Representative Pete Hoekstra, a Republican from Ottawa County, has been named chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Hoekstra will be replacing Representative Porter Goss who became the new CIA director earlier this month. Hoekstra has been a fanatic supporter of the invasion of Iraq–spreading the lies of the Bush administration claiming that Saddam Hussein had WMD he might give to “terrorists,” visiting Iraq to report on the “progress” of reconstruction, speaking at pro-troop rallies in 2003 and 2004, and regularly appearing in the local media celebrating the invasion of Iraq.
Perhaps most problematic is Hoekstra’s apparent inability to properly evaluate intelligence information in the past and his willingness to overlook contrary evidence in support of ideological needs. He applauded Colin Powell’s February 5, 2003 speech to the United Nations claiming that “Secretary Powell offered convincing evidence against Iraq” accusing the country of possessing WMD and having ties to Al-Qaeda, both of which have been proven false. Despite evidence to the contrary, on March, 20 2003 Representative Hoekstra issued a statement called “The Case for War in Iraq” which reads like a list of reasons why Hoekstra should not be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Representative Hoekstra claimed that “Saddam turned U.N. disarmament requirements into a game of deception designed to buy more time to increase his stockpile of chemical and biological weapons even as 250,000 U.S. troops were stationed at his border,” a clear lie as no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. His statement in support of the invasion of Iraq goes on to state that Saddam Hussein was “amassing weapons of mass destruction against U.N. orders” in the years between the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
It is also worth noting that Pete Hoekstra was elected promising to serve no more than 12 years and to not accept PAC money, both of which he has broken as he seeks his 13th year in office with $151,882 so far this election in PAC contributions, 98% of which come from businesses.