In the fallout from the 9/11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the White House has had more than a little difficulty getting their story straight, and the efficacy of their narrative has grown increasingly thin. There are still plenty of questions about how and why the White House hasn’t been able to present a consistent front, and it looks like mere miscommunication may be among the least of our problems — which, I would think, most reasonable people would say is a pretty good justification for Congress doing its job and investigating the executive branch’s activities. Earlier today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa sent the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter asking for a hearing on the matter and on an apparent pattern of security concerns to be scheduled next week. Ugh, how very distastefully partisan of him, wouldn’t you say? From CNN:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted House Republicans Tuesday for requesting a hearing next week on the State Department’s handling of last month’s deadly consulate attack in Libya. …
“We’re supposed to be in session this week, but they’ve canceled it rather than passing a middle income tax cut, passing a jobs bill, passing the Violence Against Women Act, passing the farm bill–any of those things,” Pelosi said. “But yet they have time to say we want information, when they know it’s premature.”
Asked if she was suggesting the hearing was called for political purposes, Pelosi replied: “One might suspect that.” …
“I think it’s important to note that Congress does have a right to know, but the secretary and the Department of State have to have the information,” Pelosi said on CNN. “How can you ask the secretary to come before the information is known?”
Yes, Minority Leader — why the State Department supposedly doesn’t/wouldn’t have the information is sort of a question we’d all like to have answered. And please, spare us the whole “the Republicans are the ones fleeing town” bit and quit acting like Democrats aren’t grateful to be home running their campaigns, too (especially when the drawn-out gridlock over taxes and jobs bills and whatnot have been so wildly unproductive, thanks in large part to you).
The State Department, meanwhile, has indicated that they intend to work closely with Congress to figure out what happened, via The Hill:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will “cooperate fully” with a Republican probe into the security situation in Libya in the lead-up to the Sept. 11 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, the Obama administration said Tuesday. …
“The secretary intends to respond to the congressmen today,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at her daily briefing Tuesday.
“And her letter will make absolutely clear the desire of this department, her personal desire to cooperate closely with the committee and with all members of Congress, both in their document requests, in their requests for witnesses for their hearing, because we share the same goal: We want to get to the bottom of precisely what happened and learn any lessons that we need to learn from it. We’re taking this very, very seriously.”