House Intelligence Committee confirmed that the CIA had lied to Pelosi (and Goss) in that first briefing.
Seven CIA Directors claimed Obama was hurting CIA morale with the investigation into torture
In an op-ed invoking the letter seven CIA Directors had sent, Crazy Pete (and John Shadegg) pretended to quote from the latter:
[The letter from the CIA Directors] noted the “distraction and devastating impact” that reopening an investigation into enhanced interrogation of al Qaeda suspects is having on “CIA morale, America’s counterterrorism efforts and our foreign intelligence partnerships.”
But they appear to have just made those quotes up out of thin air. In the grand scheme of Crazy Pete’s long catalog of lies, this partisan attack might not be that big–except that I’m stunned two sitting Congressmen would just make shit up and claim a bunch of retired Spooks-in-Chief had said them.
Eureka!!! WMD in Iraq!!!
Remember when Crazy Pete and Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum claimed that a few piles of canisters filled with now-inert chemical weapons were the WMDs we went to war to find?
I’d just leave it at that–but it bears mentioning that the pattern of the demagoging is the same as Crazy Pete is employing now: claiming that the intelligence community is not being forthcoming with secret information that Crazy Pete has been privy to, and if they only would reveal what they know, Crazy Pete would score political points. In other words, we’ve heard precisely the kinds of claims Crazy Pete is making now before–and in the past those claims proved to be bullshit.
CIA didn’t reveal those expired munitions because key CIA officials want to help Al Qaeda [update]
As Spencer notes below, shortly after Crazy Pete trumpeted his inert chemical find, he upped the ante, suggesting that certain people within the intelligence community want to help al Qaeda. Crazy Pete wouldn’t name those al Qaeda sympathizers, but thought it important to make the claim nevertheless, explaining it is simply naive to not make the claim, even if there is no evidence to substantiate it.
Al Qaeda will kill unemployed Michiganders if Gitmo prisoners move to Standish
In his efforts to scare the people of Standish, MI, out of hosting Gitmo’s prisoners, Crazy Pete claimed both that Al Qaeda would target the families of those working at Standish and that none of the jobs at Standish would go to locals–they would instead go to military personnel. Now, either of those might have been true–but Crazy Pete was just making stuff up. I know that, because at the time Crazy Pete was making these claims, even Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin did not know the hypothetical plan for Standish. Which Crazy Pete pretty much conceded in his next stunt about Gitmo, when he had a resident from Standish testify at a House Intelligence Committee hearing to highlight the fact that no one knew what was going to happen if Gitmo moved to Standish. There’s more to Crazy Pete’s demagoging on Standish–as a bunch of retired counter-terrorism officers laid out in a scathing letter.
Democrats would require individual warrants to wiretap foreigners overseas
Ah, the Joe Klein embarrassment! The time when Crazy Pete told Joe Klein something that clearly contradicted public documents, and Klein printed it unquestioningly. Not only is this Crazy Pete lie one of his most classic, it also ties very closely the demagoging he’s doing now: he is claiming our domestic surveillance (rather than our personnel management) is insufficient at a time when bills affecting domestic surveillance are working their way through Congress. In 2007, we know, Crazy Pete was willing to make shit up to try to support more intrusive domestic spying powers. I would suggest he may be doing the same today.
Now, I’m not saying that Crazy Pete’s current demagoging may not have merit (though the silence from Crazy Pete’s counterpart in the Senate, Kit Bond, sort of makes me very very skeptical). After all, it’s nut-collecting season here in Michigan, and every day I see the dumbest looking squirrels manage to find a nut or two.
But Crazy Pete’s history of making audacious lies ought to make every single journalist question his claims, wait, ask for further proof, before they print any of his partisan, authoritarian claims.
*Crazy Pete is in no way physically fat. In fact, he spends a good deal of time cycling around Western Michigan. By “fat liar,” I’m referring to the size and audaciousness of his lies.