- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It was with great dismay that I read Gen. Michael V. Hayden’s piece “Biggest loser will be the nation” (Nation, Thursday).

Gen. Hayden’s account of the off-site meeting in March 2008 between members of the House Intelligence Committee and leaders in the intelligence community fans the false flames of a partisan feud between Congress and the executive branch. Based on the CIA’s failure to keep members of Congress fully and currently informed on other programs, members of both parties were unprepared to state that they were notified of everything happening in the intelligence community. This is part of the “healthy constitutional skepticism” to which Gen. Hayden refers and that is necessary for congressional oversight.

His assertion, however, that members of Congress refused to help defuse the situation is highly inaccurate. In fact, in an effort to better inform the public and speak in concert, I suggested that we co-write an Op-Ed column, and the then director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, agreed. That Op-Ed - “The Intelligence Consensus” - appeared in the Wall Street Journal on April 2, 2008.

While there is serious work to be done to protect the American people, the media speculation and opining by former government officials undermine much of the hard work and productive relationships that exist between the intelligence community and the members of Congress who oversee them.

REP. ANNA G. ESHOO

14th Congressional District, California

Member of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Washington

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