Today was the hearing on Benghazi. Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the witnesses deserved to be heard about the attacks. Much of the testimony was leaked over the past few days so there was not much new information released. However, there were some new pieces of the puzzle answered.
According to the testimony, there was a unit in Italy that was ready to go but did not have a tanker available to refuel the jets mid-way. This was the explanation on why we didn’t respond. Hicks testified there were four soldiers in Tripoli who were ready to go but were told to stand down. They were told that wounded were being evacuated and everyone would be gone by the time the troops arrived. Time will tell if there were other assets available from other locations. Secretary of State Clinton was involved with the attack monitoring through the night.
Most importantly, our intelligence agencies did an excellent job of identifying Al Qaeda as being behind the attack. They immediately identified the group from multiple sources. Also, these agencies did not participate in the “talking points” that blamed the attack on a video. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows promoting the video. It would have been a very disturbing situation if our intelligence agencies promoted such false information.
There were many questions that were not answered. Most importantly, where was Obama? Who scrubbed the “talking points?”
Also criticised was the report issued by Thomas Pickering and retired General Mike Mullen, who didn’t interview anyone above the assistant secretary level. Republicans considered the report inadequate.
Without a doubt, there will be further hearings. Hopefully, the Administration will approve legal council clearance for the witnesses when the next hearing takes place.
As I suspected, the old media covered the hearing by not covering it. They spent their time blasting the Republicans saying it was all political and nothing about the testimony itself. This is the same trick they used in covering the Romney campaign during the last election cycle.
One thing is very clear. Much like Watergate, Benghazi is like a dripping faucet, information will continue to drip out until the sink is full. I’m sure more will follow.