Mike Morell, the Deputy CIA Director at the time of the Benghazi attacks appeared before the House Intelligence Committee about his role in the crafting the talking points ultimately used by then UN Ambassador Susan Rice on five Sunday talk shows. One of the more shocking revelations had to do with Morell’s contention that he relied on the accounts of CIA analysts thousands of miles away from Benghazi instead of the accounts of CIA’s Chief of Station and others who were on the ground in Libya on the night of 9/11/12.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, who sits on the Committee, called Morell out on this inconsistency. Morell indignantly responded that the
analysts bureaucrats put forth the movie protest narrative because “that is what they believed”. He laughingly pointed to this as proof that there were no politics involved and then defended the White House and State Department changes to the talking points as being ‘fairly insignificant’.
Bachmann then called out Morell for his non sequitur, underscoring the fact that it was Morell who made the changes based not on the Chief of Station or the other eyewitnesses whose were actually on the ground in Libya during the attacks but on the opinions of bureaucrats thousands of miles away.
Here are a few of the other noteworthy exchanges from the hearing.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) tells Morell that it appears Morell was more interested in covering for the State Department than the State Department itself. Also note here that Morell actually says while the evidence seemed to implicate the State Department and vindicate the CIA, he didn’t want to thump his ‘chest’ and call out the State Department:
In this exchange, Morell admits to not complaining about what Rice said on those five Sunday talk shows. Again, he explains that he ultimately chose the opinions of bureaucrats over the firsthand accounts of CIA personnel in Libya: