Everyday the story changes from the Administration as to what really happened when terrorists attacked our embassy in Libya. This has created a lot of criticism, coming from Republicans. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said over the weekend that recent disclosures by intelligence officials that once again revise the narrative on what happened during the deadly attack last month in Libya suggest an “orchestrated defense of the administration.”
He never mentioned what disclosures he was talking about, but was likely referring to recent news articles downplaying the role of Al Qaeda in the Sept. 11 strike, as well as comments by intelligence officials claiming once again that protests elsewhere over an anti-Islam film may have played a role in inspiring the attack.
“It appears from a spate of articles that there is an orchestrated defense of the administration underway with selective disclosures of (intelligence community) products to support what policy-makers have said publicly,” Rogers said in a statement.
But officials still claim there was no actual protest in Benghazi at the time of the attack and that extremist elements were involved. Considering other indications that suggest a broader and coordinated plot, Rogers cast doubt on the latest effort to support what some administration officials have said.
“Since there is also intelligence controverting what policymakers said, the administration should acknowledge to the American people that in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, there was intelligence collection and analysis on both sides of the issues, including intelligence collection and analysis that was directly contrary to the position of some administration officials,” he said.
Rogers is one of the most outspoken on Capitol Hill.
Then on Sunday, Sen Lindsey Graham said the Obama administration’s handling of security for the consulate is a “case study in failure” in American foreign policy. This is a complete failure of national policy, and it is a failed presidency at its worse.
Graham, a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, also raised concerns about reports of eight attacks on the consulate six months prior to the fatal attack and Stevens’ concerns and requests for additional security.
Then the Dem Sen Dick Schumer said Obama is a strong responsive leader.
Committee Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in connection with the hearing released 166 pages of documents related to the Libya security issue that administration officials said Saturday threatens the lives of several Libyans who are named in the documents and who worked with the United States.
So let’s go over these facts about Issa releasing the documents.
Issa fired back at the Obama Administration over claims that he outed names of Libyans that worked with US in Benghazi. The administration officials said those named in the documents could be in danger in Benghazi, a city with known Al Qaeda sympathizers like the militant group Ansar al-Shariah, which is suspected of carrying out the attack.
Then 2 Administration officials say Issa failed to ask the State Department to review the documents for sensitive information before releasing them to the public. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to be quoted publicly on matters related to the ongoing investigation of the attack.
Also criticizing Issa were Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on Issa’s committee, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Kerry said in a statement, “It’s bad enough that it’s becoming a political sideshow presumably driven by the calendar of Monday’s upcoming presidential debate, but even worse is that in their rush to make news they’ve exposed Libyans who were working side by side with America.”
Issa shot back with the following statement:
The State Department brought a Libya rights activist to the U.S. in 2011, whose trip was featured online.
“The Libyan rights activist who was highlighted by the Obama administration in news accounts as having not been, ‘publicly associated with the U.S.’ until the Oversight Committee released documents had actually been brought to the U.S. in December 2011 by the State Department and her trip is highlighted on the Internet,” Issa said. “President Obama should be ashamed of yet another example where his administration has been caught trying to mislead the American people about what happened in Libya.”
Then in response to Kerry:
“Obama Administration officials and their surrogates are clearly reeling from revelations about how the situation in Benghazi was mishandled and are falsely politicizing the issue in a last ditch effort to save President Obama’s reelection effort,” he said. “To see such prominent officials as Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Carl Levin, Rahm Emanuel, and Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod paraded out over to weekend to make false charges about the Oversight Committee putting Libyans in danger only shows their desperation to hide the truth.”
Frederick Hill, Issa’s spokesman, said the documents were given to State Department officials and Cummings almost two weeks ago.
“That Cummings and State Department officials did not express specific concerns about Libyans mentioned in these unclassified documents obtained by the committee until three days before the presidential debate on foreign policy is telling,” Hill said. He added the department has yet to directly contact the committee with any requests for specific redactions to the documents.
Apparently, the committee did make redactions in the documents, and the Libyan individuals mentioned in the records worked in positions where their interactions with westerners would not be surprising.