U.S. Senator Martin Henrich’s (D-NM) strongly-worded statement this week cautioning the CIA that “The Senate Intelligence Committee oversees the CIA, not the other way around” is – in my mind – remarkable for the sheer fact that it’s remarkable.
One of the things I have most struggled to understand about elected officials is how few of them seem to revel in the role of being an elected official. Maybe it’s just me, but if I ever put myself through the hell necessary to become a U.S. Senator, I’d take a lot of pride in being a U.S. Senator. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d wake up every day trying to figure out how to be the best U.S. senator ever.
Think about it. If you were a member of Congress wouldn’t you want that to mean something? If – for example - you got to serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wouldn’t you want the Senate Intelligence Committee to be a really important and powerful committee? If your job was to conduct oversight, wouldn’t you get ticked at the suggestion that oversight isn’t valuable or that your contributions would be anything other than worthwhile? Wouldn’t you want your constituents to look at your work and say: “I’m proud that MY senator is the one asking tough questions.” “I feel safer knowing that MY senator is ensuring that the intelligence community really is doing its best to keep me safe.” Call me crazy, but I’d be furious if I found out that the NSA or CIA was hiding stuff from me, if only because it implies that they think they care more about my constituents’ safety than I do.
Again, maybe it’s just me, but if I spent my work days surrounded by statues and paintings of the courageous leaders who came before me, I’d say to myself, “Self, how can I be more like THEM?”Read more