God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Monday, December 11, 2006

Jane Harman Sips Her Martini And Giggles

Oh yeah, I feel safer already.
Incoming House Intelligence Chief Botches Easy Intel Quiz

Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

When asked by CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam -- Sunni or Shiite -- Reyes answered "they are probably both," then ventured "Predominantly -- probably Shiite."

That is wrong. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics.

Reyes could also not answer questions put by Stein about Hezbollah, a Shiite group on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations that is based in Southern Lebanon.

Stein's column about Reyes' answers was published on CQ's Web site Friday evening.
Stein went on to say: "It kind of disgusts you, because these guys are supposed to be tending your knitting... Most people are rightfully appalled."

Remember, Nancy Pelosi picked Reyes for the job over California Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee who is well respected for her knowledge of national security issues.

Does anyone else feel the urge to say "We told you so"?

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