Benghazi hearing turns ugly: Republicans accuse Obama of lying, Dems fire back
It began when Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said this: "What is clear is that this administration, including the president himself, has intentionally misinformed, read that LIED, to the American people in the aftermath of this tragedy. Now President Obama has the gall to float the name as possibly secretary of State, the name of the person who is the actual vehicle used to misinform the American people during this crisis."
National Intelligence Director James Clapper arrives for a closed door hearing conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence November 15, 2012 on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat also from California, called the attacks on Rice "unfair" and leveled that Colin Powell testified that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, because that's the information that was given to him. Rohrabacher shot back, going further, intimating that what the White House has done is worse than Watergate. "This is not simply a cover up of a third-rate burglary," he alleged. "We have four of our personnel dead, and it is not a McCarthy-era tactic to demand accountability and to demand that American people are not misinformed about it to the point that they don't know what the threat is."
The back and forth continued when Rep. Jean Schmidt, a Republican from Ohio, also accused the administration of lying. Key Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee are calling for a broader investigation into the attack on Benghazi and vowing to block UN Ambassador Susan Rice from becoming Secretary of State, if she should be nominated, because of her initial comments about the fatal incident. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., discusses.
"This administration continues to put out things that are just not quite true," she claimed.
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) began by saying he was not going to attack the White House or malfeasance at the State Department. But he then instead spoke for six minutes and didn't ask a single question of the GAO witness.
Naturally, Democrats responded. It began rather timidly and escalated.
"Barack Obama was no more responsible for what happened in Benghazi than George Bush was for Sept. 11th or Ronald Reagan was for the blowing up of U.S. Marines in Beirut," Rep. Eliot Engle (D-NY) said.
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) unloaded, first sarcastically: "Let's just hang the guilty parties."
"The stench of hypocrisy that hangs over this city today emanates from this room," Ackerman said. "I've listened to my colleagues talk about the President of the United States and others in the administration using [the] terms 'deliberate', 'lies', 'unmitigated gall', 'malfeasance,' which is malicious and knowing evil-doing, 'disgust', 'coverups'."
He continued, "If you want to know who is responsible in this town, buy yourself a mirror!" Ackerman went on to say that Republicans had "the audacity to come here" when the administration requested, for worldwide security, "$440 million more than you guys wanted to provide. And the answer is that you damn didn't provide it! You REDUCED what the administration asked for to protect these people. Ask not who the guilty party is, it's you! It is us. It is this committee, and the things that we insist that we need have to cost money." He added, "Could you tell me which of my colleagues on this committee was as bodacious in their insistence that we provide more money for American security in the State Department budget. I would appreciate it." Ackerman then asked them to raise their hands and gave them a count of five to do so. None did.
Funny how the same party that has such a problem with the handling of Benghazi and thinks the President and his administration is covering up something is the same party that denied fund for more security and one of their key critics (John McCain) didn't even go to this hearing..SMH...
There is nothing wrong with asking what happened...but as they have been letting the accusations fly and adding fuel to the stupid conspiracy theories,
they don't seem to want a hearing as much as seem to want to point fingers,to find another way to try to discredit the President.
I want answers too and I am willing to hear that Obama dropped the ball but I will not encourage such ideas without facts.
Good for Ackerman!!!
Diversion is a tactic used by both Parties to divert the conversation from the actual topic. Funding is not what this Hearing is about.
Though I may not completely agree with the way Dana Rohrabacher is conducting herself, I also know “The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease.” If everyone sits there being passive, this will be swept under the rug. We want the truth and “Funding” is not it.
I will say that I remember all the hoopla at the time in the media about the video and Hillary Clinton making statements regarding that video. Could they have been mistaken and that is why that was what was reported or was that intentional?
Here is the problem, this went on for 7 hours. No one got help to those people. Obama takes off the next morning for Vegas and for 2 weeks tried to link it to a Youtube video which he knew was not true.
And Obama must have known what was going on, if not then people in his admin have no confidence in him making a decision.
It was not a "cover up"..Nothing is being lied about..The intelligence from the CIA was Wrong. Ambassador Rice did NOTHING wrong. ALL of the parties involved with the exception of Rice are responsible IMO, the CIA for giving wrong/misleading information and also for not knowing that more security was needed. The CIA also gave the same wrong/misleading information to Condolezza Rice about weapons of Mass destruction. She was still elected to Secretary of State. As for more security requested, the White house is responsible for not doing more to get security to the consulate, and Congress for denying funding to provide more security. They all need to learn from this and make sure NOTHING like this EVER happens again..
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ex-CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers Friday that classified intelligence showed the deadly raid on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack, but that the administration withheld the suspected role of specific al-Qaida affiliates.
The recently resigned spy chief explained that references to terrorist groups suspected of carrying out the violence were removed from the public explanation of what caused the attack so as not to tip off the groups that the U.S. intelligence community was on their trail.
Petraeus also said it initially was unclear whether militants infiltrated a demonstration to cover their attack.
My point being that to say definatively that it was not a cover up seems premature as information is just now being revealed. Unless you have some kind of personal involvement in this matter, I'm not sure you personally would know at this point if it were a cover up or not.
I'm open to hearing what really happened and think the truth should come out. Sure, it might not look great for 'someone' but that is part of the downside of being the people in charge.
Did you click on the first link and watch the video about the hearing or read the whole article? The general told what happened. What else is there? Besides, Patreaus has to gain from covering up for the President or his administration. Some one the right are insinuating this tragedy is like Watergate..C'mon..Not even close..My point is there is no cover up. Should there have been more security? ABSOfreakingLUTELY...Could this tragedy have been avoided? YES, but there is NO evidence whatsoever that even comes close to a cover up....
I was going to say the same thing, it is way to premature to make any kind of call about this...you can't say it wasn't a cover up. There's so much surrounding this that just doesn't make sense.....The CIA/FBI debacle and the timing of it, the sketchy details, it may be a while before any call can be made.
"The CIA/FBI debacle and the timing of it, the sketchy details,"
What does that have to do with the White House? There is NO evidence that the White House did anything wrong...We know it was a terrorist attack involving Al queda. We know "talking points" were written with Al queda involvement. We know that the words Al queda was omitted from the "talking points". Who omitted the words before sending it for sign off at the intelligence committee? That's the main question now. Obviously whoever signed off read the "talking points" and ok'd them before giving them to the White House. So where's the cover up on the White House side?
Who knows! The possibilities are endless! You're saying nothng is being lied about...I think that's an awfully strong statement to make. There's a lot we still don't know yet, and probably a lot we'll never know!
I think it is odd to assume anything until the facts come out. It seems to me that their are those on the bandwagon of assuming a coverup was going on, and those same people cannot believe others cannot see there is not a coverup going on. Yes, odd is a good word for it.
It would appear, (appear) being the operative word here, that there is no cover up. It also would appear that what was reported at the time was the information sources were getting from the intel, which was changing every minute. We also need to understand that possibly, things were being with held due to classified information not getting leaked or maybe trying to find out exactly who, what and when it all came down. Anyone with two eyeballs would know that the type of raid it was and the weapons used, would lead to a terror attack. However, as they said on television, our security is more than the CIA alone, it is very complicated and what we have is as usual, gop trying to make it a coverup and about the election when there is simply no proof thus far of that being so. So assume away, hearings are still in progress. The only thing I see happening is trying to report a story as fact when the facts were still coming in. Of course its gonna change, Its not like our intel has not jumped the gun before now is it?
I can honestly say that I have no preconceived idea of what happened. Something seems to be wrong but I don't know what. I'm open minded to the truth even if it makes the CIA look like the messed up, the white house, congress, Republicans, Democrats, whomever.
I do want to know about certain things including why that video tape was presented as the cause of those murders initially or tied to them somehow.
I'm not looking to bad mouth the president or the CIA or anyone. I'm really not. I don't have anything to gain by that. I WANT to have faith. But part of having faith in someone to me is honesty. So I want to feel secure that people are forthright with information. That is all I am saying.
And when people are not open to people making mistakes, it makes me nervous that this is precisely why they WOULD want to cover it up.
“The CIA also gave the same wrong/misleading information to Condolezza Rice about weapons of Mass destruction. She was still elected to Secretary of State.”
"This one went over my head. I don’t see the connection your trying to make."
My point was the CIA gave her wrong information which she told to the world and she wasn't dragged through the mud like some on the right is dragging Ambassador Rice through the mud and her intelligence was FACTUALLY INCORRECT then we went to war and lost thousands of lives over what? NOTHING!.....
"Also (sorry to Nit Pick) Secretary of State is an appointed and confirmed position, not elected."
Wrong word choice..I stand corrected nominated to Secretary of State and appointed AFTER giving the American people incorrect information....
"Oh my goodness. I'm just kind of shocked at the extreme inability to think the white house could have wanted to downplay something that was negative right before the election."
Because it wasn't the White House. It had NOTHING to do with the White house "downplaying" anything right before the election. If anyone downplayed something it was Petraeus and the CIA/FBI. They knew from the start that it was a terrorist attack but didn't bother correcting the "talking point" of Ambassador Rice until a couple of weeks later.. The Intelligence Committee signs off on the "talking points' before giving them to the White House...
You are right they will have a televised hearing but it's just going to reiterate what is being said behind closed doors..I'm sure if there was some MAJOR conspiracy, we would know already...Especially if the President and his Administration was involved. I mean the right is comparing this to watergate. C'mon! Watwergate?! They need to get real...
I never said their WAS a cover up, I'm, saying it would be impossible to say there wasn't. Something doesn't feel right...whether it be a cover up, someone making an error, someone downplaying it, whatever.
I may be wrong here, but not every situation like this ends with hearings does it? If that's not standard prototcol for similar situations, THAT alone makes me suspicious. If it's standard protocol, then okay.
I don't know how you can say...whatever it is that's going on...that the WH isn't involved or doesn't have responsibility in this matter. If this is some kind of cover u[p or conspiracy, how would we know about it already?
You guys should leave Mrs P alone.
We all know she's absolutely wild about Obama just like we know Elmo, can't stand him. I'm annoyed every time he refers to the president as BO, it makes me think of a 15 year old boy. But nobody jumps on him for being disrespectful to the president. That's just part of El, and adoring Obama is part of Mrs P.
Knowing other people's biases is part of just accepting who they are. It doesn't mean we accept what they say, but it seems awfully petty to be going on and on about this.
Just let it go.
"I don't know how you can say...whatever it is that's going on...that the WH isn't involved or doesn't have responsibility in this matter."
Never said that..This is what I said: "ALL of the parties involved with the exception of Rice are responsible IMO, the CIA for giving wrong/misleading information and also for not knowing that more security was needed. The CIA also gave the same wrong/misleading information to Condolezza Rice about weapons of Mass destruction. She was still elected to Secretary of State. As for more security requested, the White house is responsible for not doing more to get security to the consulate, and Congress for denying funding to provide more security. They all need to learn from this and make sure NOTHING like this EVER happens again..'
Then i said this in response to your statement: ""The CIA/FBI debacle and the timing of it, the sketchy details,"
What does that have to do with the White House? There is NO evidence that the White House did anything wrong...We know it was a terrorist attack involving Al queda. We know "talking points" were written with Al qaeda involvement. We know that the words Al qaeda was omitted from the "talking points". Who omitted the words before sending it for sign off at the intelligence committee? That's the main question now. Obviously whoever signed off read the "talking points" and ok'd them before giving them to the White House. So where's the cover up on the White House side?"
"If this is some kind of cover u[p or conspiracy, how would we know about it already?"
By the general's testimony today. His story matches up to the White House's story but I guess it's not good enough for some..Like I said before, Patreaus has NO reason to even think about covering up for the President and his Administration. He said exactly what happened and it matched what the White House said. They (House and Senate Intelligence committees) saw the video of what happened today in those hearings. The one MAJOR MISTAKE was not enough security in the first place. The 2nd mistake was not correcting Ambassador Rice's "talking Points" when they saw her go on National TV and repeat what they told her to repeat. By that time they knew and they should have made her correct her statement based on the new information that was coming out.That falls on the CIA. The inadequate security falls on Both the White House for not doing more to get security to the consulate, Congress for denying the funding for extra security and the CIA for the incorrect "talking points"....
Girl I'm Good! I'm not bothered by the responses. i welcome them:)...It's politics right? If I can dish it, I can surely take it!... I've been paying close attention to this since the story broke. My comments are based on facts that are out to the public. I follow this particular story because the right IS trying to insinuate that the President and his Administration are "covering up" something or things seem "sketchy" Whatever and I want to show the facts don't agree! There is NO cover up. Were there HORRIBLE and NECESSARY mistakes made? YES...Yes I am a Firm supporter of the President. That has some to do with it but my reason for posting on this is to provide information to those who may also think that there may be a "cover up"...The information coming out is basically saying just that!. No cover up. Mistakes. But no cover ups..
"she's making pretty significant delarations so early in the game."
I'm just going according to the information coming in..The only people left to talk to (from what I hear) is Sec. Hilary Clinton, some people from the CIA and some members of the Presidents Cabinet..I don't know why because the General already said exactly what happened. But I digress. We'll wait for those people to testify and we'll see..But I stand by my "significant declarations so early in the game"...If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. I'm a big girl, I can handle it....But I'm not wrong..lol
No butting out needed on my end...I think this is a worthy discussion.
I hope you're right Mrs. P, the last thing our country needs is another embarassing and unfortunate scandal. The people who lost loved ones there deserve the truth, not a comfortable "explanation", and I just honestly hope that those involved will admit what what wrong, so they learn from their mistakes, and 4 people didn't die in vain.
Has there been any discussion about why more help wasn't dispatched in when the Marines called for it (during the attack)? I'm on vacation, so other than what I've read here, I haven't followed it closely.
I read shortly after the attck that the Marines asked for back-up and none was sent. The "stand down" order fiasco was reported, but there were mixed reports on that, so I took it with a grain of salt.
I DO respect loyalty and OH, I got what you are saying.
I'm not really trying to condemn anyone and in truth, I'm not sure what would be worse, the white house mishandling something or going along with the mishandling of something or not knowing. And I don't want to go down the road of conspiracy theories as that is not my cup of tea.
I'm sure it is sad for the families of the 4 dead men as well as people in general want to feel they are safe and secure with the work the CIA does.
I don't think Republicans should handle this like some kind of witch hunt. It would be nice to know the truth but I am doubtful in all sincerity that we ever will.
And again, I'm not trying to blame anyone in particular.
"Has there been any discussion about why more help wasn't dispatched in when the Marines called for it (during the attack)? I'm on vacation, so other than what I've read here, I haven't followed it closely.
I read shortly after the attck that the Marines asked for back-up and none was sent. The "stand down" order fiasco was reported, but there were mixed reports on that, so I took it with a grain of salt."
Not in great detail..I do know there were troops sent there but I think it was too late.The President said in his press conference that there was no "stand down order"....
"“I think the American people would’ve been better served, and they would’ve had a better feeling about what happened in Benghazi if the White House had just been forthcoming very quickly."
I'll agree with Mr. Chambaliss...Like I said before, there is NO intentional misleading with criminal intent. There's no scandal...They should have just been forthcoming as blunt as possible Immediately. That was the administration's mistake right there. However, EVERY administration has had "something" that they could've done better..The government needs more efficiency for sure!...
Here we go again.... We've got the left saying that the right is trying to blame the left. I simply don't see it that way. What I think people are trying to say here is that something is wrong! The facts are real slow at coming around and the people on the right simply want answers, regardless of whom is at fault!
Withholding sensitive information? I get that. Some things will probably remain classified and that will stand in the way of truth. I can't think of an administration that hasn't withheld sensitive information.
People want answers regardless of whom is at fault and I don't see the problem with that. Don't play right against left, left against right. That's what big politics wants us to do.... Just get answers and hold whoever is at fault responsible.
Funding? Blaming funding on this? Come on, kids.... How do you fund the unforeseen? (Different subject but I think it holds relevance here.) After some of the natural disasters that hit this country recently, we've tried to budget for the unforeseen and then Sandy hits.... we've burned through that budget quick. You can't plan and budget on the unforeseen.
Did we plan for 9/11 and the aftermath of that event? Nope.... how can you? Did we plan for Katrina, Sandy??? Nope.... we did try to bolster some of the coffers that we normally dip into in times like these, but that fell short financially. When something needs to get done, we just handle it. Funding is just another attempt at blame placing or diversion.
The fact of what happened is really simple and people are trying to muddy the waters. Keep it simple... This happened and it was handled poorly. Lets find out what happened and hold whoever is accountable, accountable. That's it.... nothing more, nothing less and ones party affiliation matters not. This is not a "party" issue. This is an American issue and we need to quit protecting the "parties".
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