Thread: House Intelligence Committee Hearing on Special Counsel’s Report

This post is dedicated to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing already underway; it began at 9:00 a.m. EDT. I will add content here going forward.

Topic of today’s hearing: Lessons from the Mueller Report: Counterintelligence Implications of Volume 1 (Open)


Stephanie Douglas — 23-year FBI veteran, former Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch
Robert Anderson — 21-year FBI veteran, former executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch
Andrew McCarthy — former Assistant United States Attorney

Not certain why this hearing isn’t airing on C-SPAN since it’s in the schedule.

You can follow the hearing via live tweet stream from Courthouse News’ Brandi Buchman (click on the link at the date to open the thread):

I’ll add more content about this hearing soon — check the bottom of the post for new content.

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Other important hearings today:

09:52 a.m.: House Oversight Votes on AG Barr & Commerce Sec. Ross In Contempt of Congress (CSPAN link)
10:00 a.m.: House Armed Services Committee on National Defense Authorization Act
10:00 a.m.: House Foreign Affairs Committee on “Emergency” Arms Sales

TBD: Senate Intelligence Committee closed door session with Donald Trump Jr. (his second appearance)

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EDIT — 10:25 a.m. —

Because there’s no feed on the HPSCI meeting I’ve got the House Oversight hearing on right now. I am bloody sick of assholes like Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan talking (in Jordan’s case, yelling) over the chair Elijah Cummings in their desperation to stop this hearing.

It’s not just bullying in an effort to protect their orange liege in the White House but outright racism.

They’re voting right now and I’m so pissed off I don’t even no what they’re voting on.

EDIT —  10:45 a.m. — 

The Moscow Project also  has a live tweet thread covering the HPSCI hearing; the site has been inserting relevant supporting content along the way.

Over at the House Oversight Committee hearing, Jim Jordan is YELLING yet again about not being able to add a racist and unconstitutional question to the U.S. Census. “Why are we here?”

BECAUSE RACISM, that’s why; the GOP can’t win elections without relying on denying marginalized citizens their vote. Read the Constitution, knuckledragger. Take a breath once in a while during your racist filibustering. And get a sports jacket.

I suppose this is where I’d better make sure anyone reading this doesn’t mistake it for Marcy’s work. Check the byline as always.

EDIT —  10:56 a.m. — 

Ugh. House Oversight Committee hearing probably deserved a thread of its own but then I’d be giving real estate to these whiny white men like Rep. Jody Hice droning on and on that all efforts have not been exhausted (after a year of multiple requests in multiple forms, mind you) and that the majority is rushing this process.

FINALLY. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brings the heat. She’s noting the constitutionally-mandated nature of the Census and asking why the question about citizenship was added. This is the video capture you’re going to want to view later.

EDIT —  11:28 a.m. — 

Rep. Rankin’s turn to YELL on behalf of the House Dems. I feel his pain; I’m yelling at the television about these GOP jackasses doing their utmost to prevent accountability on this Census question. They really, REALLY don’t want to go into this issue at all, aiding and abetting a cover-up going all the way to the White House.

Another cover-up, mind you.

In Terror Fight, “Rush For Immediate Results” Leads to Loss of Tradecraft, Misses Real Threats

Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo have a long AP article this morning, outlining yet another huge blow to CIA operations, this time in the form of the loss of a number of agents in Lebanon. However, in describing that situation, Goldman and Apuzzo provide a description of a likely root cause of the problem that I think may apply more globally than just to the CIA and counterintelligence:

The Lebanon crisis is the latest mishap involving CIA counterintelligence, the undermining or manipulating of the enemy’s ability to gather information. Former CIA officials have said that once-essential skill has been eroded as the agency shifted from outmaneuvering rival spy agencies to fighting terrorists. In the rush for immediate results, former officers say, tradecraft has suffered.

As described by Robert Baer in his description of the utter failure of tradecraft in the Khost bombing, the loss of tradecraft in the CIA started when it was under the direction of John Deutch (whom I think of as likely Clinton’s worst appointment and entirely inappropriate for the job), but as Baer described, the massive expansion in CIA activities post 9/11 with so few properly trained field agents contributed even more strongly to the current shortage of tradecraft.

But it is not just within CIA where a massive shift in actions and priorities occurred post 9/11. Consider what has been put forward just in the past few months from the FBI and NYPD and it is easy to see that here, too, a “rush for immediate results” has hurt the fight against terrorists, producing laughable arrests while missing real threats.

Just last night, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly staged “terror porn”, in which they described the arrest of the “Christmas Light Bomber” in a case that it appears even the FBI found not worth pursuing. The FBI looks no better, however, having chosen to indict a group of Georgia crackers who met at Waffle House to discuss making ricin from a few castor beans. And, of course, the FBI really outdid itself in concocting and making an arrest in the Scary Iran Plot, where we are asked to believe in a connection between Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and a Mexican drug cartel. Read more