Rush Holt: Peter King’s Muslim Hearings Go ‘Way Beyond What Is Called For’

January 19, 2011 4:10 a.m.
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Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), the former chairman of the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, said he is troubled by Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) plan to hold hearings on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans.

“I feel like my friend Peter has gone way beyond what is called for there, and I do intend to talk to him about it,” Holt told TPM of King’s plan.Holt’s comments to TPM came after a Brennan Center panel held Tuesday to release the center’s comprehensive study of the rules that govern the FBI’s authority over domestic intelligence. The rules, approved by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2008, are considerably more lax than previous incarnations, vastly expand the FBI’s investigatory discretion and limit oversight, the report argues.

Emily Berman, the author of the Brennan Center report, recommends that the FBI be banned from using certain investigative techniques unless there is some basis in fact to suspect wrongdoing; that agents be required to use the least intrusive investigative technique that is likely to prove effective; and that agents be banned from improperly considering race, religion, ethnicity, national origin or First-Amendment-protected activity in investigative decisions.

Holt told the audience that profiling is “lazy thinking” and mentioned that many provisions of the Patriot Act are up for renewal next month.

“People who care about these things have their work cut out for them in the next month,” Holt said.

The report, embedded below, also recommends additional oversight from both Congress and within the Justice Department.

Domestic Intelligence: New Powers, New Risks

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