Behind Hoekstra’s Intel-Order Walkout
The New York Sun’s Eli Lake reports out the backstory behind something Rachel Maddow asked me about last night on the radio and I couldn’t answer. Why’d the GOPers on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence walk out of committee after learning about the revised intelligence executive order?
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told The New York Sun yesterday that he would punish the intelligence community from now on when they asked to spend money in areas that were not initially authorized in the budgeting process. The chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence panels approve requests by intelligence agencies to “reprogram” funds from the areas to which they were initially budgeted.
“I will not sign off on any reprogramming until at least they provide us with the information by law that they are required to give us,” Mr. Hoekstra said.
It’s a bit churlish that EO 12333 (the official name for the executive order governing intelligence-community protocol) is, as Eli writes, “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for the HPSCI GOP, when, like, warrantless surveillance went much, much further than what only two House GOPers were briefed on and that didn’t cause any walkouts. Donald Rumsfeld’s only good piece of advice, delivered in Rumsfeld’s Rules, was that most interoffice acrimony boils down to “…but I wasn’t consulted!” Hoekstra is probably staging a demonstration campaign for the intelligence community under an Obama administration.