Monday, March 27, 2017

West Coast Observer: The Republican House Intelligence Committee

An oxymoron

By William Silveira

The West Coast, but more specifically Tulare County, where I live, has been thrown into the national spotlight by the actions of our Congressman, Devin Nunes, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to be looking into ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
    Mr. Nunes, after receiving information that persons involved in the Trump campaign had been surveilled incident to surveillance of persons working on behalf of foreign governments, ran to Trump to deliver that news – before revealing it to the committee of which he is the head and in derogation of his own responsibility to act as a responsible member the legislative branch of government. These activities have ignited a firestorm of criticism of Mr. Nunes’s behavior. The editorials in today’s Fresno Bee (“Russia-Trump probe is in chaos, and Nunes is to blame”) and New York Times (“Rep. Nunes Is a Lapdog in a Watchdog Role”) say it better than I.
    The news of Nunes’s actions prompted the Bee to send a longtime reporter, Lewis Griswold, to develop a story about the reaction of people in Tulare to these revelations. The story appeared in the March 25th issue of the Bee under the title, “Harsh portrayal of their hometown congressman Devin Nunes riles his neighbors and friends.”
    Interestingly, I happened to stop at the Tulare Starbucks and run into Lew, who had been in Tulare researching the story. My observation to him, which is also the observation of the writers of the cited editorials, is that Rep. Nunes is far more interested in finding the sources of the leaks of the information on Flynn, Manafort, et. al. (and in seeing the leakers punished under federal criminal law) than he is in seriously looking into the extent of Russian influence in our election.
    There was a clever quip decades ago in Time magazine about the two official Russian newspapers working for the then-communist government. The newspapers were Pravda and Izvestia. In Russian, the word “Pravda” means truth and the word “Izvestia” means news. The quip was that in Izvestia there was no Pravda and that in Pravda there was no Izvestia. I’ve recalled that quip several times when thinking about Nunes’s leadership of the House Intelligence Committee – in the Republican House Intelligence Committee there is no intelligence.

Copyright © 2017 by William Silveira


  1. I'm betting Nunes and Trump know Flynn could be Trump's Howard Dean. I also think Flynn has cut a deal with the FBI already.

    1. Interesting!, Ed. But I believe you mean John Dean, Nixon's White House Counsel?