With majority status in the “people’s house” comes a share in responsibility for the security of the Republic. This is why we are so concerned about a shadow which darkens presumptive Speaker Pelosi’s triumphant morning, a shadow which will only grow longer if she allows it to begin appearing prominently in the media coverage of the global war on terrorism, metastasizing into her first “intelligence failure” even before she takes the gavel from outgoing Speaker Hastert. That is the shadow of Alcee Lamar Hastings, the reelected Democratic Representative from Florida’s 23rd District.
Mr. Hastings was, in the outgoing 109th Congress, the second-ranked Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. But the Washington Post’s Charles Babington first reported more than a year ago, in a story that has never been denied (indeed, it has been confirmed in the congressman’s hometown newspaper, the Miami Herald) that Ms. Pelosi plans to replace the committee’s current ranking Democrat, California Representative Jane Harman, with Mr. Hastings who would be installed as committee chairman when the 110th Congress begins. The move would be a payback to the Congressional Black Caucus, to whose support Pelosi owes her election as Minority Leader and whose members she angered by picking Ms. Harman to be ranking member over Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop in 2003. The incoming Speaker must also mollify the Black Caucus for having pushed Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson (he of the frozen cash) off the Ways and Means Committee.
So what’s the deal, you say? Pelosi pays off a political debt. Pols do it all the time. Right. But do they pay their debts by appointing an impeached judge, a felon, a known criminal with questionable appointments to his own staff? To the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee??
Hastings was impeached, disbarred, and tarred and feathered by the Congress:
Mr. Hastings became only the sixth judge in the history of our Republic (and only the third in the 20th Century) to be removed by Congress. He was, and is, an utter disgrace to the nation and to the legal profession. Among those voting to impeach him were Ms. Pelosi herself, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip who is likely to become the new House majority leader, and Mr. Hastings’ fellow African-American Congressman, Michigan’s John Conyers, who took pains to deny that race had anything to do with the removal of the bribe-taking jurist.
Believe it or not, even though felons can’t vote, they can run for office. And so he did. And there he sits, a metastasizing cancer — a creep with neither principles nor integrity — now being seriously considered for the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee in order to pay off a political debt.
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Just to give you a flavor of his “intelligence” votes, here you go:
The disgraced judge-cum-legislator’s record on national security—the most basic criterion for leading the intelligence committee at any time, much less in the midst of a war on terror—has not been reassuring. In the 109th Congress alone, Mr. Hastings voted consistently against key counterterrorism tools, including the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act, the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Resolution, and the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act. He has been an opponent of the trial by military commissions of unlawful terrorist combatants as well as border control, NSA communications intercepts, and terrorist financing tracking measures.
I haven’t even begun to cover the slime which oozes from this personage. Please click the link to TCS and read the rest.
That sound you hear is our intel community being flushed down the toilet. Welcome to the Dem-Dim world. Ugly and unremittingly dangerous.
I wish I could say this is the worst of it, but the creatures floating up from the bottom-feeding Democrats in Congress have not even begun to feed. This is merely the prologue to what promises to be an ongoing nightmare.
Think of it: we have a Speaker of the House who voted to impeach a convicted, disbarred felon. Now she is considering him for the Chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee as a payoff. Hard to get your mind around the quality of corruption we’re going to be subjected to, isn’t it?
These people make the Republican corruption look amateurish.
Hat Tip In From the Cold.