Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hispanic Congressman tasked with overseeing intelligence has shown himself apparently unable to distinguish between Sunni and Shia Muslims

Adam Brookes:

In an interview with Congressional Quarterly magazine, Silvestre Reyes, a Texas Democrat, said al-Qaeda was a predominantly Shia organisation.

The opposite is the truth - al-Qaeda professes a form of Sunni extremism.

Mr Reyes is a long-time member of the House Intelligence Committee and is set to become its new chairman in January.

The Committee is regularly briefed on intelligence matters and is responsible for the budgets, organisation and overall direction of US spy agencies.

Hence you would expect Mr Reyes to be pretty well informed.

But when an interviewer tested him on basic knowledge of US enemies, he seemed anything but.

When asked whether al-Qaeda was a Sunni or a Shia group, Mr Reyes answered that it was predominantly Shia.

When Mr Reyes was asked whether Hezbollah was Sunni or Shia, he appeared unable to answer.

Hezbollah is, of course, a Shia organisation.

The office of Mr Reyes, when asked for comment, said only that he was acutely aware of al-Qaeda's desire to harm Americans and the House Intelligence Committee would keep its eye on the ball.

But as Democrats ready themselves to take control of Congress following their election victory in November, Mr Reyes' display of ignorance will not help them in their quest to persuade Americans that they are competent on matters of national security.

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3 Comments:

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But as Democrats ready themselves to take control of Congress following their election victory in November, Mr Reyes' display of ignorance will not help them in their quest to persuade Americans that they are competent on matters of national security.

As indicative of a certain aspect of political reality in modern-day America, it's not clear at all to me what would result in the biggest outcry, 1) the Democrats being seen as 'soft' on national security post 9/11 (politics as usual), or 2) them having no, or not enough, 'people of color' in key positions.

In other words: Is competence really more important than diversity today?

Certainly the nomination of Reyes will score points toward #2.

 
At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Rosco said...

Is competence really more important than diversity today?

People on the left like to fool themselves into believing that giving people jobs on the basis of diversity will produce better results than giving them jobs on the basis of merit.

 
At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that Reyes is a godamn moron. But I think in this case a broken clock is right twice a day. In the final analysis, it really doesn't matter if Al Qaeda is Sunni, Shiite or what ever wacko branch of Islam they happen to suscribe to. They are muslims, and that makes them our mortal enemy. Of course, that fact is lost on all assholes in our gov't. We are splitting hairs on muslim sectarian divisions when we should be bombing them.

But of course diversity is more important than competence, just look at the success of our public schools. Also the Democrats have to keep the black and hispanics happy (no easy feat, but much easier with out money). We just get the worst of both worlds. Reyes should also be returned to Aztlan as soon as possible to offer his expertise to the gov't there.

 

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