Republican senators decry ‘useless, worthless' Clinton briefing on Libya attackInept. Out of touch. And out of control.
By Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy
Several high-level GOP senators emerged from Thursday afternoon's classified briefing with top administration officials incensed that Obama team had offered them no new information and answered none of their questions about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans.
"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."
McCain highlighted recent statements from administration officials acknowledging that the Benghazi incident was a "terrorist attack" and said that while he didn't know exactly how long it had been pre-planned, there was mounting evidence that significant planning did go into the assault. [link]
Hillary must go.