Reyes Slams Hoekstra Over CIA Document Demand

Posted May 12, 2009 at 6:40pm

House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) is accusing his Republican counterpart, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.), of compromising national security in order to stoke the ongoing flap over what Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) knew about harsh Bush-era interrogation techniques.

“It’s irresponsible what Republicans are doing, particularly in Mr. Hoekstra’s case,— Reyes said Tuesday. “When you’re asking to declassify material that’s been classified for a very good reason — that’s the height of irresponsibility.—

Hoekstra last week secured the release of a CIA report documenting 40 briefings on interrogation tactics that the agency conducted for Congressional leaders over seven years. The report revealed Pelosi sat in on a September 2002 session in which intelligence officials detailed their use of harsh techniques and that a top aide attended a similar briefing six months later — disclosures that appeared to contradict the Speaker’s repeated assertions in recent weeks that the agency merely claimed it had the legal authority to use the tactics.

Pelosi and other Democrats have suggested the report is less than accurate, but Hoekstra is pushing for more information about the sessions to be made public. On Monday, he called on Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and CIA Director Leon Panetta to declassify and release memos that accompanied the briefings for lawmakers.

Reyes said the Republican drive to make more of the information public is “jeopardizing our national security.— He said the GOP is “trying to keep this alive politically more than they’re interested in what actually happened.—

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) offered a different take earlier Tuesday, endorsing a full accounting of “what was said and when it was said, and who said it.—

“I think that probably ought to be on the record as well, so the American public knows that,— he said.