Ok, this is getting a bit ridiculous. It’s time for the House Intelligence Committee to release the transcripts of its closed session with five CIA employees who witnessed the Benghazi attacks. They can redact names or information that could put individuals in danger but the accounts of congressmen who were in these hearings are all over the map. It’s time to let the American people decide for themselves.
At the very least, they should release the accounts of the employees that relate to A.) whether there was a lull in the fighting and B.) non-disclosure agreements.
Last week, the House Intelligence Committee met in closed session with CIA employees who witnessed the Benghazi attacks. After the hearings, Committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA) relayed that once fighting started at the CIA Annex, it “never stopped”. One day later, Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) said that the closed door testimony “synched up” with the administration’s line and that there was a lull of several hours.
If you thought there couldn’t be a third side to that story, guess again. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) also sits on that committee and Chairs a House Intelligence Oversight Subcommittee. He revealed to CNN that there was a lull that included “probing” fire until the assault that occurred shortly after 0500. It’s also a bit interesting that this nuanced account serves to thread the needle between what Nunes and Rogers said just last week.
Westmoreland interviewed with CNN and did say that the State Department informed personnel in Benghazi that they were “on their own”. He also discusses another area of interest – the issue of CIA employees being required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA), which also seems to reveal divergent accounts between Nunes and Westmoreland.
In his interview with Chris Wallace last week, Nunes appeared convinced that the CIA Director – John Brennan – said something that was demonstrably false regarding employees being required to sign the NDA’s. This would constitute a stonewall. Yet, when Westmoreland was asked if he believed the CIA was stonewalling, he said no.
Another point of note… Though all three Republican congressmen on these committees conceded that the CIA employees were required to sign the NDA’s, Rogers came off as a bit of an apologist for the administration when he tried to put forth an alternate explanation as to why the NDA’s may have been required. Rogers also avoided referring to the memorial ceremony for Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty as the place where they were required to sign. Rogers simply referred to it as the day they returned to the agency. This is important because requiring them to sign NDA’s at the ceremony allowed the time and place to explain the why. Rogers fumbled big time on that one.
Anyway, here is Westmoreland’s interview with CNN about the closed session:
Incidentally, Westmoreland was one of the only five congressmen to sign the letters to various departments and agencies last year that sought answers on Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. Government. One of those letters named Huma Abedin specifically. One of those five congressmen, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) all but withdrew his support for the letters amid the controversy.