Andrea Mitchell not buying State Dept.’s spin on Bergdahl Swap

posted at 2:01 pm on June 9, 2014 by Noah Rothman

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell appeared visibly irritated with State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday amid her efforts to suggest the Osama bin Laden raid serves as a precedent for a national security matter that is too sensitive to allow members of Congress to be briefed on its details. Harf even suggested that Mitchell and others were attempting to “recreate” the history of the bin Laden raid by insisting that members were briefed on it before it was executed.

Mitchell began by noting that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), “hardly a critic of the administration,” is vocally critical of the White House’s failure to notify congressional intelligence committee chairs on the details of the Bergdahl swap. Harf replied with a rehashing of the well-worn arguments surrounding the “short timeframe” imposed on the administration by Bergdahl’s supposedly worsening health and the Taliban, which reportedly threatened to kill the captive solider if details of the swap became public (an assertion Feinstein has refused to corroborate).

“Let me question you about that,” Mitchell interjected, “because the bin Laden raid was completely briefed for 11 months.”

“It was not, actually,” Harf interrupted.

“Marie,” Mitchell said sternly. “In fact, that was claimed initially by [former National Security Advisor] Tom Donilon, in fact, in a conference with me a week ago. But since that time, [former acting CIA Director] Mike Morell says that it was completely briefed.”

She added that she has spoken with at least two members of Congress who were briefed on the raid ahead of time. “It was briefed,” Mitchell stated matter-of-factly.

Harf just wouldn’t let it go. “What we’re talking about with Bergdahl is somewhat the same with bin Laden,” she insisted.

Adding that Congress was made aware of what the “architecture” of a prisoner swap would look like, Harf maintained that the operational intricacies of the deal, like the bin Laden raid, had to be kept secret.

“I don’t want to argue the point,” an increasingly exasperated Mitchell said. She did, however, by again relating a personal experience in which a Senate committee chair told her that the briefing on the details of the bin Laden raid occurred before the public knew about it.

“It was briefed to Senate leaders,” Mitchell concluded. “I know this from Dianne Feinstein. I know this [Rep.] Mike Rogers.”

Admitting defeat, Harf insisted that she and Mitchell could “recreate history” on the bin Laden raid all they wanted, but that was not relevant to the subject at hand. Harf is hoping you will forget that she had originally equated the Bergdahl swap to the bin Laden raid just two minutes prior.

Say what you want about Mitchell, but that was about as effective a dismantling of a political spin job in real time as I’ve ever seen.


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Ok, this Reuters piece from 2012 shows the recidivism rate to be just under 28% and climbing; not finding anything more recent than that yet.

Midas on June 9, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Thank you!

thuja on June 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

According to Ben Shapiro at Breitbart, 168 of 602 had returned as of September 2012. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/06/02/168-Times-Released-Gitmo-Detainees-Returned-to-Terror

ConservativeMom on June 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Although we joke about this spectacle of a woman (pardon my pun)… she is purportedly the face of our State Department.

A very sad state of affairs, especially for Jeane Heinz Kerry.

/Did his wife die? Or is he just being brazen because he knows his sh(*t is going to be canned?

Key West Reader on June 9, 2014 at 4:10 PM

who is this bimbo with the hip glasses? Vietor’s girlfriend?

Spyder23 on June 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

They absolutely assessed that if any detail of this swap became public they would be ridiculed mercilessly. They were right.

DFCtomm on June 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

No coincidence that Harf rhymes with barf, is there?

bimmcorp on June 9, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Mitchell is the worst kind of shill, this is just smokescreen so later she can point to it, saying “See, comrades, I tried to fight them!”.

Tard on June 9, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Andrea’s Machiavellian moment. Once yearly.

No Chop Charlie on June 9, 2014 at 5:08 PM

I think Andrea doesn’t like having to accept lies from a third rate administration toadie. She would probably accept the same line of pablum from Barack himself, though.

EA_MAN on June 9, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Well, being for the rehabilitating total stupidity into a job that wastes taxpayers money paying big bucks for abject stupidity (I think that’s a promotion in the federal government), since it either saves jobs, or recovers carbon emissions from unicorn farts, lets look at her career:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WALIARHHLII

After a brief job at NOAA, she moved on to the State Department and disguised herself with Clark Kent glasses and schoolmarm dress.

I don’t want to start a new conspiracy here. But same Valley Girl speak, same cluelessness?

I report, you decide.

ZeusGoose on June 9, 2014 at 5:28 PM

who is this bimbo with the hip glasses? Vietor’s girlfriend?

Spyder23 on June 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Dude, that was so two weeks ago!

ZeusGoose on June 9, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Mitchell doesn’t mind being an Obama whore, she just doesn’t like the administration treating her like a whore.

(Sincere apologies to the ladies of the evening, who are at least honest about what they do, and who they are screwing.)

GarandFan on June 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Anyone notice her leg kicking back and forth under the table???
Not 100% sure on a body language interpretation…doesn’t that indicate nervousness???

or Lying??

BigWyo on June 9, 2014 at 5:43 PM

1- breaking the law about notifying Congress
2- the 5 to ration
3- the timing couldn’t be much more political

Obama thought he’d play America–again.

CW on June 9, 2014 at 5:55 PM

And what’s up with those glasses???

Wouldn’t surprise me if they were those polarized(teleprompter)things.

Seriously…with the angle of the lenses..she seems to be looking off into space half the time.

BigWyo on June 9, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Obama has surrounded himself with people with as much experience as he has.
These kiddies are in charge of our foreign policy…sheesh.

OccamsRazor on June 9, 2014 at 6:11 PM

She will come around. Couple liberal parties she will be a Obama Moonie

Jpalm32 on June 9, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Anyone notice her leg kicking back and forth under the table???
Not 100% sure on a body language interpretation…doesn’t that indicate nervousness???

or Lying??

BigWyo on June 9, 2014 at 5:43 PM

How soon till she stomps her tiny widdle foot at the podium?

dtb on June 9, 2014 at 6:42 PM

You know our country is in BIG trouble when Deputy Spokesperson, U.S. Dept. of State, Marie Harf refers to 5 TERRORISTS as “these gentlemen.”

See the video above at 3:25.

Clue to Marie Harf: The Gitmo 5 are NOT “gentlemen” in any sense of the word.

wren on June 9, 2014 at 7:16 PM

What is she like, 12, like?

txag92 on June 9, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Mitchell’s only a few years late in her questioning. Had this been done since 2008, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are as a country today.

Now that journalists suddenly realize Mr. Obama’s term is coming to a close, they try to restore some credibility.

Slightly disingenuous and beyond belief.

Marcus Traianus on June 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Custom bobbed. No charge.

S. D. on June 9, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Andwea had better pipe it down if she wants to remain on the cocktail party circuit. Who does she think she is, a journalist? Never mind what your ‘sources’ tell you; this administration’s spokes-weasels will tell you what the truth is.

ghostwalker1 on June 9, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Anyone notice her leg kicking back and forth under the table???
Not 100% sure on a body language interpretation…doesn’t that indicate nervousness???

or Lying??

BigWyo on June 9, 2014 at 5:43 PM

The body language of moving the leg, foot, in this manner and in the circumstance she is in does indicate that she is uncomfortable with the situation, her ability to defend her own position, and is an unconscious indicator that she wants to leave or walk away from the situation.

Franklyn on June 9, 2014 at 10:25 PM

According to Ben Shapiro at Breitbart, 168 of 602 had returned as of September 2012

Can this be broken down by rank?

Whiterock on June 9, 2014 at 10:37 PM

The body language of moving the leg, foot, in this manner and in the circumstance she is in does indicate that she is uncomfortable with the situation, her ability to defend her own position, and is an unconscious indicator that she wants to leave or walk away from the situation.

Franklyn on June 9, 2014 at 10:25 PM

How about the sip of water? Dry mouth an indication of deception?

…and man, that chick can talk fast and staccato.

Can’t wait until adults are once again in charge!

freedomfirst on June 9, 2014 at 10:51 PM

OK!

Who is this idiot woman and what has she done with Andrea Mitchell?

WestTexasBirdDog on June 9, 2014 at 10:57 PM

It’s all part of the plan.

1. Note that things are going wrong (It’s impossible to hide anyway).

2. Blame administration officials.

3. Imply that Obama has been “betrayed” by his underlings.

4. Things are a mess, Obama is off the hook. Solution?

5. YKW.

Meremortal on June 9, 2014 at 11:42 PM

“I don’t want to argue the point,” Mitchell said, “because we haven’t discussed this before and I don’t want you put on the spot –”

Why would they be discussing this beforehand, and why the concern about putting Harf on the spot?

byepartisan on June 10, 2014 at 12:11 AM

Say what you want about Mitchell, but that was about as effective a dismantling of a political spin job in real time as I’ve ever seen.

Really? I thought it quite gentle.

What was so “effective” about it? Harf slides from lie to lie shamelessly, and only barely is brought back to the facts.

MTF on June 10, 2014 at 1:15 AM

Harf? Kerry couldn’t pry Daphne away from Scooby Doo?

catsmeow on June 10, 2014 at 6:58 AM

Harf is either a pathological liar, a clueless political stooge, or an incredible moron. No matter which: Marie, please do not reproduce. The world has enough pathological personalities already.

shafman on June 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Somebody has obviously taught these people the art of 3 card monty.

Bad execution though. But that’s what they’re doing.

44Magnum on June 10, 2014 at 1:29 PM

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