"That was the most useless, worthless briefing that I have attended in a long time. Believe me, there is more written in every major and minor publication in America about what happened." said Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Bob Corker (R-TN), emerging from the all-senators briefing that included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. Sandy Winnefeld. "It was like a one-hour filibuster with absolutely not one single bit of new information being brought forth... very disappointing."
Corker said that the briefing was so poorly received by senators that it would spur Congress to push for more independent investigations about the causes of the attack, the perpetrators, the security at the consulate, and the personal security of Amb. Chris Stevens, who died in the attack.
"[The briefing], if anything, built far greater distrust about what's happening than just answering questions. It was pretty unbelievable," said Corker. "In every event, when a serious question was asked, the answer was, ‘It's under investigation.' If I were them I would not have come to the Hill ... I think it is going to cause folks to push for something different, because it was received so poorly."
Senate Armed Services Committee ranking Republican John McCain (R-AZ) agreed and said the briefing was indicative of the administration's pattern of not sharing information with Congress about important national security matters. He also said the administration is maintaining its argument that the Benghazi attack was the result of militants taking advantage of protests spurred by an anti-Islam video on the Internet.
"I learned nothing in that briefing that I hadn't seen or read in the media," said McCain. "They still are blaming the video and they have a fundamental misunderstanding. It's not the video; it's the Islamists that are pushing this video throughout the world to inflame passions on the part of people of the Muslim faith."
The White House deliberately sat on the news so as to encourage and prolong the press attacks on Mitt Romney, if you ask me. If they had called it what it was and done so earlier, the press might have to stop acting like rabid dogs and actually report on serious matters.
So they stayed silent and, even now, they're not being fully honest.
Reuters notes, "Clinton gave lawmakers a classified briefing in an effort to answer questions and make the case for continued U.S. engagement in the Middle East despite a wave of anti-American protests in the region this month." If you want my opinion, this should have been a public briefing with the press covering it and ensuring that the American citizens knew what was taking place.
I feel that the administration has deliberately misled the American people about an act of terrorism and that they have done so solely to help Barack Obama's re-election chances.
This is outrageous.
Reuters also notes this:
A congressional committee wrote to Clinton on Thursday demanding information about the attack in Benghazi, including all U.S. security analyses and threat assessments before the violence and any documents that clarify whether the attack was spontaneous or premeditated.
"The American people have a right to know the facts about this egregious attack on U.S. sovereign territory," Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz wrote to Clinton, setting an October 4 deadline for her to provide the information.
I only know of Jason Chaffetz through C.I.'s reporting in the Iraq snapshots. But in those reports, it's obvious that Chaffetz isn't afraid to bear down. Good. It's going to take a lot of that to extract the truth from the administration.
Now for the issue of the teachers strike, Joseph Kishore (WSWS) does a point-by-point evaluation of the contract the union settled on. If his analysis is correct (I think it is), the teachers got screwed. And they won't realize that most likely until Rahm Emanuel starts the second assault -- going after the teachers pension.
It really is sad that they were misled by their own leaders.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday: