Sadly, the Congressional intelligence committees are anything but. The incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), doesn't even know that al Qaeda is a Sunni group.
The dialogue went like this:
Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?
“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”
“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.
“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.
Jeff Stein says that both Democrats and Republicans are pretty ignorant of basic facts about the War on Terror, but can you imagine President Bush getting away from such a wrong answer so easily? Someone needs to send our congressmen a link to the Middle East Buddy List.
It's sure good that Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi decided to refuse the chairmanship to experienced Intelligence Committee ranking member Jane Harman (D-CA) due to a personal grudge, despite consensus that Harman is incredibly knowledgable about national security issues.