Woodall At Today’s Hearing On Benghazi.

May 8, 2013 18:51 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 39 comments

Video of Congressman Rob Woodall at today’s Congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks that led to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans and injured ten Americans.

UPDATE: Congressman Doug Collins spent time asking questions at the hearing as well. Here is video:

Rick Day May 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm

1. Rep Goodhair admits the question has been asked repeatedly, but he insists on getting in his licks on this verydead horse as well.
2. Credit for asking a rather short and direct question. Deduction for asking in a way that could only lead to criticism of DOS ‘decision makers in Washington’ codeword: Hussein.
3. blah blah..chain of command…blah blah. Apparently, everyone above Sgt Chromehelmet was on Mollie.
4. Watching bald guy cover his buns by pointing up, being puzzled. Dead horse properly flogged.
5. ?
6. IMPEACHMENT. It can’t come soon enough!

Oh wait…this is really about our next POTUS Hillary, isn’t it?

Cle-ver!

TheEiger May 9, 2013 at 9:22 am

“Rep Goodhair” “Sgt Chromehelmet” “Watching bald guy”

You want to be taken seriously, but you are still just the child in the backseat crying for attention.

Dave Bearse May 9, 2013 at 9:31 am

Lukovich’s cartoon in Thursday’s AJC was a howl.

D_in_ATL May 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

…meanwhile, the sequestration continues…

Harry May 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

Lying has consequences:

…the substance of the claims Wednesday could serve to re-open questions about that deadly night — and specifically about the initial claim by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice that the attack was triggered by a protest over an anti-Islam film.

Greg Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya who became the top U.S. diplomat in the country after Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, was asked to respond to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement at a prior hearing asking “what difference” do the questions over the talking points make.

Hicks argued that Rice’s comments so insulted the Libyan president — since they contradicted his Sept. 16 claims that the attack was premeditated — that it slowed the FBI’s investigation.

“President Magariaf was insulted in front of his own people, in front of the world. His credibility was reduced,” Hicks said, adding that the president was apparently “still steamed” two weeks later.
This bad blood, he claimed, contributed to the FBI team being stuck in Tripoli for about 17 days.

“I definitely believe that it negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi,” he said, adding that the U.S. could not even get the Libyans to secure the crime scene during that time.

As for Rice’s comments that Sunday, when she repeatedly cited the video as the trigger for the attack, Hicks said his “jaw dropped” when he heard that.

“I was stunned,” Hicks said. “My jaw dropped, and I was embarrassed.”

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 10:12 am

Consequences have to be proportional.

When your kid takes an extra cookie, you don’t cut off his hand.

TheEiger May 9, 2013 at 10:21 am

What should the consequence be for an administration that lied about a terrorists attack that killed four U.S. citizens less than two months before election day? They lied because it did not follow the narrative that the Obama Administration wanted to push which is we are safe from terrorists and Al Qaeda is on the decline. Covering up the murder of four people is not equal to stealing cookies out of a cookie jar.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

There was no cover up. Sorry. After a dozen hearings, including the one yesterday, you still have no evidence that anything happened other than the initial intel was botched and Susan Rice made foolish statements on the Sunday morning shows. None of which had anything to do with the deaths at Benghazi.

Noway May 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

Grift, why was the video story initially used? Your personal opinion?

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

Possibly political. Possibly the fog of war. Maybe a little bit of both.

But here’s my point about consequences. There were consequences for that botched intel and for Susan Rice’s performance. Rice’s career is essentially dead and the State department officials who were responsible have either been demoted or fired.

The administration screwed up the after. No doubt about it and for that there should be consequences. In the real world, which there have been as I pointed out, and possibly in the political world, if the Republicans handle it right.

But that’s not good enough for a certain segment of the House Republicans. They don’t want to just talk about the after, they want to talk about the before, which is the deaths of four American and weave those into a watergate level scandal ( Rep. Steve King’s description not mine ).

And the problem is there is no there, there. Nothing.

The House Republicans are acting like Marvin the Martian. Convinced they are going to blow something up until it blows up in their own face.

TheEiger May 9, 2013 at 10:40 am

“I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning,” Greg Hicks, a 22-year foreign service diplomat who was the highest-ranking U.S. official in Libya after the strike, told investigators under authority of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57582929/official-we-knew-benghazi-was-a-terrorist-attack-from-the-get-go/

“For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens’s front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable,” he said. “I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris – Chris’s last report, if you want to say his final report – is, ‘Greg, we are under attack.’

Susan Rice then goes on the Sunday talk shows and reads talking points that were scrubbed of all mention of Al Qaeda and terrorism. She say that it was a demonstration because of a video. These were lies to cover up the truth. Also referred to as a cover up.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 10:48 am

And once again, this is not covering up the deaths of four Americans. Read what you wrote.

If, big if, there is any coverup, it is about the actual nature of the attack. It’s been established and admitted by the administration Rice was wrong.

But I ask the question that has been asked a hundred times. For what purpose? In your mind from your statements and from Romney’s latching onto it in the debates and from Sean Hannity everyday, the conclusion is the administration doesn’t want to talk about terrorism or wants to soft pedal it.

It’s a conclusion in search of evidence. And so far it is wanting.

TheEiger May 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

“Now, four years ago, I made a few commitments to you. I told you I’d end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said I’d end the war in Afghanistan, and we are,” said Obama. “I said we’d refocus on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 — and today, al Qaeda is on its heels and Osama bin Laden is no more.” http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-defiantly-declares-al-qaeda-its-heels-even-after-successful-terrorist-attacks_654000.html

I’m not sure how many different ways I can say this. Having a terrorist attack that killed four people did not fit into Obama’s reelection narrative. As you can see from the quote above, Obama was running on the platform of I killed bin Laden and Al Qaeda is on its heels. Instead of telling the American people the truth his administration decided to lie about the details so that this attack would not hurt Obama’s reelection campaign. A cover up of the details as to the “nature of the attack” is a still a cover up.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

Okay. I don’t disagree with that. Now go find some evidence to support that conclusion.

TheEiger May 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

The evidence is in the actions the administration took to cover up the “nature of the attack.” You can choose to look past that or see it for what it truly is. Now I just feel like I’m talking to a fence post.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

There’s plenty of evidence they got it wrong. That it was intentional? Or politically motivated? Not so much. Sorry you feel I’m being a fence post. Want to review all the transcripts together so you can correct my obstinate ways?

Three Jack May 9, 2013 at 11:30 am
TheEiger May 9, 2013 at 11:41 am

Sounds like I will never convince you that a president and his administration would do something politically motivated. So no, I don’t want to review the transcripts with you. I understand that sometimes being the only one in the room that doesn’t get it can be cool. And arguing for arguments sake is fun to some people.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

You could convince me if there were evidence. I think my history shows I’m willing to alter my view points.

Three Jack May 9, 2013 at 11:56 am

Here is the GOP coverup accusation (from CNN) — ‘Republicans once again accused the Obama administration of trying to cover up the fact that it was a well-orchestrated assault by militants, failing to adequately explain events to the public, and then refusing to cooperate with congressional investigators.’ No mention of “covering up the deaths of four Americans” as grift keeps repeating.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

I wasn’t referring to the Republicans. I was referring to TheEiger.

His statement,

“Covering up the murder of four people is not equal to stealing cookies out of a cookie jar.”

Three Jack May 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

My bad

SingingLawyer May 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

griftdrift, here is your evidence that the re-writing of the talking points was intentional and not just that Susan Rice “got it wrong”:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/benghazi-talking-points_720543.html?page=1

Here’s what we know:
During the attack, Hicks reported from Libya that the Benghazi consulate was under a terrorist attack, including personally to Sec. Clinton during the 2 am call. “A cable sent the following day, September 12, by the CIA station chief in Libya, reported that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and made clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under terrorist attack.” Also that day, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones sent an email saying she told the Libyan governor that “the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” (that quote was from Yahoo news and I think they meant “government”). So as of the day after the attack, State & the CIA were calling it a terrorist attack by members of Ansar al-Sharia.

On September 14th, the CIA sent the first draft of the talking points to the State Dept, which stated that they “know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack,” including Ansar al-Sharia. Later that night, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland expressed “serious concerns” about the talking points, “worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”” So they took out references to al Qaeda Ansar al-Sharia. State still didn’t like it and contacted the National Security Council. The White House responded that these “issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.” After that meeting the final version was scrubbed to delete all references to a terror attack. There is no mention of the video at all in any version. Then the next day Susan Rice goes on tv and attributes it to the video.

So the info that the CIA originally gave them was ignored by the WH and instead they put out their own false narrative of what happened. How is that not intentional?

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

That took longer than I expected. And it’s a fair point.

The Weekly Standard article is fairly damning. It’s hard to ignore what Victoria Nuland ( official at State for those that do not follow these things too closely ) says.

And IF that was the narrative the Republicans would follow, there might be some traction there. The problem is as exhibited in this thread and elsewhere is extreme over reach ( watergate and iran contra combined, really Steve King ). Shaping an event as part of the political equation, however unseemly, in no way reaches the level of running a criminal enterprise from the White House or directly violating a law passed by congress.

However, one small quibble with the Weekly Standard. The CIA did stand behind the talking points that were finally issued. So I’ll leave it to each person’s own judgment as to whether this was typical interagency futzing with language or politicizing a tragic event or a “coverup”.

As I said way up when all this started, I suspect some of number 1 and some of number 2.

mpierce May 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm
Harry May 9, 2013 at 10:22 am

From pjmedia.com:

Hicks testified to a pattern of behavior that leads to the reasonable conclusion that many officials within the State Department wanted him to remain silent after the Benghazi attack. He said that on the night of the attack he was personally commended both by Secretary Clinton and President Barack Obama. But he later questioned why Ambassador Rice blamed the YouTube movie, and from that point on his superior, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones, questioned his “management style” and told him directly that no one in State should want him on their team in the field again. He was eventually demoted to a desk job after having been deputy to Ambassador Stevens, and remains in that post. Hick also testified that the Accountability Review Board, convened by Clinton last fall allegedly to determine the facts of the attack, never had stenographers in the room during his tw0-hour interview. Nordstrom concurred. Thompson was not even allowed to testify to the ARB despite having direct knowledge of the attacks due to his position on the U.S. Foreign Emergency Support Team. Thompson testified that the FEST was designed to go from zero to wheels up very quickly but was not deployed at all. He wanted to tell his story to the ARB, but was not allowed to. Hicks also testified that for the first time in his career, the State Department assigned a lawyer/minder to attend witness interviews with the ARB. He also testified that Jones told him not to be personally interviewed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican House member who was investigating the attack on behalf of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. It all adds up to a pattern of witness control and intimidation.

Harry May 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

More to the above:

The Republicans, as I said, should have broken today’s hearing out across several days. When they did question the witnesses, they kept their speeches short and focused on getting answers. Their Democratic counterparts consistently gave speeches and raised red herrings. They were able to waste time and stall long enough for the Arias trial to push the hearing off the TV, and for energy to flag and boredom to set in. The Benghazi attack needs to be properly investigated by someone outside the political process and outside the Obama administration. State cannot be trusted; its own investigation failed even to interview Clinton. Defense may also have officers and political appointees to protect. A special prosecutor is in order and should be appointed.

WesleyC May 9, 2013 at 10:37 am

Anyone interested in better understanding why no one’s taking the far right hysteria on this seriously should pull up Jon Stewart’s Benghazi bit from last night.

Harry May 9, 2013 at 10:40 am

Jon Stewart, he’s a comedian right?

seekingtounderstand May 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

Things that no one talks about that are very disturbing…………
They framed a guy for the videos and he is still in jail with poor legal help while
They gave the boston bomber several top taxpayer paid lawyers…………….
The AJC and most of media lied repeatedly about the location being a Embassy when it was an CIA house with no permission to be there
The President wants to release GITMO or move them to America Jails because its the right thing to do or the high road…………….yet someone stood down and watched 4 people serving their country die without taking that same high road………………..just what is the high road anymore?

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

Annnnnnnnnnnd we’re off the rails

Harry May 9, 2013 at 11:08 am

You Democrats are certainly off the rails with this affair, as with so many others.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

Democrats like me. And Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. Oh wait! He’s a Republican. Maybe we’re both just truth hating RINOs instead of Democrats.

Harry May 9, 2013 at 11:23 am

Well then try to make an honest effort to address the points, instead of just making your comment that we’re off the rails.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

Okay

Framed – no evidence. He’s in jail on parole violation.
Embassy – actually the AJC and others correctly refer to it as a consulate. The fact that there was a nearby CIA station was exposed in the hearings
GITMO – not release. Transfer to Supermax which seems to work for Eric Rudolph and other terrorists
Stand Down-once again no evidence except hearsay.

How’s that?

Harry May 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

How’s that?

Fantastic.

griftdrift May 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Thank you Harry

Harry May 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Awesome.

Harry May 9, 2013 at 11:25 am

“In a phone call after the interview I asked… [Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones] her why the ambassador had said there was a demonstration when the embassy had reported that it was only an attack,” Hicks said. “She said I don’t know… The sense I got was that I needed to stop the line of questioning.”

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