Saturday, December 02, 2006

An Intelligent Choice for Intelligence

Nancy Pelosi's choice of Sylvestre Reyes to head up the House Intelligence Committee strikes me as the right move for several reasons.

First and foremost is that Mr. Reyes, a former Border Patrol agent and Vietnam combat veteran, is also a stunch opponent of the Iraq war and can be expected to provide the one thing so sorely lacking in the current congress, rigorous oversight of BushCorp™.

Whatever else the 110th congress does, and given the very slim Democratic majority in the Senate chances for significant legislation seem slim, one thing the majority party can do, by virtue of its majority, is provide oversight for an administration that, for the last 6 years, has gone without.

And while Ms. Harmon, a backer of the Iraq debacle, may have expertise in intelligence, she has never demonstrated an ability or inclination to use that expertise to question BushCorp™'s most egregious behavior.

Further, by rejecting Alcee Hasting's bid for the chairmanship, Mrs. Pelosi has defined the one litmus test anyone should care about in a leader, personal integrity.

And several additional personal factors also recommend Mr. Reyes. As a combat veteran, Mr. Reyes represents the sort of personal acquantance with the military so successfully groomed in the various "fighting Democrats" the party has cultivated over the last election cycle. While as a former border patrol agent Mr. Reyes also has first hand experience dealing with this nation's problematic borders.

And finally, to be bluntly political, as an hispanic, Mr. Reyes represents an increasingly important growing voting bloc which is both desparately needed by Democrats and desparately coveted by Republicans, especially in the growing battleground states of the mountain west.

When BushCorp™ begins its inevitable pushback over the questions and criticism it will no doubt face from Mr. Reyes' committee, it can revert to the sort of personal attacks which have been heretofore its modus operandi.

But only at the Republican party's electoral peril.

1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

There are good points in the article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

The Pentagon is a giant,incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.