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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American Exceptionalism: Our Gun Culture at Home and Abroad
There is an insidious and unspoken connection between our gun culture at home and abroad. U.S. politicians and pundits believe that huge defense budgets provide international security for the United States, and many Americans believe that personal weapons provide safety at home. We don’t question the use of deadly weaponry in unnecessary wars overseas; Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan are the most recent examples. At home, there are more guns than people — 120 guns for every 100 people. The United States is exceptional because some of the same weapons designed for war are available to teenagers fighting their personal demons.
The United States Specializes in Exaggerating the Threat
Every day we gather evidence of the pathetic performance of the Russian military in Ukraine. There was the inability to deal with Ukraine’s primitive air defense; the loss of the flag ship of the Black Sea Fleet; the sadistic behavior of a ground force that lacks any sense of discipline or professionalism; the loss of general officers; and the near total breakdown in logistical support for the invasion force. The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Major General Bulanov, dismissed the Russian invasion force as a “horde of people with weapons.”