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Sunday, Jul 9, 2006, 6:15 pm

House Intelligence Chair Hoekstra v Bush: What’s Really Up With That?

By Brian Zick

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Emptywheel at The Next Hurrah posted an initial dubious reaction here to the Lichtblau/Shane story on Hoekstra's complaint letter to Bush. And a follow-up speculative analysis here, the bottom line of which is that whatever is going on, Hoekstra's concerns are coming from an extremist right-wing looneyville perspective, that has nothing whatsoever to do with any interest in promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity*.

Emptywheel summarizes:
I'm not dismissing the dangers of having another surveillance program that is so secret that not even Administration shill Pete Hoekstra can hear about it. I'm suggesting the following:

* Hoekstra is in no way advocating real oversight here--he's offering rubber stamp approval for Bush's programs in exchange for inclusion in them
* The Administration is now keeping programs secret from its own supporters, which might suggest those supporters are a target (or that, for some reason, the faction needed to be excluded)
* If I'm right about the factionalism involved, this is the Rummy-Cheney faction telling the Bush faction not to get too independent, because they can get him in legal hot water
* Hoekstra also seems to be fighting an implicit move away from supporting baseless intelligence claims (the outdated chemical weapons)--it's almost as if he's saying, "you better support my baseless intelligence claims or I'll expose your illegal spying programs"

But the factionalism (which I'm just guessing at, I could be totally wrong) is critical, because it provides a clear view of how the House gravy train responded to the Goss outing, and outlines ways Bush might be blackmailed into letting the House gravy train carry on with its corruption. Remember, underlying the Wilkes/Cunningham/Lewis/etc. scandal are the surveillance programs Wilkes himself won, which includes the CIFA program. We get shitty domestic surveillance no matter which of these factions win.
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