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More GOP Epistemic Closure

Scott McConnell observes with appropriate dismay an intelligence hearing scheduled for the House:

 On Thursday the committee has scheduled hearings on “Israel’s Right to Defend Itself: Implications for Regional Security and U.S. Interests.” The invited witnesses are Elliott Abrams, Danielle Pletka, and Robert Satloff — all neoconservatives, all staunch backers of Netanyahu, the Iraq war, etc. The committee doesn’t even pretend that there might be other worthwhile perspectives, surprising since U.S. interests are meant to be the subject matter. I asked a congressional aide whether there was anything to be done about this, and was told, “No, witnesses are decided by committee chairman and ranking members” and that “the system is irreparably broken.”

Yeah, I’ll say. I’m a lot more pro-Israel than many, probably most, voices at TAC, and my view of the recent Gaza conflict is far more sympathetic to Israel. That said, unless this key GOP-controlled committee intends to host another hearing featuring a full roster of expert witnesses offering a more foreign-policy realist, or even pro-Palestinian, point of view — and there is no such hearing scheduled — then this planned hearing is a farce. Where is the balance? How are Congressmen supposed to make informed policy decisions when they only care to hear a single perspective — even if, in this case, it’s a perspective with which I largely sympathize?

Have the Democratic members of the committee complained about this? If not, why not?

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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