"Speaking only for myself, it's hard to keep things in perspective and in the categories. . . . Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah. Why do you ask me these questions at 5 o'clock? Can I answer in Spanish? Do you speak Spanish?”
- Silvestre Reyes, the incoming Democratic Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, explaining his difficulty in defining what "Hezbollah" is, and his uncertainty as to whether Al Qaeda is a movement of Sunni or Shiite Muslims. (He managed to guess wrong.) Rep. Reyes has proudly served on the intelligence committee since before 9/11, so things in Washington are certainly looking up.
From the Washington Post article: "Reyes, a former Border Patrol agent and an opponent of the Iraq war, was chosen for the intelligence committee post over the panel's two top-ranking Democrats, Reps. Jane Harman (Calif.) and Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.)."
Hmm . . . makes you wonder about Pelosi's judgment, not to mention the qualifications of the other two.
By the way, Reyes' "Can I answer in Spanish? Do you speak Spanish " query was absent from the Post article. Who knows why. When told by a Congressional Quarterly reporter that he could speak in Spanish, Reyes managed, "Well, I uh . . . " (in English). I ran across this missing bit of the story this morning in the Times UK.
"The intelligence committee will keep its eye on the ball and focus on the pressing security and intelligence issues facing us," said Reyes.
Well, that's reassuring.