Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Adam Schiff’

Mike Rogers: Administration ‘Red Tape’ Leaving Terrorists on Battlefields.


Image: Mike Rogers: Administration 'Red Tape' Leaving Terrorists on BattlefieldsPakistanis in Lahore protest against U.S. drone attacks.

By Elliot Jager

 

There has been a moratorium on the use of drones in the U.S. counter terror campaign in Pakistan, the Washington Post reports. 

The suspension was put in place at the request of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is attempting to negotiate with the country’s Taliban groups. 

“That’s what they asked for, and we didn’t tell them no,” a U.S. official told the Post. 

But counterterror attacks against al-Qaida targets in Pakistan, if any present themselves, have not been suspended. The use of drone strikes in counterterrorism elsewhere, including Yemen, is also unaffected. 

Meanwhile, an unnamed senior Obama administration source also told the Post that press reports about a change in policy were wrong.

Still, there have been no drone strikes since December. In November, a strike killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. The Pakistani government at the time said the hit derailed peace talks that had been scheduled to begin.

Separately, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, took exception during an open hearing to changes made by President Barack Obama in 2013 that narrowed the criteria regarding when drones may be used. 

Now, only al-Qaida operatives who present an imminent danger to Americans can be targeted, and only when there is a “near certainty” a strike would not bring about civilian casualties.

Rogers said that “individuals who would have been previously removed from the battlefield by U.S. counterterrorism operations for attacking or plotting to attack against U.S. interests remain free because of self-imposed red tape.”

He was referring to al-Qaida’s presence in Yemen, Syria and Africa. The chairman did not comment on the purported Pakistan moratorium. Rogers said the new guidelines “are an utter and complete failure, and they leave Americans’ lives at risk,” the Post reported.

Testifying at the House Intelligence Committee hearing James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said he did not agree that the new guidelines on drone use put the country at increased peril. He said the danger comes from the transformation of the al-Qaida threat, “its diffusion, its globalization and its franchising,” the Post reported.

Also at the hearing, California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff called on the intelligence community to release aggregate data annually specifying the number of terrorists the United States had killed as well as how many civilians might have died as a result of the strikes.

In a related development, the latest effort at peace talks between Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban was delayed on Tuesday because two members of a Taliban delegation refused to take part.

Related Stories: 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

Obama Under Pressure to Move Soon on NSA Reform.


Image: Obama Under Pressure to Move Soon on NSA Reform

Lawmakers expect President Barack Obama to announce changes to the National Security Agency’s metadata surveillance program before he makes his State of the Union address on Jan. 28.

The president met in private session with 16 members of the House and Senate Thursday,reports The Hill, and while he did not endorse any specific reforms, he said the NSA’s surveillance programs will have to undergo reform, said lawmakers after the meeting.

“Close to half the members of Congress” think reforms and reductions should be made to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the NSA to collect bulk data on phone calls inside the United States, said Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama is still considering options, reports CBS News.

“He’s not yet finished with that and he is still soliciting input, which he did today, sort of reviewing the scope of the matter and some of the ideas that were presented,” Carney said.

Some parts of the program will still require reviews beyond the next few weeks, even if Obama makes an announcement, he added.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said after the meeting that he “wouldn’t be surprised a bit” if Obama makes an announcement next week.

“Many of us made clear our belief that the bulk collection of Americans’ phone calls must end,” Leahy said in a press statement. “This is consistent with the recommendations made by the President’s Review Group.”

Leahy acknowledged there are differences of opinion among lawmakers, “but at least the president knows where we stand.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has said she will kill legislation sponsored by Leahy and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to end the phone records collections.

The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology last month proposed ending the government’s storage of metadata. After the meeting, Feinstein bashed that plan, saying it could cost phone carriers as much as $60 million a year to store records.

But lawmakers said Obama is more likely to take other actions, including adding a public advocate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Other senators at Thursday’s meeting included Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the ranking GOP member on the intelligence panel; Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. However, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a prominent NSA critic, was not invited.

House members present were House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers , R-Mich.; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.; Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.; Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.; Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Ind.; Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; and Sensenbrenner.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Veteran: I Stayed in Hotel During North Korea Detention.


Image: Veteran: I Stayed in Hotel During North Korea Detention

A day after arriving home to California, the 85-year-old U.S. veteran detained for weeks by North Korea said Sunday that he was well-fed and kept comfortable in a hotel room, not a jail cell.

Merrill Newman spoke briefly with the Santa Cruz Sentinel Sunday outside his vacation home in coastal Santa Cruz, about 75 miles south of San Francisco. Newman and his wife live about 45 miles north in a Palo Alto retirement home.

He was detained in late October at the end of a 10-day trip to North Korea, a visit that came six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas during the 1950-53 war.

Newman told the newspaper “that’s not my English” when asked about the video North Korean state media released last month showing him reading an awkwardly worded alleged confession apologizing for, among other things, killing North Koreans during the war.

Analysts questioned whether the statement was coerced. Newman hasn’t discussed the circumstances of the alleged apology, but it was riddled with stilted English and grammatical errors, such as “I want not punish me.”

The former South Korean guerrillas who had worked with Newman and fought behind enemy lines during the war disputed some of the details of the statement.

Newman also said Sunday that his wife is now in charge of his passport when asked if he planned any more international travel.

Newman cut short the impromptu interview after a few questions.

The veteran’s family didn’t respond to an email from The Associated Press requesting an interview. His son, Jeff Newman, said the family planned to talk about Newman’s experience in greater detail sometime later after he has recuperated.

Newman arrived at San Francisco International Airport from Beijing shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday and was greeted by his wife, son and friends.

“I’m delighted to be home,” he said. “It’s been a great homecoming. I’m tired, but ready to be with my family.”

He also thanked the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for helping secure his release.

North Korea cited Newman’s age and medical condition in allowing him to leave the country.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said on CNN Sunday morning that North Korea’s reason for detaining Newman may never be completely explained. He said North Korea’s internal politics, the country’s desire for global attention and other wants could have prompted Newman’s detention.

“They often will grab people to gain attention, to get a world leader to come and rescue them from North Korea,” Schiff said. “It may be a shout to the rest of the world that we want you to pay attention to us again and our nuclear program or it may be simply confined to something Mr. Newman said that caused him to be taken off the plane.”

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

McCaul: Don’t Repeat N. Korea Mistake with Iran.


Image: McCaul: Don't Repeat N. Korea Mistake with Iran

By Greg Richter

Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, says the terrorist threat facing America is growing and spreading like a web across Africa and the Middle East.

“I believe the threat has become greater, not lesser,” said McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The White House has been touting a “false narrative and premise” that al Qaeda is now on the run because Osama bin Laden is dead, he said.

“I personally see it spreading like a spider web, like a wildfire in Africa through the Middle East,” McCaul said.

McCaul also said that former aides to President George W. Bush tell him one of the biggest mistakes they made was agreeing to accords with North Korea, which ended up getting nuclear weapons anyway.

“I don’t want to see that same mistake happen in Iran,” McCaul said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The chairman of House Homeland Security Committee said the United States has been working on sanctions for a decade, and he is worried about the six-month interim deal that allows Iran to continue enriching uranium for non-military purposes.

“What I’m concerned about is that we have not dismantled their program and yet relieved the sanctions, which is a $7 billion economic aid to the country,” McCaul said.

McCaul added that he is troubled by the words of Iranian President Hassan Rouhanion Saturday that the country’s centrifuges will “never stop spinning.”

“That sends to me a very cold, hard message that they are not intent of a civilian nuclear peaceful program, but getting a nuclear weapon,” McCaul told CNN.

McCaul is among a group of senators wanting to see a bill passed to add new sanctions at the end of the six-month deal if the Iranians renege. He said it would give President Barack Obama added leverage in negotiations.

Also appearing on the show was Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who disagrees with the idea of adding sanctions. He said he thinks the interim deal makes sense, but still expressed skepticism that a final agreement will ever be passed. He called Obama’s prediction of a “50-50 or worse” chance “optimistic.”

“You can have a peaceful nuclear energy program with no enrichment,” Schiff said, adding that Iran wants thousands of centrifuges only for the purpose of “fast breakout capability.”

“I wouldn’t begin the process by conceding anything on enrichment,” Schiff said. Now that they have it, Iran will never lose their bomb-making know-how, he said. The only way to stop them once they build a nuclear weapon is a repeated bombing campaign that might also involve boots on the ground, he said.

McCaul said that he would like to employ moderate Muslim leaders in the fight against Islamic extremism.

Schiff said the U.S. is better at fighting terror that it ever has been, but noted, “we’re never going to be 100 percent safe.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Mike Rogers: ‘Compelling’ Evidence of Syrian Chemical Attack.


The chairman of the U.S. House intelligence committee said on Tuesday that the evidence is “convincing, if not compelling” that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack near Damascus this month.

Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican, said he has looked into the Aug. 21 attack and spoken to U.S. government intelligence analysts and operators, but his committee did not receive a formal consultation from President Barack Obama’s administration, despite the seriousness of the issue.

“I believe that evidence exists that is convincing, if not compelling, that the administration of Syria, the government of Syria, was involved in launching those attacks,” Rogers told Reuters. “I do not believe that it was a single source person deciding to do it. I believe it came from the (Syrian) administration.”

Rogers, whose committee oversees the U.S. intelligence community, said it would be very difficult to determine if Assad had ordered a chemical weapons attack, but such a move would likely involve at least his close associates.

“They have a very tight hold on their military. From what we know, historically, about how their chemical weapons units work, it is a fairly flat line to the office of the president in Syria. So there are not a lot of people that can intercede in that and make it happen,” Rogers said.

The “direction has to come from a pretty small group of people connected to the president” for a chemical weapons attack, he said.

Rogers would not comment on any specific pieces of intelligence, nor on what type of chemical weapon is believed to have been used.

The White House said the options being considered to respond to the chemical weapons attack do not include the ouster of Assad. A U.S. intelligence report is expected to be released in coming days.

One of the options that Obama is weighing is cruise missile strikes against Syrian targets, officials have said.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in a forceful statement on Monday about chemical weapons use in Syria, said there was “additional information about this attack” and it was being compiled and reviewed.

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the administration may be waiting for more clinical analysis of tissue samples from the scene.

“It’s clinical analysis of the tissue samples that have been gathered, it’s the evidence that has been obtained by the U.N. team, and by some of the non-governmental organizations that are treating patients there – I think that’s a big piece of what the administration is waiting on,” Schiff said.

“We have obviously our own intelligence. We have the insights of our regional allies and their intelligence agencies, and a lot in the public domain in terms of these videos. But I think the piece that I haven’t seen yet is the clinical piece,” he told Reuters.

Rogers said he did not know what additional information Kerry was referring to.

“We do our own independent look, but I have had no formal consultations with the administration on what they are claiming now is new information. I have not had that,” Rogers said.

“Informal status updates should not pass as consultation with Congress,” he said. “Calling an individual member on an unsecure line – that doesn’t count.”

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Petraeus: CIA blamed terrorists for Libya attack.


 

RELATED CONTENT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Testifying out of sight, ex-CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress Friday that classified intelligenceshowed the deadly raid on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack but the administration withheld the suspected role of al-Qaida affiliates to avoid tipping them off.

The recently resigned spy chief explained that references to terrorist groups suspected of carrying out the violence were removed from the public explanation of what caused the attack so as not to alert them that U.S. intelligence was on their trail, according to lawmakers who attended Petraeus’ private briefings.

He also said it initially was unclear whether the militants had infiltrated a demonstration to cover their attack.

The retired four-star general addressed the House and Senate intelligence committees in back-to-back, closed-door hearings as questions persist over what the Obama administration knew in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and why its public description did not match intelligence agencies’ assessments.

After the hearings, lawmakers who questioned Petraeus said he testified that the CIA’s draft talking points in response to the assault on the diplomatic post in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. Petraeus said that reference was removed from the final version, although he wasn’t sure which federal agency deleted it.

Adding to the explanation, a senior U.S. official familiar with the drafting of the points said later that a reason the references to al-Qaida were deleted was that the information came from classified sources and the links were, and still are, tenuous. The administration also did not want to prejudice a criminal investigation in its early stages, that official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the process publicly.

Democrats said Petraeus made it clear the change was not done for political reasons during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

“The general was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. “He completely debunked that idea.”

But Republicans remain critical of the administration’s handling of the case. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Petraeus’ testimony showed that “clearly the security measures were inadequate despite an overwhelming and growing amount of information that showed the area in Benghazi was dangerous, particularly on the night of Sept. 11.”

In fact, Petraeus told lawmakers that protesters literally walked in and set fire to the facility, according to a congressional official who attended the briefing. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens died from smoke inhalation. Petraeus said security at the CIA annex was much better, but the attackers had armaments to get in.

Separately on Friday, the Democratic leader in the Senate rejected a request from John McCain and two other senators for a Watergate-style congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. In a letter to McCain, Sen. Harry Reid said several committees in the House and Senate are already investigating and he would not allow the Senate to be used as a “venue for baseless partisan attacks.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner also said this week that a special committee was not necessary.

Petraeus, who had a long and distinguished military career, was giving his first Capitol Hill testimony since resigning last week in disgrace over an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Lawmakers said he did not discuss that scandal except to express regret about the circumstances of his departure and say that Benghazi had nothing to do with his decision to resign.

He was brought to a secure room beneath the Capitol, avoiding crowds of photographers and television cameras.

Petraeus testified that the CIA draft written in response to the raid referred to militant groups Ansar al-Shariah and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb but that those names were replaced with the word “extremist” in the final draft, according to a congressional staff member. The staffer said Petraeus testified that he allowed other agencies to alter the talking points as they saw fit without asking for final review, to get them out quickly.

The congressional officials weren’t authorized to discuss the hearing publicly and described Petraeus’ testimony to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said Petraeus explained that the CIA’s draft points were sent to otherintelligence agencies and to some federal agencies for review. Udall said Petraeus told them the final document was put in front of all the senior agency leaders, including him, and everyone signed off on it.

“The assessment that was publicly shared in unclassified talking points went through a process of editing,” Udall said. “The extremist description was put in because in an unclassified document you want to be careful who you identify as being involved.”

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said it remained unclear how the final talking points developed. The edited version was used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice five days after the attack when the White House sent her out for a series of television interviews. Republicans have criticized Rice for saying it appeared the attack was sparked by a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video.

“The fact is, the reference to al-Qaida was taken out somewhere along the line by someone outside the intelligence community,” King said. “We need to find out who did it and why.”

King said Petraeus had briefed the House committee on Sept. 14, and he did not recall Petraeus being so positive at that time that it was a terrorist attack. “He thought all along that he made it clear there was terrorist involvement,” King said. “That was not my recollection.”

After two hours with Petraeus, the Democratic chairman of the Senate’s intelligence committee and the panel’s top Republican sparred over Rice’s televised comments.

Chairman Dianne Feinstein of California said Rice relied on “unclassified talking points at a very early stage. … I don’t think she should have been pilloried for this.”

Feinstein recalled the faulty intelligence of the George W. Bush administration, used to justify the invasion of Iraq in concluding that country had weapons of mass destruction.

“A lot of people were killed based on bad intelligence,” she said. Feinstein added that mistakes were made in the initial intelligence on Benghazi, but she said, “I don’t think that’s fair game” to blame Rice — who has been mentioned as a possible nominee for secretary of state. “To say she is unqualified to be secretary of state I think is a mistake.”

Top committee Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said Rice had gone beyond the talking points.

“She even mentioned that under the leadership of Barack Obama we had decimated al-Qaida. She knew at that point in time that al-Qaida was responsible in part or in whole for the death of Ambassador Stevens,” Chambliss said.

Schiff, the California congressman, said Petraeus had said Rice’s comments in the television interviews “reflected the best intelligence at the time that could be released publicly.”

“There was an interagency process to draft it, not a political process,” Schiff said. “They came up with the best assessment without compromising classified information or source or methods. So changes were made to protect classified information.”

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said it’s clear that Rice “used the unclassified talking points that the entire intelligence community signed off on, so she did completely the appropriate thing.” He said the changes made to the draft account for the discrepancies with some of the reports that were made public showing that the intelligence community knew it was a terrorist attack all along.

Lawmakers spent hours Thursday interviewing top intelligence and national security officials, trying to determine what intelligence agencies knew before, during and after the attack. They were shown a video to illustrate the chronology of the attack, which edited together security video from the consulate and surveillance footage taken by an unarmed CIA Predator drone, and even local Libyan cellphone footage taken from YouTube showing Stevens being carried out by people who looked like they were trying to rescue him.

A U.S. official who viewed it said the video shows clearly there was no demonstration prior to the attack, and then, suddenly armed men started streaming into the mission. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

___

Associated Press writers Adam Goldman, Larry Margasak, Donna Cassata, Henry C. Jackson and Andrew Miga contributed to this report.

___

Dozier can be followed on Twitter (at)kimberlydozier.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By KIMBERLY DOZIER and NEDRA PICKLER | Associated Press

Petraeus believed terrorists behind Libya attack.


RELATED CONTENT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ex-CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers Friday that classified intelligence showed the deadly raid on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack, but that the administration withheld the suspected role of specific al-Qaida affiliates to avoid tipping off the terrorist groups.

The recently resigned spy chief explained that references to terrorist groups suspected of carrying out the violence were removed from the public explanation of what caused the attack so as not to tip off the groups that the U.S. intelligence community was on their trail, according to lawmakers who attended the private briefings.

Petraeus also said it initially was unclear whether militants infiltrated a demonstration to cover their attack.

The retired four-star general addressed the House and Senate intelligence committees in back-to-back, closed-door hearings as questions persist over what the Obama administration knew in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and why their public description did not match intelligence agencies’ assessments.

After the hearings, lawmakers who questioned Petraeus said he testified that the CIA’s draft talking points written in response to the assault on the diplomat post in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. But Petraeus told the lawmakers that reference was removed from the final version, although he wasn’t sure which federal agency deleted it.

Democrats said Petraeus made it clear the change was not done for political reasons during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

“The general was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. “He completely debunked that idea.”

But Republicans remain critical of the administration’s handling of the case. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Petraeus’ testimony showed that “clearly the security measures were inadequate despite an overwhelming and growing amount of information that showed the area in Benghazi was dangerous, particularly on the night of Sept. 11.”

Petraeus told lawmakers that security at the consulate was so lax that protesters literally walked in and set fire to the facility, according to a congressional official who attended the briefing, leading to Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death from smoke inhalation. Petraeus said security at the CIA annex was much better, but the attackers had armaments to get in.

Petraeus, who had a long and distinguished military career, was making his first Capitol Hill testimony since resigning last week in disgrace over an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Lawmakers said he did not discuss that scandal except to express regret about the circumstances of his departure and say that Benghazi had nothing to do with his decision to resign.

Petraeus testified that the CIA draft written in response to the raid referred to militant groups Ansar al-Shariah and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb but those names were replaced with the word “extremist” in the final draft, according to a congressional staffer. The staffer said Petraeus testified that he allowed other agencies to alter the talking points as they saw fit without asking for final review to get them out quickly.

The congressional officials weren’t authorized to discuss the hearing publicly and described Petraeus’ testimony to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said Petraeus explained that the CIA’s draft points were sent to other intelligence agencies and to some federal agencies for review. Udall said Petraeus told them the final document was put in front of all the senior agency leaders, including Petraeus, and everyone signed off on it.

“The assessment that was publicly shared in unclassified talking points went through a process of editing,” Udall said. “The extremist description was put in because in an unclassified document you want to be careful who you identify as being involved.”

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said it remained unclear how the final talking points developed. The edited version was used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice five days after the attack when the White House sent her out for a series of television interviews. Republicans have criticized Rice for saying it appeared the attack was sparked by a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video.

“The fact is, the reference to al-Qaida was taken out somewhere along the line by someone outside the intelligence community,” King said. “We need to find out who did it and why.”

King said Petraeus had briefed the House committee on Sept. 14 and he did not recall Petraeus being so positive at that time that it was a terrorist attack. “He thought all along that he made it clear there was terrorist involvement,” King said. “That was not my recollection.”

After two hours with Petraeus, the Democratic chairman of the Senate’s intelligence committee and the panel’s top Republican sparred over Rice’s televised comments.

Chairman Dianne Feinstein, of California, said Rice used unclassified talking points prepared by the intelligence community and made available to Rice by the House’s intelligence panel.

“The key is they were unclassified talking points at a very early stage,” Feinstein said. “I don’t think she should have been pilloried for this.”

She recalled the faulty intelligence of the George W. Bush administration, when it justified the invasion of Iraq by concluding that country had weapons of mass destruction.

“A lot of people were killed based on bad intelligence,” she said. Feinstein added that mistakes were made in the initial intelligence on Benghazi but said “I don’t think that’s fair game” to blame Rice — who could be nominated as secretary of state. “To say she is unqualified to be secretary of state I think is a mistake.”

Top Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, of Georgia, said Rice went beyond the talking points.

“She even mentioned that under the leadership of Barack Obama we had decimated al-Qaida. She knew at that point in time that al-Qaida was responsible in part or in whole for the death of Ambassador Stevens,” Chambliss said.

Schiff said that Petraeus said Rice’s comments in the television interviews “reflected the best intelligence at the time that could be released publicly.”

“There was an interagency process to draft it, not a political process,” Schiff said. “They came up with the best assessment without compromising classified information or source or methods. So changes were made to protect classified information.”

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said it’s clear that Rice “used the unclassified talking points that the entireintelligence community signed off on, so she did completely the appropriate thing.” He said the changes made to the draft accounts for the discrepancies with some of the reports that were made public showing that the intelligence community knew it was a terrorist attack all along.

Lawmakers spent hours Thursday interviewing top intelligence and national security officials, trying to determine what intelligence agencies knew before, during and after the attack. They viewed security video from the consulate and surveillance footage take by an unarmed CIA Predator drone that showed events in real time.

The congressional staffer told the AP that the composite video shown to lawmakers to illustrate the chronology of the attack also included the cellphone footage that has been on YouTube showing Stevens being carried out by people who looked like they were trying to rescue him.

___

Associated Press writers Larry Margasak, Donna Cassata and Andrew Miga contributed to this report.

___

Dozier can be followed on Twitter (at)kimberlydozier

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By KIMBERLY DOZIER and NEDRA PICKLER | Associated Press

Tag Cloud