Darrell Issa, the notably -- and ironically -- corrupt leader of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will have this added to his resume. He presided over a televised meeting in which the CIA's cover was blown.
The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us why “congressional intelligence” is an oxymoron.
Through their outbursts, cryptic language and boneheaded questioning of State Department officials, the committee members left little doubt that one of the two compounds at which the Americans were killed, described by the administration as a “consulate” and a nearby “annex,” was a CIA base. They did this, helpfully, in a televised public hearing. ...Dana Milbank, WaPo
Maps were shown and thoroughly visible to CSpan's cameras, coy references to the CIA were made. It was a massive, very Republican, very damaging FUBAR.
The Republican lawmakers, in their outbursts, alternated between scolding the State Department officials for hiding behind classified material and blaming them for disclosing information that should have been classified. But the lawmakers created the situation by ordering a public hearing on a matter that belonged behind closed doors.
Republicans were aiming to embarrass the Obama administration over State Department security lapses. But they inadvertently caused a different picture to emerge than the one that has been publicly known: that the victims may have been let down not by the State Department but by the CIA. If the CIA was playing such a major role in these events, which was the unmistakable impression left by Wednesday’s hearing, having a televised probe of the matter was absurd. ...Dana Milbank, WaPo
Someone, somewhere went into a voting booth and pulled a lever that elected these guys. In America we don't let the CIA go looking for these voters in order to rough them up a bit. Maybe we should. We seem to be in a permanent groundhog day thanks to voters on the self-righteous right.
If you think all this is a wild exaggeration, just remember that during spring 2012 the Republican majority urged and got cuts to State Department funding. They were warned about what this would do to diplomatic security (among other concerns), but they let it pass.
The State Department is still reeling from deep cuts made by Senate and House appropriations panels to the Obama administration’s budget requests for next year, with some officials warning of national security risks.
Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state in its Bureau of Political Military Affairs, told a meeting last week of the Center for New American Security that the hefty cuts will compromise national security. He noted that the 2012 funding bill for State Department and foreign operations was cut 8 percent by the full Senate Appropriations Committee and a whopping 18 percent by the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations subcommittee.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had sounded similar concern in March, telling the House Foreign Affairs Committee that threatened deep cuts would be “devastating” to her agency....WaPo, 10/1/12
Paul Ryan would like to make things even worse.