In a win for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, the Pentagon says it has suspended its plans to build an intelligence facility in a small British village northwest of London.
For years, Nunes has vocally opposed the village of Croughton as the site for this facility. Instead, he has pushed hard for the Pentagon to build the new intelligence center on a tiny, out-of-the-way Portuguese island that just happens to be one of his favorite vacation spots.
Maj. Audricia Harris, a spokesperson for the Defense Department, told The Daily Beast that the Pentagon is reassessing the decision –– made in 2012 –– to build a Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex in the small village. That means plans to build a NATO intelligence fusion center in the same village are also now on hold. Those two projects will be built together.
Harris added that the Pentagon is looking at other sites in the United Kingdom for the center, and did not indicate they are considering Nunes’ preferred location in the Azores.
Harris said the Pentagon is reassessing the site because of the Trump administration’s new strategic priorities.
“We want to review the scope of the project to ensure alignment with those new priorities,” she said.
A spokesperson for Nunes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nunes all but went to war with the Pentagon over its decision to build this facility in Croughton. He even accused defense officials of entering “criminal territory” after a 2016 Daily Beast report on the issue. Because of Nunes’ complaints, the Pentagon’s inspector general launched an investigation –– and found no wrongdoing.
National Review reported in 2015 that some Pentagon officials worried that delaying the facility’s construction “would make it harder to monitor Russian activity in Europe.”
The site reassessment means the project will be even more delayed.