Quick: al Qaeda is what, Sunni or Shia?
If you don't know, it doesn't matter all that much if you're a doctor, a bartender, or a software programmer. It's a different story if you're the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
CQ's Jeff Stein gives Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) a pop quiz:
- Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?
"Al Qaeda, they have both," Reyes said. "You're talking about predominately?"
"Sure," I said, not knowing what else to say.
"Predominantly â€“ probably Shiite," he ventured.
He couldn't have been more wrong.
Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they'd slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.
Reyes also didn't know which camp Hezbollah belongs to. And it's not a Democrat thing--Rs who have flunked Stein's quizzing include Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-Va., and Terry Everett, R-Ala. Several top counterterrorism officials at the FBI also flunked.