on intelligence

This accusation [that the administration is lying about Benghazi] not only misses the mark but also demonstrates how profoundly the accusers misunderstand how intelligence works. In fact, the White House's evolving timeline for what happened in Benghazi is proof of precisely the opposite of what the breathless accusers suggest -- it is a sign of a normal, healthy intelligence process.
To believe that the initial statements about what happened in Benghazi were a lie, one has to assume: (1) The administration had all the facts, even as the situation was evolving; (2) the administration chose to tell a deliberately false story about those facts; and (3) the story it told was consistent, with no administration official contradicting the official line. There is little evidence to support any of these three pillars of the Republican case against the White House.

First, it's clear that Obama was presented with a changing and muddied intelligence picture. The administration still hasn't finished gathering the evidence, and it had even less in the hours just after the attack.
Second, the criticisms of the administration's response are limited to parsing, not refuting the facts as they've stated them. Were the assailants "extremists" or "terrorists"? Either way, America is committed to finding them and bringing them to justice.
Third, the evolution of the explanation itself is an indication of candid and careful re-assessment, not of a consistent lie. An administration forthright enough to tell the world when its first findings were wrong should be applauded, not pilloried.
Finally, our government is too vast and far too leaky to support such a conspiracy. We aren't seeing a cover-up; rather, we are seeing the mundane workings of the intelligence community as it is attempting, however imperfectly, to keep up with fast-moving events.
 --Aki Peritz, tool of the left-wing media former CIA analyst during the Bush administration


Bike Bubba said...

Should anyone skilled in understanding world politics really believe that a few hundred people just happened to show up with guns and bombs to attack someone not related to a video? Simultaneously?

I don't know whether Obama is lying or not--my leaning is a strong "yes"--but I do know that if he cannot figure this out, and if his secretary of state cannot figure this out, I'll be very happy to pay their pension instead of their wages next year.

Brian said...

Did you read the same article? Seriously.

RW said...

Read? What is this read you speak of? Hard to read when you don't trust the people who wrote it and already have all the answers. Eh?

Bike Bubba said...

Yup, and the article misses the point. Let's assume that it was hopelessly cloudy; then isn't the responsible thing to do to say "we don't know right now."?

Plus, it was known early on that the attack was pretty sophisticated--and yes, I expect State and the President to say "you know, the 'riot' hypothesis doesn't pass the smell test here."