Intelligence Committee Update

INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE UPDATE….Hmmm. Should Nancy Pelosi choose compromise candidate Silvestre Reyes as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee? Laura Rozen says he has some baggage of his own.

[UPDATE: I just spoke with Kira Maas, Reyes’s press secretary, and she says that Laura’s report that Reyes met with Manucher Ghorbanifar in Paris in 2003 is incorrect. According to Haas, they’ve searched Reyes’s appointment books and could find no record of such a meeting. Reyes says the meeting never took place and that he’s never met Ghorbanifar.

UPDATE 2: Laura has updated her post and provides specific details about Reyes’s meeting with Ghorbanifar. In late August 2003 Reyes was on a trip with fellow congressmen Curt Weldon and Solomon Ortiz, and during a stopover in Paris Weldon set up a meeting with a partner of Ghorbanifar’s at the Sofitel hotel. The hotel lobby was under surveillance, and the CIA’s then-Paris station chief, Bill Murray, says, “Weldon, Ortiz and Reyes were part of a Congressional delegation which was in France in late August 2003 for a planned meeting that Weldon planned with his source….The meeting was held. Ghorbanifar attended.”

Sounds like Reyes has some ‘splaining to do.

And now, back to our original post:]

The Murtha/Hoyer battle for majority leader was never as big a deal as people made it out to be, but the squabble over the chairmanship of the intelligence committee is looking to turn into at least a minor debacle. I can’t help but think that the best best here is to turn down the heat, stop looking for perfection, and keep Jane Harman where she is. Nobody’s perfect, but Harman is smart, well qualified, and the senior Dem on the committee. It’s time to put this to bed.

POSTSCRIPT: Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that at least the new chairman won’t be Pete Hoekstra. We’re in for an upgrade no matter what happens.