Friday, July 22, 2005

If You Think I'm Too Critical...

Just in case anyone thinks I'm too critical of our government, just take a look at the transcript (171KB PDF) from today's House hearing on the Plame incident, chaired by Rep. Waxman.  
HOLT: If you had a message for Congress then, how should we prevent something like this from ever happening again, what would be called for?

JOHNSON: I say this as a currently registered Republican: I wish Howard Baker was back in the Senate. I wish there was a Republican of some courage and conviction that would stand up and call the ugly dog the ugly dog that it is. But instead, you know, I watched last night, John McCain on Chris Matthews' "Hardball," making excuses, being an apologist. Where are these men and women over there with any integrity to stand up and speak out against this? And I don't have great Republican credentials, but I started out in '72 working on the gubernatorial campaign of Kit Bond. Orrin Hatch wrote my recommendation letter. And I'm still a registered Republican. I expect better behavior out of Republicans.

LANG: Look, let me just say something about this. In the past, a junior officer in some setting who broke an intelligence person's operational cover would be punished administratively. The mechanism is there for doing this. This is an unauthorized disclosure of classified information. And if you didn't choose to deal with it yourself, as Marcinkowski said, you could get him punished. But the problem is, when you get to this kind of level, you know, things stop being unauthorized disclosures in reality and become press releases. And that has to -- what has to be stopped. There has to be a way, in fact, to discipline people who are closer to the center of power. Otherwise, I suspect that the temptation to deal with your enemies in ways like this may be overwhelming for a number of people. And it's a really despicable thing to do, really.


JOHNSON: It would be one thing if he was a freshman member of Congress and never had any exposure whatsoever to national security issues. But we're talking about a member of the Republican leadership in the House and that level of ignorance is frightening. Perhaps that explains why we've gotten into some of the other messes overseas. If they're that ill-informed on an issue so basic about how the intelligence community operates, what other things are they so ill- informed on?

[link, emphasis added]
The whole thing is 53 pages long.  It's absolutely blistering.
UPDATE: see John Conyer's take on the hearing on his blog.

Categories: Rants, politics
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