Pelosi Names Silvestre Reyes New Head of Intelligence Committee

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Dec 01, 2006 11:37 AM

Well, it ain't Alcee Hastings, which is kind of a downer when we're talking about entertainment value, but a major plus when we're talking security of the country. I'll take security in that choice.

Pelosi settles on the compromise candidate.

Under Democratic control, his committee is expected to conduct more public oversight of some of the most difficult issues facing the United States, including terrorism, Iraq and government surveillance. Given the committee's inherently secret nature, much of the work will have to be done behind closed doors.

In an interview this month, Reyes said he will insist on more information about the Bush administration's most classified programs and how they are working. The Republicans, he said, have made a habit of rubber-stamping those programs.

I wonder how much time this will eat up:

He also wants to look at the role of intelligence three years after the war in Iraq and the state of traditional spycraft, known in spook lingo as "human intelligence."

"We haven't required or haven't had the administration give us the details, evaluation or plan of how these classic programs are functioning," he said. "There is plenty to do on the role of intelligence, the programs that are vital and critical to our national defense, and certainly to our war fighters."

Dan Riehl is looking at his security votes:

Voted NO on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)
Voted NO on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists. (Feb 2005)
Voted YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses. (Feb 2005)
Voted YES on supporting new position of Director of National Intelligence. (Dec 2004)
Voted NO on adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. (Oct 2004)
Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns. (Jul 2002)
Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)
Stopping Vieques bombing range good; sooner is better. (Jun 2001)
Rated 78% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record. (Dec 2003)

Voted NO on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)
Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops. (Mar 2004)
Voted NO on authorizing military force in Iraq. (Oct 2002)
Voted NO on disallowing the invasion of Kosovo. (May 1999)
Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism. (Oct 2001)

But, even with this pick, Pelosi isn't out of the dark woods of Dem ethics problems. Remember when the "Culture of Corruption" was a Republican thing? Funny how we never heard much abou this stuff until after Dems took control.

I remind you of Reyes' crony scandal involving a no-bid contract for a broken U.S.-Canadian border camera system run by a firm that employed Reyes' daughter as vice president of government contracts.
I've been surfing the liberal blogs, and they have next to nothing to say about Reyes, except for "better than Harman."

Update: Harman: "I have enjoyed working closely with Silver and other members over four congresses on a committee that I dearly love," Harman said in a statement. "He brings great experience from his work on [the Intelligence Committee], the Armed Services Committee and as head of the Border Patrol in El Paso."