Inviter of enemies, approaching the green. (photo: KeithAllison via Flickr)

If there was any doubt at all that the incoming House Speaker doesn’t think much at all of the House Intelligence Committee, it was erased this week:

The new members [appointed by Boehner to the committee] are Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota; Representative Joe Heck of Nevada; Representative Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey; Representative Devin Nunes of California; Representative Tom Rooney of Florida and Representative Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.

I’m glad I’m not prone to the temptations of strong drink, because if anything could get me to pound Jell-O shots at five-thirty in the morning, this would do it. The Republican contingent of the committee was already not exactly a monument to intellect or integrity, not with Mike Rogers and Pete King in it, and Bachmann and Westmoreland in particular won’t be improving the GOP’s sides average scores in those areas. If America’s enemies follow US politics as assiduously as do the NMA World Edition animators in Taiwan, they’ve got to know what an unbelievably fortuitous gift it is they’ve just been given.

In fact, it’s long been known among foreign intelligence operations that Republicans and their allies are the best friends our enemies could possibly have — the more xenophobic, the better. During World War Two, lifelong Republican and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover gave British intelligence figures headaches with his constant need to boost his own image at the expense of intelligence work; he was notorious for ordering the arrest — often with him specially brought in for the occasion with photographers in tow — of various Nazi spies, rather than leaving them in place and feeding them bad information to transmit to Berlin, as was the UK’s practice. His distrust and dislike of the British way of running spy networks led him in 1941 to ignore the evidence provided by Dusan “Dusko” Popov, a Serbian Yugoslav double agent, of a planned and imminent attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. More recently, James J. Smith, one of the FBI’s lead agents in the creation of the ginned-up “Chinagate” scandal directed by the GOP against Bill Clinton and Al Gore, was found to have been the longtime lover of California Republican Party stalwart Katrina Leung, who just happened to be a spy for the Red Chinese:  . . .

As we noted earlier today, it now turns out that one of the FBI agents investigating the Asian campaign finance scandal of 1996-97, James J. Smith, was also the handler of an FBI informant, Katrina Leung. She turns out to have been a double-agent, in the service of the People’s Republic of China. Smith and Leung were lovers. And through this relationship and one with another FBI agent, William Cleveland, Leung managed to compromise not only the campaign finance investigation but perhaps also a great deal of US espionage against China over the last two decades. Now it seems clear that higher-ups at the FBI suspected or knew Leung was a double agent as early as 1991.

Oh, and one other thing: Leung is a long-time Republican party activist, fundraiser and party-donor. A November 2nd 1997 article in the Los Angeles Times called her “a dynamic Republican known to have friends and family connections in the highest echelons of Beijing government … [who] has opened her spacious San Marino home for local political fund-raisers and has facilitated visits to China by the mayor and others.”

In other words, it seems to me that the likelihood is quite strong that the People’s Republic of China, through its operative Leung (who the FBI knew as “Parlor Maid”) and her Republican friends, strongly influenced, if not outright created, the “Chinagate” scandal as a way to misdirect attention away from actual Chinese spies like herself, instead setting up people like Democratic donor Johnny Chung to take the blame for any intelligence leaks.

And now, with the addition of Michele Bachmann to a committee already dragged down by the presence of Pete King, it looks like those days may soon be returning. Forget Wikileaks — this is the real “clear and present danger”.

This is John Boehner switching on a neon sign telling our enemies “Come and Roll Us, Please!” Hell, if I were in charge of Chinese intelligence, I’d have somebody start hanging out at places like Mac Hammond’s megachurch in case Bachmann does yet another one of her stump speeches from the pulpit there. Even better, I’d have them throw about ten grand at her PAC — that’d get them into her inner circle pretty damned quick.