Let’s take a look at Speaker-Elect Pelosi’s choices for House chairmanships.
First she abandons Rep. Steny Hoyer for Jack Murtha as House Majority Leader. The same Jack Murtha who still has the Abscam albatross around his neck and who stabbed our troops in the back by accusing them of murdering Iraqis in Haditha in cold blood while the investigation was still going on.
Second it looks like she’s going to pass over Jane Harmon in favor of Alcee Hastings, a former judge who was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for accepting a $150,000 bribe.
Take a look at what Mary Laney writes in today’s Chicago Sun-Times:
Payback happens all the time in politics. But choosing Hastings as chairman of anything — let alone a committee as important as Intelligence — is just plain wrong. This committee has oversight on the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Armed Forces Intelligence. Hastings shouldn’t be allowed near anything having to do with such vital national security matters. It’s amazing he’s even in Congress with his record.
While a federal judge in Florida — and only two years after being appointed to the bench by President Jimmy Carter — Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for giving a lenient sentence to two men charged and convicted of racketeering.
He was acquitted of the charge of bribery in a Miami court after an alleged accomplice went to prison rather than testify against him. But in 1989 the Democratic-controlled House took a look at the evidence and impeached Hastings for bribery and perjury by a 413-3 vote. The Senate — also Democratic controlled — convicted him on eight articles of impeachment and removed him from the bench. Pelosi voted for Hastings’ impeachment.
Hastings has one of the worst absentee records on Capitol Hill. When he does appear, his record on national security is nearly as much a disgrace as his past. He has voted against electronic surveillance, against the Patriot Act, against trial of terrorist combatants by military tribunals, against terrorist financial tracking measures and against border control. In other words, he’s down on national security, against all funding for it, and should be the last person ever considered to become the head of a House committee charged with overseeing intelligence.
Should Pelosi actually follow through and give Hastings the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, it would turn the House of Representatives into Theater of the Absurd.
And this is who Pelosi thinks should be Chairman of the very important House Intelligence Committee?
The culture of corruption is far from over. In fact, it looks as if it’s just beginning.