King Taps Journo As Senior Committee Investigator

Feb 16, 2011 Issues: Domestic Radicalization / Radicalization Hearings

By Susan Crabtree
Talking Points Memo
February 16, 2011

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the fiery Irishman who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, may have attracted a rash of criticism for holding one of his first hearings on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims and homegrown terrorism, but his decision to hire a respected New York scribe as a top staffer is a sign he is serious about truly digging into holes in the nation's counter-terrorism programs and policies.

King has tapped James Gordon Meek, an eight-year veteran of the New York Daily News and a respected reporter on the terrorism beat, to join the committee staff as a senior investigator.

Meek informed friends and colleagues about his big move in a succinct e-mail sent Tuesday.

"Friends and colleagues..... After eight years in the Washington Bureau of the New York Daily News and 13 years on the justice/terrorism news beat, I resigned from the paper last week and have joined the staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security as Senior Investigator (Counterterrorism) for Chairman Peter King of New York," he wrote.

During his time at the New York Daily News, Meek reported on the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, detainee issues, port security, al Qaeda in Pakistan, as well as radicalism in Yemen. As a senior investigator for the panel, he will be part of a team focused on calling members of the administration to account for weaknesses in the country's counter-terrorism policies and any perceived missteps.

King, in a statement to TPM, acknowledged Meek's breadth of knowledge and said he would play a critical role in the committee's operations.

"On a wide range of counterterrorism issues, James has extraordinary knowledge, contacts, and sources, and we will be relying on him as we go forward with our investigations into the terrorist threat against America," he said.