Skip to comments.Clinton fails to convince Republicans on administration's account of Libya attack
Posted on 09/20/2012 4:18:17 PM PDT by jazusamo
Republican lawmakers left a closed-door briefing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials on Thursday still unconvinced by the administration's assessment that last week's attack that killed four Americans in Libya wasn't a premeditated act of terrorism.
They're trying to cover their behinds, Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) told The Hill upon leaving the House briefing with Clinton, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. Asked if they were successful, he said: No.
On the Senate side, things were no different according to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) That is the most useless worthless briefing I have attended in a long time, shortly after the administration officials made their case to the upper chamber.
I really think they hurt themselves tremendously from the standpoint of trying to build trust," he told reporters. It, if anything, built far greater distrust in whats happening than in answering questions. It was pretty unbelievable.
For his part, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the information provided to lawmakers on Thursday was nothing new and that lack of information has become a trend with the White House.
"From this administration, I have never gotten information that I have not seen or heard before," McCain said. Including Thursday's Libya briefing, the White House has maintained "a perfect record" in that regard, he added.
Republicans for the past week have been assailing the Obama administration's position the consulate attack was not a coordinated strike, but a protest in reaction to a U.S-made anti-Islam video on YouTube that turned violent. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice first made the remarks on the Sunday news shows over the weekend, basing her comments on the initial intelligence available.
The administration has since started to call the attack an act of terrorism, but continues to argue it was unplanned. Clinton and the other officials briefed all House and Senate members for the first time Thursday.
I believe that it's really a stretch a long stretch to believe that all of this by coincidence happened on 9/11, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) told The Hill after the briefing. He said his opinion hasn't changed, even though that's not necessarily what they're telling me.
But Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters it was clear what happened in Benghazi last Tuesday.
It was a planned, premeditated attack, he said. It's pretty obvious [Stevens] did not have adequate security, he added.
The administration's previous claims the attack was simply a protest gone horribly wrong and current argument the attack was unplanned simply "sets our efforts back" to address al Qaeda's growing influence in Libya, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) added.
But not all Republicans were as willing to chastise the administration's lack of disclosure during Thursday's briefings. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he thought it was a good briefing.
I would disagree, Lugar said when asked about complaints from other lawmakers. I felt it was very comprehensive.
Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also defended the level of information the administration gave to lawmakers.
I feel that we received a briefing that was comprehensive, Feinstein told reporters.
I dont believe they were holding back. I think they said what they knew," she added. "Theyre very concerned and they want to do this right and put the evidence together and make the case that will stand.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who helped write the Embassy Security Act after the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, said he was confident the truth would come out even if it's after the election. Clinton announced Thursday that retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering has been selected to lead an independent investigation into the Libya attack, which is due to Congress within 60 days.
We still don't know how long it took them to put this whole attack together, does it comport with a timeline of when the movie came out ... so we're still in the learning stage, he said. I always want to trust but verify.
Carlo Muñoz and Jeremy Herb contributed.
Was hillary wearing an earpiece?
Hat tip to FReeper mkboyce
1. What was the ambassador doing in Benghazi?
2. On 9/11?
3. He had no advance team and virtually no security. Why not?
4. Who were the x-seals who just happened to be there but were not part of Steven's security? Who were they working for? What were they doing in Benghazi on 9/11?
Wow, I had forgotten all about that one. Now would be a perfect time for someone in office to use it. The coverup is always worse. I can’t believe even Hillary is that naive, there’s way more than whet they’re admitting, way more. Gross negligence ata minimum.
It’s not to late to file for impeachment but that would require stones that I don’t think the GOP has.
But not because they’re embarrassed. Perhaps because their ratings went down. Otherwise they’d GLADLY promote Obama’s lies.
Wow so true
Obama and the Hildabeast are going to conduct an internal investigation by a hand picked stooge?
when they kill us now nothing goes boom - it goes to committee
Pickering seems to have history with the Clintons. She said she would be gone after one term. A Pickering report absolving Hillary and blaming Obama might be a nice payback for accusing Bubba of racism
Her choosing Pickering could be payback for him whether he wins or loses the election.
According to various press reports one of the SEALs, Glenn “Bub” Doherty, had been interviewed a few months ago by ABC News and indicated he and his team were in Libya to track down and destroy several thousand MANPADS (MAN Portable Air Defense System: Portable surface to air missiles) which had disappeared since the Ghadaffi regieme had fallen. I presume the other former SEAL killed, Tyrone “Rone” Woods, was also part of the team Doherty referred to; although that is not clear.
That fits Beck’s hypothesis.
The only people that could guarantee he would be there on that day are Zippo and/or Hillary.
ME protests: the hardline 'tele-Islamist' who brought anti-Islam film to Muslim world's attention
...but nobody had paid attention to its crude libels against the Prophet Mohammed until Mr Abdullah's show broadcast clips from it last weekend,... - Sept. 8-9
"It was planned, definitely. It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival," Magariaf said.
"The intelligence source said no protests were happening before the attackers struck at about 9:35 p.m. local time last Tuesday. The account backs up claims by a purported Libyan security guard who told McClatchy Newspapers late last week that the area was quiet before the attack."