After two weeks of negligence and lies at the top, it’s time for congressional Democrats to start inoculating themselves. Needless to say, there won’t be hearings on this in the Senate before the election (although I’m keen to hear what Ileana Ros-Lehtinen thinks about hearings in the House), but we’ve reached the point where Dems obviously don’t want to invest any more political capital in blindly defending The One on this. Time for a sternly worded letter:
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., circulated a bipartisan letter addressed to Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, asking for an “accounting of the attacks against U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Examiner.
The lawmakers are also demanding to know whether the administration had any advance warnings of the Libyan attack and, if so, whether it had shared that information with U.S. personnel on the ground…
A Kerry aide confirmed that the committee intended to enlist the support of Republicans and Democrats and said the letter would likely be sent Friday. Another aide told The Examiner that the panel’s 10 Democrats and nine Republicans plan to sign it.
Meanwhile, despite multiple reports that the White House knew this was a terrorist attack before it sent Susan Rice out on the Sunday shows to argue to the contrary, Jay Carney’s still insisting that the White House has been shooting straight all along. Quote: “Every step of the way, the information that we have provided to you and the general public about the attack in Benghazi has been based on the best intelligence we’ve had and the assessments of our intelligence community.” Over to you, Jake Tapper:
Even before Defense Secretary Leon Panetta contradicted the initial story about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, today, Obama administration officials told ABC News they were concerned after the White House began pushing the line that the attack was spontaneous and not the work of terrorists.
Events were too uncertain, and suspicions had been aroused, officials said…
[S]ources told ABC News that intelligence officials on the ground immediately suspected the attack was not tied to the movie at all. The attackers knew where to get Ambassador Stevens after he’d fled to a so-called safe house half a mile away. That building was hit with insurgent mortars — suggesting the terrorists knew what they were doing.
As of Thursday afternoon, officials from the Obama administration were not even 100 percent certain that the protest of the anti-Muslim film in Benghazi occurred outside the U.S. diplomatic post.
In other words, from the very beginning, the best evidence suggested that this was a full-on attack, not a backlash to a movie that got out of hand. Instead, the White House sent its flacks out to argue the opposite. Why? Maybe this guy can explain. Click the image to watch.