There is a political myth in Washington that the Senate and House intelligence committees, unlike other congressional committees, have been bipartisan and fair minded in their handling of political matters. Now that the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has gone rogue by providing sensitive exculpatory intelligence documents to the President of the United States, the subject of a committee investigation, we are told that the intelligence committee can no longer be considered bipartisan. Well, we learned 25 years ago that the congressional intelligence committees were as politicized as any committee on the Hill.
The congressional intelligence committees were created in 1977 following recommendations of the Church and Pike committees that investigated crimes committed during the Vietnam War by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency. These crimes included illegal domestic spying in violation of U.S. law throughout the war. The intelligence committees were given responsibility for oversight of the intelligence community, which had been in the hands of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees from 1947 until 1977.
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CIA Creates a Mission Center to Counter China
You have to wonder what in the world Burns’ mediocre predecessors (John Brennan and Mike Pompeo) were thinking in creating mission centers regarding Iran and North Korea which represented little threat to the United States. But my second reaction is less facetious and more serious: why is the United States—its president, its politicians, its pundits—hell-bent on creating a Cold War environment and arms race with China? Burns told his work force last week that China is “our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry.”