Crazy Pete Hoekstra Flip-Flops on Congressional Notification

In 2006, a certain member of Congress laid out the President’s and Intelligence Community’s obligation under the National Security Act to brief Congress on intelligence activities.

I want to reemphasize that the Administration has the legal responsibility to "fully and currently" inform the House and Senate Intelligence Committees of its intelligence and intelligence-related activities. Although the law gives you and the committees flexibility on how we accomplish that (I have been fully supportive of your concerns in that respect), it is clear that we, the Congress, are to be provided all information about such activities. I have learned of some alleged Intelligence Community activities about which our committee has not been briefed. In the next few days I will be formally requesting information on these activities. If these allegations are true, they may represent a breach of responsibility by the Administration, a violation of law, and, just as importantly, a direct affront to me and the Members of this committee who have so ardently supported efforts to collect information on our enemies. I strongly encourage you to direct all elements of the Intelligence Community to fulfill their legal responsibility to keep the Intelligence Committees fully briefed on their activities. The U.S. Congress should not have to play "Twenty Questions" to get the information that it deserves under the Constitution.

This letter makes the President’s and Intelligence Community’s obligation pretty clear. They must "fully and currently" inform congressional intelligence committees. They must provide all information about such activities. Congress should not have to play "Twenty Questions" to get such information. Not providing such information is a violation of the law. And, "just as importantly," it is "a direct affront" to Congress to withhold such information.

That’s a pretty clear statement of the importance of CIA’s obligation to inform Congress of their activities.

So why do you think it is that the author of this letter–Crazy Pete Hoekstra–has spent the last three weeks beating up Nancy Pelosi when–by all accounts–she was not briefed on the CIA’s activities "fully and currently" in 2002? Why is it okay for Crazy Pete that Pelosi and Porter Goss should have to play Twenty Questions on torture, when such games were not okay for Crazy Pete himself after he became the Chair of HPSCI? Does’t Crazy Pete care that CIA’s treatment of Congress in 2002 was a "direct affront" to their efforts to support the intelligence community?

And most importantly, if it was a violation of the law in 2006 not to inform Congress about intelligence community activities, then wasn’t it a violation of the law in 2002?

Crazy Pete’s 2006 letter makes it clear–CIA’s failure to inform Congress before they started using torture in summer 2002 was a violation of the law. Likewise, their incomplete briefing in September 2002 was improper; they must be provided all information about such activities, not misleading briefings that obscure when such activities started. 

I called Hoekstra’s office twice for comment on this and other inconsistencies in his treatment of Congressional notification–but have gotten no response. 

But from all available evidence, it appears that Crazy Pete knows the CIA violated the law in 2002. But he’s simply more interested in beating up on Nancy Pelosi. 

20 replies
  1. Mary says:

    One quick kinda OT, kinda on T –

    I’m a fan of hardball in response to posturing and IMO if someone wants to trot out the Lieberman whine on CIA and telling the truth, and especially if it’s Hoekstra, then they need to get hit with this:

    The senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee Thursday called for a criminal investigation into whether the CIA lied to Congress and withheld information from the Justice Department during its inquiry into the 2001 shoot-down of an American missionary plane by the Peruvian air force with help from a CIA spotter plane.

    The CIA’s Office of General Counsel advised agency managers to avoid producing written reports about the incident “to avoid both criminal charges against Agency officers and civil liability,” according to unclassified excerpts of an August CIA inspector general report released Thursday by Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra.

    Still trying to kiss up to the missionary baby killers, Rep Hoekstra?

      • Mary says:

        I think it was something else, but that’s just my spec. To me it sounds like he’s talking about activities going on in 2006 they weren’t told about (I always kinda wondered if it was using MEK cross border in Iran, but that, too, is just spec)

        I think there had been briefing to congress about the “war on drugs” plane explosion assistance in South America (not that they would just be exploding missionary planes, but the general concept of blowing up people in the air[if you go to the link, and watch the video, be prepared for the happiness at the fireball that had been living people – maybe druglord, apparently maybe not – at the end])

        That program was supposedly shut down in 2001 (not that it should have been a lesson for us, going into 2002, about what happens when you abandon following international and national law before you start killing people), so I think that on the failure to keep Congress notified he was talking about something else – on the cover up over the civilian planes the CIA helped blow up in Peru he pretty much talks in terms of lies to congress as opposed to failure to keep congress notified. But I can’t claim to know, one way or the other.

        I do know that in the discussion of CIA violation of law and how it helped make us safer, stories like that of Veronica Bower and her baby girl get lost.

        They shouldn’t.

  2. TheraP says:

    I’m thinking of an analogy here. Suppose a patient withholds information from his or her physician. Risky behavior, let’s say. Whether using illegal drugs or having risky anonymous sexual relationships. Then suppose the patient is discovered down the road to have gotten into serious difficulties and now has serious health problems. Can the patient come back to the doctor and blame the doctor for that? Can the patient say the Doctor is just as responsible for the current deterioration in the patient’s health?

    I really doubt we would hold an MD responsible in this case. Not if the patient withheld information. Not if the patient failed to communicate symptoms or risky behavior. (Or lied on a form or in an interview.)

    I think the Iraq-Torture nexus is similar to the one I’ve laid out. If one party engages in risky (in this case law-breaking) behavior and fails to inform another party, who has an interest in monitoring that behavior or its consequences, the fault lies with the party covering-up the problems.

    Naturally this is obvious. But we need little metaphors like this to help the public understand the source of what went wrong.

    • TheraP says:

      This is not to deny that Congress needs to step up to the plate and demand an accounting for all that lies within the committee domains. (To continue my analogy, the doctor needs to have good judgment too of course. Notice discrepancies and so on. Order tests if there’s a suspicion.)

      • marksb says:

        Agree, congress needs to take the power of the people and account for all this lying and misinformation–as well as selectively informing counter to the law (certain members of a committee get the briefing and other don’t). earlofhuntingdon’s point in the downstairs thread is key: misleading or lying to congress, or otherwise not fulfilling the CIA’s legal obligations to congress, is against the law. So…when do we see the rule of law restored within our government?

  3. marksb says:

    earlofhuntingdon’s point in the downstairs thread is key: misleading or lying to congress, or otherwise not fulfilling the CIA’s legal obligations to congress, is against the law. So…when do we see the rule of law restored within our government?

    • freepatriot says:

      when do we see the rule of law restored within our government?

      when our neighbors learn our lawmakers have raped and murdered children

  4. oldtree says:

    It’s hard to take, but politicians don’t seem to believe that anything they say is recorded, or having been for so long, don’t care. Now that the noise channels edit them to fit the emotion, or order, of that politico, we probably won’t see truth again on the tv. Why should they? They don’t get ratings if they can’t create viewers. And anyone that still watches a tv for news, gets what they deserve.

  5. freepatriot says:

    I started a new campaign today

    I’m just telling my neighbors the straight truth


    we’re gonna change the debate in my neighborhood

    my congresscritter is welcome to ignore this

    but he might want to reconsider when he decides to canvas the neighborhood next year

    cuz everybody is gonna ask why he approves of raping anf murdering children

    it’s a nice sound bit to sink the bushistas

    I hope Obama and the rest of the Democrats don’t go down with the repuglitards, but they better DO SOMETHING QUICK

    my neighbors are LOOKING AHEAD

    looking ahead to some criminal trials

    hey Obama, the ball is in YOUR COURT

  6. freepatriot says:

    anybody got a list of the congresscritters who have seen the pictures and videos ???

    I wannna hang my congresscritter with a few years of complicit silence

    after all

    we’re talking about raping and murdering children

  7. Rayne says:

    Maybe you should check Crazy Pete’s Twitter stream for a reply, although you might have to wade through some useless conservative stream of consciousness crap to get to it.


    I see from his tweets that he liked the ghost writing WSJ did about what Nancy knew and when did know it.

    Cannot believe this shallow and incurious man is running for governor.

    • freepatriot says:

      Cannot believe this shallow and incurious man is running for governor.

      cut him some slack

      the race for village idiot was full

  8. radiofreewill says:

    “So why do you think it is that the author of this letter–Crazy Pete Hoekstra–has spent the last three weeks beating up Nancy Pelosi when–by all accounts–she was not briefed on the CIA’s activities “fully and currently” in 2002?”

    Imvho, the most obvious answer: Because Crazy-Pete is Complicit with Bush and Cheney’s Torture Program.

    And, he feels that if he doesn’t attack Pelosi and Slime her – then he’ll be left standing there in his wife-beater, sporting a “Luvs Me Some Torture” Tattoo, all by himself.

    He’s got Zero chance of being elected Governor, imvho, or any other respectable office, either.

    He’s a Monster Enabler.

  9. rkilowatt says:

    TYPO–2nd para ” direct all elements of the Intelligence Committee” should read Intelligence Community.[see your pdf link] Alters the meaning.

  10. KayInMaine says:

    Interesting…in 2006 when the Democrats took over suddenly the republicans were concerned with transparency! Before that? Not so much. War crimes and everything else was good to go with no oversight and they didn’t care what the CIA was telling them or not telling them, because they honored George Bush as the president right or wrong!

  11. DeanOR says:

    I’m pretty sure that telling the truth, just because it’s true, and obeying the law, just because it’s the law, would be regarded as extremely naive and self-defeating, if not dangerous and unpatriotic, by many in the CIA. Lying is part of what they do. Of course, they believe it is justified. They lie to enemies; that’s in the job description. They lie to allies. They lie to each other. They think they operate in a realm, which they call “our world”, that is outside the ordinary moral universe. Misleading Congress is a no-brainer. A Congress person who has been “briefed” on classified info, meaning they have been told what CIA wants to tell them about selected things they have already decided to do or are already doing, is prohibited from talking to anyone about it or taking notes, and they can be VERY intimidating.

  12. tanbark says:

    Anybody have any idea how putting Bush/Cheyney, etc., in the dock is going to help THIS situation?…..C1CO0.html

    There’s been a lot of effort to tie things together, some of it worthy, or course, but I’d like to tie this into the effort, too.


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