Paul Pillar

The Damaging Decline of HPSCI

Among all the other damaging effects of this escapade is that it a may drive a final politicized nail into the coffin of effective oversight of intelligence, at least on the House of Representatives side of Capitol Hill.  If this is how a committee majority is to conduct business, and how it is to handle classified information, then neither the American people nor the FBI or other national security agencies have reason any more to believe that effective oversight by this committee is possible.

An irony is that amid all the rhetoric about a deep state and supposed abuses within security agencies, Nunes and company are killing the most effective mechanism that American democracy has for ensuring that such a deep state does not arise and that such abuses do not occur.

Image: U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) briefs reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst