Krauss: Shadow Darkens Presumptive Speaker Pelosi's Succession to Majority Status

"With majority status in the 'people's house' comes a share in responsibility for the security of the Republic," writes Professor Michael Krauss in a TCS Daily op-ed in which he warns of the danger of presumptive House Speaker Pelosi's anticipated installation of Florida Representative Alcee Lamar Hastings as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence when the 110th Congress convenes in January.

Speaker Pelosi's Impending Intelligence Failure, TCS Daily, November 9, 2006. By J. Peter Pham and Michael I. Krauss.

"The disgraced judge-cum-legislator's record on national security—the most basic criterion for leading the intelligence committee at any time, much less in the midst of a war on terror—has not been reassuring. In the 109th Congress alone, Mr. Hastings voted consistently against key counterterrorism tools, including the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act, the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Resolution, and the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act. He has been an opponent of the trial by military commissions of unlawful terrorist combatants as well as border control, NSA communications intercepts, and terrorist financing tracking measures.

"Mr. Hastings' dubious record contrasts greatly with that of the centrist Ms. Harman. While highly critical at times of the Bush administration's conduct of intelligence and counterterrorism operations, Ms. Harman has displayed a keen understanding of intelligence issues, and has introduced quite sensible legislation on national security concerns, including government-wide security clearances and enhanced seaport security.

"With the serious international security challenges faced by Americans, the last thing we need is more bitter partisanship. Nancy Pelosi is set to make history as our first female Speaker. But what history will record of her speakership, should she choose to vault Mr. Hastings over Ms. Harman, is that her legacy had precious little to do with providing for the common defense of the Republic, and too much to do with shameless pandering."

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