Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 11, 2009

HOEKSTRA, THE HUMAN SIEVE.... Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) of Michigan has long been a world-class buffoon. We are, after all, talking about a conservative lawmaker who held a press conference in 2006 to announce, "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." The ridiculous claim was quickly debunked.

But this week, Hoekstra is breaking new ground. The Michigan Republican, who happens to be the ranking GOP lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee, is now trying to exploit the Nidal Hasan shootings from last week for some kind of perverse political gain. Hoekstra told reporters, for example, that Hasan is believed to have sent emails to a radical cleric in Yemen, and then received emails back. As Rachel Maddow explained on MSNBC last night, that wasn't information intended for the public.

"Why is it Pete Hoekstra who's taking it upon himself to tell the press that this radical cleric is having his email read by U.S. intelligence agencies?" Rachel asked. "The FBI had not said publicly that this cleric had been emailing Hasan. The CIA, the NSA, the White House... nobody else had reported this cleric was e-mailing Hasan. This is just Pete Hoekstra letting us know -- and letting the radical cleric that is under surveillance know -- that he's under surveillance."

When asked why Hoekstra had made this revelation, the lawmaker referred MSNBC to the Republican staff of the House Intelligence Committee. When they were asked for an explanation, GOP officials said they "do not know" if Hoekstra released secret information, but they're "guessing" this wasn't a problem.

I'd add one other key angle here: Hoekstra tends to share classified information all the time, and has done so for years. In August 2007, Hoekstra wrote an op-ed condemning leaks, but the op-ed itself included a leak with classified information about U.S. intelligence budgets.

In November 2006, Hoekstra pushed the Bush administration to publish online a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The idea was to let far-right bloggers "prove" that Saddam had WMD, but Hoekstra's plan led to the accidental release of secret nuclear research.

And earlier this year, it was Hoekstra who was supposed to keep secret his itinerary in Iraq, but who instead broadcasted his whereabouts on Twitter.

Did I mention that Hoekstra is running for governor next year?

That House Republicans made him the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee is embarrassing. That Hoekstra intends to be the chief executive of a state is almost comical.

Steve Benen 2:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee would make a good disinformation source.

Tell him the Canadians are draining Lake Michigan and see what he does.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 11, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Oh the things our elected officials will do to get a vote, and make themselves look important. Common sense is not so common anymore, and it is sick to try and turn such a tragedy into a political power move. Wake up Washington! It is no wonder as of today Congress' approval rating is 25% while 67% disapprove.

David Bourne
http://americarebourne.blogspot.com/

Posted by: David Bourne on November 11, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Please, please let the fool be elected governor, he'll have that many fewer classified secrets to leak.

What a maroon, time for a basic IQ and/or current events test for congress?

Even those hoping to become naturalized citizens have to pass a test to show that they understand the basics of how our country operates.

How many reps or senators would pass that test I wonder

Posted by: Chris on November 11, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't leaking classified intelligence information against the law? This asshole belongs in prison.

Posted by: Chris on November 11, 2009 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

This entire post is an affront to sieves everywhere.

Posted by: National Sieve Defense Alliance on November 11, 2009 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe he thinks he's on the House Unintelligent Activities Committee.

Posted by: ral on November 11, 2009 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Chris for wishing him on us Michiganders. It's not like we have any other problems to deal with. If only we had a loud mouthed buffoon to tell us our only problem is that government is too big, we'd be on the right track.

In a just world, he'd resign his seat to run for gov, and get his hat handed to him. But I'm not counting on it.

Posted by: mrstrailerco on November 11, 2009 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

There's a large Musim Minority in Michigsn. He may have a problem in that guvnor race.

Posted by: Jamie on November 11, 2009 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

That Hoekstra intends to be the chief executive of a state is almost comical.

We'll have to see if the citizens of Michigan have a sense of humor.

Posted by: qwerty on November 11, 2009 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

@mrstrailerco

Sorry, forgot that folks in MI would have to put up with him as governor.

Perfect scenario: give up his US rep seat to run for MI gov, then get soundly thrashed!

Now that's change we can believe in! :-)

-C

Posted by: Chris on November 11, 2009 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of when the Republicans got all upset about Chalibi telling the Iranians that the US had broken their encryption. It later turned out that the Iranians didn't believe him. The republicans just wanted to make sure that we really could.

Seems republican outrage is dangerous to national security.

Posted by: tomj on November 11, 2009 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

'That House Republicans made him the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee is embarrassing. '

Is this any more embarrassing than the Democrats making Lieberman a committee chair?

Posted by: Lynch on November 11, 2009 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, who does he remind me of? Has anyone seen Hoekstra and Michael Steele together?

Posted by: ComradeAnon on November 11, 2009 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Perfect scenario: give up his US rep seat to run for MI gov, then get soundly thrashed!"

Initially that sounds good but unfortunately both his competitiion for the GOP nominaton for Governor and the competition for his seat (in a firmly Republican district) are as bad if not worse. On the one hand I am happy he will no longer by my Congressman. On the other hand, I fear his replacement will be worse, and I terrified by the prospect that Crazy Pete might become governor. (At least he probably is not as bad as the last Republican to run for Governor, Dick De Vos.)

There is hope that the Democrats will hold on to the Governor, but with the economy here I fear it could be a bad year for the party in power. There is almost no chance that the Democrats can pick up his House seat.

Posted by: Ron Chusid on November 11, 2009 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

I happen to live in Pete Hoeksta's district here in Michigan. I can't imagine the disaster he would be as governor. Lord, help us!!!!!

Posted by: Dave on November 11, 2009 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

How on earth can the US Government disclose ANYTHING to this moron except maybe the color of the toilet paper in his padded prison cell?

Posted by: Winski on November 11, 2009 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

this clown is really amazing. No wonder nobody wants to share information with these nuts. he told everyone in the world that the cleric was being watched!!! good one hoekstra!!!!

Posted by: mike on November 11, 2009 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Not one to defend Hoekstra, but investigators would have learned Hasan RECEIVED emails from the cleric by looking at Hasan's inbox.

It does not follow, logically, that Hoekstra revealed the feds were reading the IMAM's email account.

Posted by: Impeach Jay Bybee on November 11, 2009 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

no worse than the leaks that were brought to the press by patrick leahy.

Posted by: m. jackson on November 12, 2009 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

m. jackson.
are you serious? Iran-Contra? Really?
And besides... so? How does that have anything to do with this? Are you some sort of loon?

Posted by: HMDK on November 12, 2009 at 4:33 AM | PERMALINK

This is not a leak. This is intentionally releasing highly critical classified information, a form of treason. This motherfucker needs to lose his security clearance NOW! Then an investigation needs to take place to consider whether criminal charges should be filed. Lock his sorry ass up. The fake christian party will no doubt try to cover for him.

Posted by: Patrick on November 12, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Hoekstra's right. We have the right to know why these 13 soldiers and an unborn child were murdered in cold blood - without warning. Their families have the right to know. The government has the responsibility to protect this country & its citizens. That is their job, isn't it? Hoekstra is just doing his job - as he should. There's no "grandstanding" here. What highly critical classified information did he release? Nothing that we don't have the right to know.

Posted by: sherman on November 13, 2009 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Hoekstra will and does anything to call attention to himself. This is his chance to point to himself, despite how stupid it obviously is, because he would like the gop nomination to run for governor. I can't decide which position will permit him to do the least amount of damage. How awful to have this choice. Maybe if he runs and loses, he'll go back to Holland, Michigan, that is.

Posted by: Mary Ann Dinan on November 14, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Hoekstra will and does anything to call attention to himself. This is his chance to point to himself, despite how stupid it obviously is, because he would like the gop nomination to run for governor. I can't decide which position will permit him to do the least amount of damage. How awful to have this choice. Maybe if he runs and loses, he'll go back to Holland, Michigan, that is.

Posted by: Mary Ann Dinan on November 14, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Hoekstra is a prime example of too much Dutch inbreeding.

Posted by: Hugh G Rection on November 14, 2009 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

The outrageous comments made by the leftist commentators suggest that they would prefer to see one of the other announced candidates on the Republican ticket for governor (or perhaps a Democrat on the Republican ticket). Sort of wishing a weak candidate for the opposition. I would hope to learn more about Hoekstra. In my one exposure to Hoekstra he seemed to be an articulate, reasonable and informed candidate. In my view we need to renegotiate trade agreements, reduce immigration (including deportation of a substantial number of illegals), reduce out military commitments and get the public debt under control. While these issues are not generally in the area of responsibility of the governor, I look for that vision in candidates for all offices.

Posted by: mercantilist on November 22, 2009 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

I like how when you are attacking a Republican they are exploiting an issue for political gain but when Democrats do it they are looking out for the people and their right to know.

Where were you when the NYT was printing leaked stories concerning our national security? Then of course, the people had a right to know.

How about we take politics out of all of it and go after anyone who leaks classified information?

In any event, quit playing this game where one side is based in politics and the other is transparent and looking out for the folks.

Posted by: Big Dog on December 31, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

Posted by: free livesex on November 16, 2010 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

There are a lot off other blogs that are not as interesting as this one.

Posted by: online marketing bureau on December 28, 2010 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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