House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) compromised the identities of several Libyans working with the U.S. government and placed their lives in danger when he released reams of State Department communications Friday, according to Obama administration officials. – Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy
THIS IS an example of what happens when you have circus performers like Darrell Issa running “oversight” committees that are actually predicated on politics instead of fact-finding. You also end up exposing allies through choosing a hyper partisan witch-hunting lens that has the sole goal of damaging President Obama’s reelection chances. Enveloping it all is the continued failings of U.S. intelligence, with American ignorance of foreign policy how we get in these messes in the first place.
That the Administration has aided adversaries like Issa is an understatement, through explanations that have been disjointed, at best, counterproductive and confusingly misleading, at worst.
Also unfortunate, in defending themselves against Rep. Darrell Issa’s latest blunder, the Administration utilized the example of Wikileaks, which is a very bad case to compare to what the right-wing political machine is doing. It should come as no surprise that the official comparing what Issa did to Wikileaks is inadvertently revealing the Administration’s aversion to openness.
Now that Issa and his oversight committee have been caught with their ineptitude endangering allies, they’re hunting for someone to blame. The State Department is their target, which is adamantly rebutting the line out of Issa’s world. Also from Josh Rogin, posted in an update after State was made aware of the allegations against them:
“Many of the documents the committee posted weren’t provided by State. So there wasn’t any discussion about their sensitivity prior to the committee revealing them for all to see,” the official said. “Had State been given that opportunity, we’d have taken it and pointed out what documents needed to be handled with extreme care so as not to endanger anyone.”
In other news on Benghazi, David Ignatius writes about the scapegoating U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, which CIA “talking points” revealing exactly what Rice offered on the Sunday shows.
“Talking points” prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15, the same day that Rice taped three television appearances, support her description of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate as a reaction to Arab anger about an anti-Muslim video prepared in the United States. According to the CIA account, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
The CIA document went on: “This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.” This may sound like self-protective boilerplate, but it reflects the analysts’ genuine problem interpreting fragments of intercepted conversation, video surveillance and source reports.
Our government and any political administration is not predisposed to full transparency, which is the case no matter if a Democrat or Republican is in office. What invariably happens is they get ensnared in their own ongoing lack of candor trap. So when someone like Susan Rice comes out to tell the story of the administration for whom they’re working, there is always skepticism that whatever is being said is malarkey.
In 2012, the second decade of the 21st century, this is the state of trust in government institutions and those who run them, and the relationship between we the people and these entities, as well as the media, who is supposed to be the arbiter of facts, but too often chooses political sides at the expense of educating the citizenry.
The breakdown of these important lines of communication is seen in the resulting shambles played out to full affect over Libya. It includes the fumbling lack of coherency from all sides about how the assassination of Chris Stevens occurred and the partisan witch hunt atmospherics that pit us against one another.
The gaping maw of why the American people weren’t made aware of the dangerous state of play in Benghazi, where U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was allowed to move and take up work on our behalf, reveals the stunning lack of attention to what our country is doing in far off countries in our name. It’s how we went to war in Iraq on a lie, but also are being forced to accept staying in Afghanistan until 2014 and worse, funding efforts there until 2024.
The ignorance of the American people and their nonchalance to care about foreign policy until a U.S. ambassador and three others lay dead is as much a part of the problem as is our national media for not providing foreign policy coverage in every single nightly broadcast, because it doesn’t pay, but is necessary to hold our president, both political parties and ourselves accountable.
We know the enemy and it is our own ignorance.