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Rachel Maddow Takes On Pete Hoekstra's 'Epic Grandstanding'

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:35 PM ET

Childrens Rights

On last night's edition of the Rachel Maddow Show, the host dug into the curious case of Representative Pete Hoekstra, who's been courting cameras lately in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre, telling tales out of school. Chief among them are his account of the email habits of alleged Fort Hood murderer Nidal Hasan to a Yemen-based "radical cleric." Maddow asks the obvious question:

MADDOW: Why is it Pete Hoekstra who's taking it upon himself to tell the press that this radical cleric is having his email read by U.S. intelligence agencies? The FBI had not said publicly that this cleric had been emailing Hasan. The CIA, the NSA, the White House... nobody else had reported this cleric was e-mailing Hasan. This is just Pete Hoekstra letting us know -- and letting the radical cleric that is under surveillance know -- that he's under surveillance.

The Rachel Maddow Show attempted to find out why this was happening, and got the run-around from Hoekstra's office, and bad guesswork from the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee. What they did find out is that Hoekstra "complained all weekend" that he was not being briefed on Fort Hood to his liking, then missed the briefing that was held because he left town of his own accord.

So, what's up with Hoekstra? The Nation's Christopher Hayes bottom-lined it thusly: "His reputation is of an epic grand-stander."

HAYES: There's been a lot of reporting on this over the years. Various intelligence issues that have come before the committee. This is a guy who, in 2006, called a press conference to great fanfare to announce the weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. This is the same person who has accused the CIA of lying to him many times and turned around when Nancy Pelosi said the CIA hadn't told the truth about torture and interrogation techniques, said it was obviously absurd the CIA lied would ever lie to Congress. And now, he's turning around and saying the executive was withholding information. So, this is what he does, from his perch on the Intelligence Committee.

If you recall, Hoekstra is also the the guy who breached the security of a Congressional delegation's trip to Iraq by broadcasting its whereabouts and itinerary on Twitter. At the time, Congressional Quarterly remarked, "Nobody expected, though, that a lawmaker with such an extensive national security background would be the first to break the silence. And in such a big way." People should recalibrate their expectations!

WATCH:

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