House Democrats are set to consider legislation this week that would provide cover for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) while risking the cover and safety of our own intelligence professionals working to protect Americans.
During committee consideration of the FY 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2701), House Democrats rejected two key amendments on Speaker Pelosi’s highly-publicized allegation that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has engaged in a systematic pattern of lying to Congress – an allegation the Speaker has declined to produce any evidence to support. Democrats also opposed a third amendment that would have protected our own intelligence professionals. Here’s a quick summary:
- Dems Provide Cover for Pelosi, Oppose Releasing CIA Briefing Notes. Intelligence Committee Democrats rejected an amendment offered by Ranking Republican Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) to require the CIA to make publicly available an unclassified version of the records on enhanced interrogation briefings to Congress as well as certain finished intelligence products assessing the information gained from detainee reporting. Speaker Pelosi herself called for the release of the briefing notes weeks ago, but has been silent since. Has she changed her mind, and why are House Democrats covering up for her now?
- Dems Provide Cover for Pelosi, Substitute Flawed CIA Notification Requirements. Intelligence Committee Democrats rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) to restore strong, bipartisan protections approved by the Committee last year which required notification of the full Committee unless the chairman and ranking member agreed to restrict access to particular information. Instead, Democrats substituted a flawed, partisan provision that only requires the administration and Congress to create processes for notification – not ensure that members are actually notified – all in a partisan attempt to provide cover to Speaker Pelosi.
- Dems Refuse to Provide Cover for American Intelligence Professionals. Intelligence Committee Democrats rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) to strike a provision inserted by Democrats to require the Central Intelligence Agency to videotape interrogations of detainees. This requirement could ultimately jeopardize the safety of CIA officers and their families. The Thornberry amendment would have stripped this dangerous provision and protect our CIA officers going forward, yet it was defeated on a partisan vote. So Democrats on the Committee voted to provide cover for Speaker Pelosi, yet they refused to do the same for our own intelligence officials.
Despite efforts by House Republicans to seek answers on behalf of our intelligence professionals and the American people they help protect, House Democrats continue to stonewall and sweep the matter under the rug at every opportunity. And they’ve refused to schedule a common-sense resolution introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) to honor America’s intelligence officials.
Ranking Republican Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) said House Democrats put together a “flawed” intelligence bill to address:
“the deep, political troubles caused by the Speaker’s still unsubstantiated claims against the CIA. They did nothing, however, to address or follow-up on her claim that the CIA lies to Congress ‘all the time.’”
Will House Democrats continue to provide cover to the Speaker, or will they do the right thing by our intelligence professionals and give them the cover and safety they need to protect the American people?