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Incoming Democrat House Intelligence Chair fails Intelligence Quiz

Jeff Stein of CQ.com interviewed Rep. Sylvestre Reyes, the incoming Democrat House Intelligence Committee chairman, and asked him a few questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah since he will be the top House member in charge of intelligence and national security issues. He did not do well.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

When asked by CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam -- Sunni or Shiite -- Reyes answered "they are probably both," then ventured "Predominantly -- probably Shiite."

That is wrong. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics.

Reyes could also not answer questions put by Stein about Hezbollah, a Shiite group on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations that is based in Southern Lebanon.

Stein's column about Reyes' answers was published on CQ's Web site Friday evening.

In an interview with CNN, Stein said he was "amazed" by Reyes' lack of what he considers basic information about two of the major terrorists organizations.

"If you're the baseball commissioner and you don't know the difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox, you don't know baseball," Stein said. "You're not going to have the respect of the people you work with."

While Stein said Reyes is "not a stupid guy," his lack of knowledge said it could hamper Reyes' ability to provide effective oversight of the intelligence community, Stein believes.

"If you don't have the basics, how do you effectively question the administration?" he asked. "You don't know who is on first."

This does not bode well.

Hat tip: Lucianne


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Comments (38)

Yeah, well. . .so what? CQ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, well. . .so what? CQ.com's a neocon faux news outlet. And Bush can't say 'nuclear.' And he's a big poopyhead, too. Worst. President. EVER! And don't you have more important things to blog about, Kim? You wingnuts are so pathetic!

There you go, moonbats. Just saved you the trouble of commenting. All part of the VRWC service here at Wizbang.

cmd:Who gives a ra... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


Who gives a rat's ass who Rep. Reyes was interviewed by. He could've been interviewed by the local elementary school newspaper, and it wouldn't have friggin' mattered. It doesn't dismiss the fact that the man can't properly identify one of the largest terrorist organization in the world....and he's going to be sitting on the Intelligence Committee!

Seriously, consider getting your head examined. In fact, make your appointment right after Rep. Reyes gets his.

This is very dissapointing ... (Below threshold)

This is very dissapointing indeed, not for Dems especially, but the country. However, I didn't see the headline when the President failed the same test.

Ever met a Dem that knew as... (Below threshold)

Ever met a Dem that knew as much as they think they did, or as much as they needed to??

Peter F, reread cmd's comme... (Below threshold)

Peter F, reread cmd's comment, especially the last line.

jp2, it is sad for the country and it isn't Bush's fault the man is ignorant of the basic facts of his job and he just believes--along with the rest of the left--thinking AQ and Hes and Hamas are not threats to our way of life. They've been so obsessed with getting back into power you've sold out the country to regain your power. Let's just hope it isn't just a smoldering pile of ash by the time you guys are down screwing it up.

I love the Dems whole "clean up corruption" campaign. They have to offer Hastings (crooked judge) as appeasement to the BC for punting Jefferson after he was busted with literally, cold hard cbribe money. Nancy can't have the one informed Democrat (Harman) because of a cat-fight and so the best they can do is offer up a fourth-stringer who hasn't got a clue about his job. Way to go Dems... I guess when they finally do surrender completely to the Islamic fundamentalists we will get taxed so the government can issue prayer rugs so we can bow to Mecca.

After, Iran and it's proxies are run by the "progressive" people the Clinton's identify with the most...I bet a fundamentalist nation where you vote for the religious fascists or die is a Leftist's dream come true...

Peter - try reading to the ... (Below threshold)

Peter - try reading to the end of a comment before firing off a response, huh, pal? Otherwise you look like a moonbat (see jp2, above).

And jp - speaking of headlines, where's the outrage over this secret wiretap? I ask you, in the name of God, where's the outrage?!?!?!?!?!?

Ah, finally proof that Pete... (Below threshold)

Ah, finally proof that Peter doesn't bother to actually read posts and be open to other views. He just likes to support Bush and bash Democrats. I believe there's a bot you can set up for that.

Channelling Bubba:... (Below threshold)

Channelling Bubba:

In ma defence, I told the Secret Service Ah'd like to "tap that Limey Princess". Ah didn't think they'd have a different understanding of the word "tap" than Ah did. They need to watch more BET. It might have helped them better understand the first black president a little better. And they'd have seen some quality badonkadonk in the process... Go, baby, go!
But, they didn't even know what the meaning of is, was, when Ah was running the show...

Temper, temper!! ANYONE (R... (Below threshold)

Temper, temper!! ANYONE (Repub, democrap, socialist, whatever) being named as the HEAD OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE should have some bit of understanding of the ONE OF THE MAJOR INTELLIGENCE PROBLEMS facing the country today. He would have been better prepared if he just googled "al quada". I assume anyone being named to ANY CHAIRMANSHIP had a prior interest in the job, and that WOULD INCLUDE A KNOWLEDGE OF THE MAJOR POINTS FACING THE CHAIRMAN.
(Sorry for the "yelling")

The hits just keep on comin... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

The hits just keep on coming; thanks Nancy!

Since Reyes is supposed to ... (Below threshold)

Since Reyes is supposed to provide leadership over the 'oversight' function, which Pelsoi and other Dems claimed they were far better capable of doing, wouldn't it make sense that they would back up what they claimed during the election, by having someone on the committee who would have at the minimum, the basic understanding of the background of Al Queda?

cmd:Ouch! I'm dubi... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:


Ouch! I'm dubiously embarassed. My big-time apologies on that one.

Going off to cower in my proverbial corner now....

Eesh, I am dink.

Oh, and Brian...At... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Oh, and Brian...

At least I own up to my mistakes, you feckless crapweasel.

This is in No way a shocker... (Below threshold)

This is in No way a shocker. And I'll tell you why and it's because of this; Democrats claim bush lied to get us in Iraq, yet half of them voted to do so. So Democrats now have to claim they were duped after spending eight years during the 1990's saying the same exact thing President Bush said. I guess this whining works on the lefties. They eat that stuff up.

Isn't that part of the impeachment charge Democrats would love to pursue? It sure would be tough getting those charges to stick by calling Democrats to the stand and ask them about their statements.

That would be like a Republican saying, "interns, hell yes I do them but let's go ahead and impeach Clinton anyway".

So this just tells me more of what I already knew. And that was Democrats would have followed the President in Iraq and defended him to this day because they never knew the dynamics but as long as the President was Democrat they would have gone the long haul.

They just vote with their fingers in the wind to see where the political winds are blowing.

There you have it, a bunch of them have been running around and not giving the threat any seriousness just to bash the President so they never learned. Frigg'in Pathetic. I guess they had better get cramming. Finals are in a couple of days.

cmd: Right on the money!</... (Below threshold)

cmd: Right on the money!

Peter F: You can come out of the corner now. The way this blog has been watered down by the real moonbats, it' not hard to make that mistake.

Good save!

Is it no wonder that the De... (Below threshold)

Is it no wonder that the Democrats have a donkey as a mascot. One of definitions of donkey is "unintelligent person: somebody thought of as lacking intelligence (informal insult)" seems to suit the current crop of Democrats.

Wow this is embarrassing fo... (Below threshold)

Wow this is embarrassing for my party. They keep adding up too.

<a href="http://a... (Below threshold)
Bush gets an F in foreign affairs

Nov. 5, 1999 | WASHINGTON -- Have you ever gone to class unprepared and been surprised by a pop quiz, and then scored only 25 percent? Imagine if that embarrassing performance made the front pages.

When Andy Hiller, the political correspondent for WHDH-TV in Boston, had George W. Bush in front of a camera on Wednesday, he asked the Texas governor if he could name the president of Chechnya. Bush could not. Nor could he name the general who recently took power in Pakistan or the new prime minister of India. Bush only answered one of the four questions correctly when he identified the president of Taiwan as "Lee."

What made the Q&A worse for Bush was that he responded to the questions with petulance. Rather than explaining that he is a big-picture guy and calmly providing a strategic vision of U.S. foreign policy concerning these areas, he shot back at the reporter.

"Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico?" Bush asked, apparently proud that he knew the answer. Hiller reasonably replied that he was not the one running for president.

i'm not suprised. i'm gett... (Below threshold)

i'm not suprised. i'm getting ready for more political incompetence, this time with a more liberal flavor.

it's all the same shit to me. they get into power, do stupid things, and all of us in the trenches go at one another's throats based upon ideological allegiances that are mostly imaginary.

meanwhile, nothing worthwhile gets done, the politicians keep getting paid, and I pay too much for rent.

/pessimistic rant about politics.

Does Bush know the differen... (Below threshold)

Does Bush know the difference between Sunni and Shiite yet? Just curious.

ast'--don't know but I do k... (Below threshold)

ast'--don't know but I do know that there is no differance between you and an asshole.

well you alleged experts ar... (Below threshold)
mullah cimoc:

well you alleged experts are even dumnber than reyes. Hey genius what is the difference between the black turban and the white turban.

That's easy. The guy in th... (Below threshold)

That's easy. The guy in the white turban gets to say "Yee Haw" alot, wears the big gun and gets the woman at the end.

Sometimes substitute a sheep.

There goes Lee against, rev... (Below threshold)

There goes Lee against, revealing his idiocy. Hey Lee, not knowing the president of Chechnya and not knowing the makeup of an organization that has declared war against us is totally different- especially when you are to head the intelligence committee. However, you are just too stupid to realize that.

You know, Pete, I'd have to... (Below threshold)

You know, Pete, I'd have to say that not knowing the president of Chechnya and not knowing the specifics of major terrorist organizations are pretty much equal indications of international ignorance.

That's my opinion, for what it's worth.

ast'--don't know but I d... (Below threshold)

ast'--don't know but I do know that there is no differance between you and an asshole.

More mature and insightful commentary, brought to you by jhow66.

Seriously jhow66, what's with the kindergarten style of debate that you like to employ? Name calling? Is that all you've got?

jhow66,Do you thin... (Below threshold)


Do you think, working full-time, going to charm school, etc., that this guy could pull himself up to the point we could call him an asshole?

I love it when Republicans ... (Below threshold)

I love it when Republicans proclaim their superiority with the exclamation "were only half stupid!"

Lee,Try avoiding s... (Below threshold)


Try avoiding sweeping generalizations, if at all possible. I happen to be friends with a number of pretty staunch Rebulicans, and although I may disagree with them on many issues, I would never call them stupid.

Amazingly, very intelligent people might have an opinion that doesn't agree with your own.

At least I own up to my ... (Below threshold)

At least I own up to my mistakes, you feckless crapweasel.

Yep, props for that. Perhaps you can teach your wise ways to Bush.

'what is the difference bet... (Below threshold)

'what is the difference between the black turban and the white turban'

Laundry day.

Hi!My name's Jhow6... (Below threshold)


My name's Jhow66! I get under your skin! You're in the club! What's the difference between my face and your ass! Nothing! Moonbats! Peeheads! Whaa whaa whaa!!! Listen to me!!! Listen to me!!!!!

Glad the Dems are gonna 'be... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Glad the Dems are gonna 'be the most ethical Congress, ever!'

From the AP :

"Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., violated ethics standards by giving reporters access to an illegally taped telephone call involving Republican leaders a decade ago, the House ethics committee said Monday.

McDermott, who at the time was the panel's senior Democrat, failed to meet his obligations as a committee leader, said a report released two days after Congress adjourned for the year." From Fox News.

As usual, Dems get away with no penalty.

ryan-yep-but still beats an... (Below threshold)

ryan-yep-but still beats anything that you put out-right?
hansel&gretal--working better then I figured.

robert--good point-I will have to reacess my thoughts on his grade of asshole.

<a href="http://www.townhal... (Below threshold)

this is a great piece by Hugh Hewitt. I wish I knew how to send it to Reyes. It's everything he needs to know about sunnis and shia. It is definitely more than he knows now.
God help the country. (IS saying "God" still acceptable? /sarc)

jhow is a self-identified t... (Below threshold)

jhow is a self-identified troll, out to annoy people. He admits it himself -- but please -- f you have a problem with jhow write to Jay or Kevin rather than responding here. Replying to his trolling only encourages him.

Lee,Try avoi... (Below threshold)

Try avoiding sweeping generalizations, if at all possible. I happen to be friends with a number of pretty staunch Rebulicans, and although I may disagree with them on many issues, I would never call them stupid.

Amazingly, very intelligent people might have an opinion that doesn't agree with your own. .

Ryan, you've mistaken Lee's postings here as an attempt at reasonable discourse. There are a number of poster, of which Lee is a prime example, who apparently learned to 'debate' by watching professional 'wrastlin'.

I always concede defeat whe... (Below threshold)

I always concede defeat whenever someone raises the wrastlin' analogy.

UnderscoreMIKEunderscore -- you are truly a superior being, as is exemplified by your.... uhm... double underscores!






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