Sunday, December 10, 2006

Democrat's new Intel Chair needs a refresher course.

That's the conclusion of Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein, who had an interview with the incoming chief (and current member) of the intelligence committee, Sgt. Silvestre Reyes , Democrat, Texas.

Turns out Reyes couldn't answer basic questions about Al Qaeda, and he seemed completely unaware of who Hezbollah was (answering the question by asking if he could answer in spanish....)

Anyway, from the article Democrats’ New Intelligence Chairman Needs a Crash Course on al Qaeda:

Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?

“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.

He couldn’t have been more wrong. Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.

That’s because the extremist Sunnis who make up a l Qaeda consider all Shiites to be heretics.
Al Qaeda’s Sunni roots account for its very existence. Osama bin Laden and his followers believe the Saudi Royal family besmirched the true faith through their corruption and alliance with the United States, particularly allowing U.S. troops on Saudi soil.

It’s been five years since these Muslim extremists flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center. Is it too much to ask that our intelligence overseers know who they are?

Jeff actually gives some kudos to Reyes for knowing more than some of the republicans in the house -- he wanted to be fair to the man. But he recounts this discussion about Hezbullah:

And Hezbollah? I asked him. What are they?

“Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah...” He laughed again, shifting in his seat. “Why do you ask me these questions at five o’clock? Can I answer in Spanish? Do you speak Spanish?”

“Pocito,” I said—a little.

“Pocito?! “ He laughed again.

“Go ahead,” I said, talk to me about Sunnis and Shia in Spanish.

Reyes: “Well, I, uh....”

I apologized for putting him “on the spot a little.” But I reminded him that the people who have killed thousands of Americans on U.S. soil and in the Middle East have been front page news for a long time now.

It’s been 23 years since a Hezbollah suicide bomber killed over 200 U.S. military personnel in Beirut, mostly Marines. Hezbollah, a creature of Iran, is close to taking over in Lebanon. Reports say they are helping train Iraqi Shiites to kill Sunnis in the spiralling civil war.


Remember, this was the seat that Nancy Pelosi first wanted to give to Alcee Hastings, the former judge impeached for bribery but now a leader of the Democrat party in the house. The current ranking leader, Jane Harmon, is a qualified person who unfortunately has raised the personal ire of the new Speaker, which apparently disqualifies her from serving in this position, thus giving us a new chair who would rather answer questions in Spanish.

And the sad thing is, Reyes is probably the best (other than Harmon) that the democrats in congress have to offer for this post, which used to be a non-partisan position in a bi-partisan committee before the Democrats won back congress and started implementing their bizarre interpretation of "non-corrupt" leadership.

3 comments:

Fauquier Dan said...

It is more than a little scary that folks on the Intelligence Committee could be so ill informed. This is not the first such interview by CQ. Earlier this year they interviewed Jo Ann Davis (my recently re-elected Republican Congresswoman here in Virginia's 1st) who is on the Intelligence Committee and chaired one of its sub-committees in the 109th Congress. Her answers were also frightenly uninformed on basic matters concerning the various sects within Islam and Islamist groups. Needless to say I voted for her Democratic opponent.

By the way, I don't believe Pelosi ever said she wanted to appoint Hastings to Chair the Intelligence Committee. The mystery is why she didn't appoint the very well qualified Jane Harmon. After dumping Harmon it was a matter of passing over Hastings without ruffling feathers in the Congressional Black Caucus.

Anonymous said...

You voted for a dimmi in 'hope' they would know more than someone sitting in congress? Guess that's why the U.S. is failing fast. Guess you never heard the phrase 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'. Welcome to the world of dumb.

Anonymous said...

Not only wouldn't a dimmi not know any more, they don't care what happens to the people of this country. They are willing to let us all get killed as long as they die in office.