Congressional Hearing on #Libya Live-blog

The House oversight committee is live-streaming the hearing which starts at noon eastern time.

You can also catch it CSPAN and on tv.

From the C-SPAN link:

Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has called Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy to testify alongside Deputy Assistant Director for International Programs Charlene Lamb and Eric Nordstrom, the former State Department Regional Security Officer for Libya.

They are also calling on Lt. Colonel Andrew Wood of the National Guard, who was in Libya from Feb 12 to Aug 14 of this year, and volunteered to testify. His written testimony is here (pdf).

Excerpt from Lt. Col. Wood’s written testimony:

Upon hearing of the death of Ambassador Stevens and later of the Congressional inquiry, I identified myself to my Congressional Representative’s staff as a person with intimate knowledge of the security situation prior to the attack. I was subsequently contacted and began a dialogue with staff investigators.

I made a personal decision to come forward with information and do not represent DoD or any government agency. I had unique access and placement to many government leaders and agencies working in Libya. I feel duty bound to come forward in order to inform and provide a portion of ground truth information. I feel a sense of honor for those individuals who have died in the service of their country. I realize much of my work in Libya was entangled in sensitive government work and I must be careful not to betray the trust and confidences that have been placed in me. The killing of a US Ambassador is a rare and extraordinary thing and requires our attention as a people. As a citizen I made the determination that this out weighs all other interests and will risk whatever circumstances may result from my testimony.

Here I think is what the Committee will focus on:

While the sound of gunfire in and around Tripoli subsided from February to April the situation remained unstable. Libyans struggled with a Transitional government that hesitated to make decisions and was forced to rely upon local or tribal militias with varying degrees to loyalty. In late spring, Police were allowed to return to work to help with traffic but were limited to that. Fighting between militias was still common when I departed. Some militias appeared to be degenerating into organizations resembling free lance criminal operations. Targeted attacks against westerners were on the increase. In June the Ambassador received a threat on Facebook with a public announcement that he liked to run around the Embassy compound in Tripoli.

When I arrived in February there were 3 MSD teams on the ground. Ambassador Cretz was confronted with having to loose one of these and requested an equal number of regular diplomatic security agents. Ambassador also struggled with renewing the SST beyond April 5th. The second MSD team was withdrawn shortly after his departure, and the last MSD team was restricted from performing security work and limited to only training local guard force members in July. The remaining MSD was withdrawn at about the same time the SST security work was terminated. The RSO’s struggled to maintain these losses with regular diplomatic security personnel.

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207 Responses to Congressional Hearing on #Libya Live-blog

  1. votermom says:

    Starting on c-span now.

  2. cj says:

    I’m watching.

  3. votermom says:

    Darrell Issa Opening Statement

  4. myiq2xu says:

    Darrell Issa blah, blah, blah speech.

  5. cj says:

    I had forgotten that Obama made the UN ambassador a cabinet level post, so is it possible that Susan Rice was getting her talking points straight out of the West Wing, and not necessarily the State Department?

  6. tommy says:

    Can’t watch it, so keep me posted. Hmm…wheres my whisky?

  7. DeniseVB says:

    Impressed that Issa called in the committee off the campaign break to get to this quickly. Concerned about the hundreds of other US installations around the world.

    In other words, bite me Obama 😀

  8. votermom says:

    Here’s Elijah Cummings 🙄

  9. myiq2xu says:

    Hillary “agreed to all witness requests and offered additional witnesses.”

  10. myiq2xu says:


    When will they get to the questions?

  11. Mary says:

    Cummings suggesting the hearings are political, while use the hearing to BE political. Irony lives.

  12. votermom says:

  13. votermom says:

    Chaffetz showing slides of June attacks on British embassy

  14. Mary says:

    Holmes-Norton: It’s the Republicans’ fault. They cut the budget.

    And that’s not political? JAYSUS

  15. cj says:

    So the Democrats are laying the blame on budget cuts? If there wasn’t enough money to secure the embassy, then they should have closed the damned thing up & send the Ambassador & staff home.

    The Dems are low-lifes. Sorry, that’s just how they come across.

    • angienc says:

      What budget? There hasn’t been one passed by the Senate & signed by the POTUS in 3 years.

    • gram cracker says:

      How much is spent on security for Valerie Jarrett? How much was spent on security for Jarrett’s daughter’s summer wedding?

    • yttik says:

      Good point, angie. First you actually have to HAVE a budget. Then you can blame it.

  16. myiq2xu says:

    Did Holmes-Norton just suggest that the State Dept. was cooperating with the Republicans but not the Democrats on the committee?

  17. tommy says:

    For myiq….’A rare 54 year old bottle of Scottish single malt whisky is expected to fetch a whopping £150,000 at an auction. The bottle of Bowmore 1957, will be the main attraction at Bonhams’ Whiskey Sale in Edinburgh on Wednesday. One of the only 12 bottles, the 54 year old single malt is the oldest the distillery has ever released and the oldest whisky ever to come from the Isle of Islay, the Daily Mail reported. Auctioneers expected it to sell for between £100,000 and £150,000. The whisky itself is said to carry initial flavours of blueberries, cassis, figs, sea salt and eucalyptus followed by dark chocolate.

  18. votermom says:

    Lt Col Andrew Wood reading his statement now.

  19. So Woods and Nordstrom are voluntary witnesses? Anyone know about the other 2?

  20. votermom says:

    Eric Nordstrom reading his statement now. (Libyan Regional Security officer until July 2012)

  21. votermom says:

    Dep Asst Secretary Charlene Lamb up now

  22. “early requests were approved”


    When I heard this, my first gut reaction (while working) “Obama’s going down on this one”

  23. votermom says:

    Chaffetz interrupts, saying Lamb is starting to get into sources & methods (the photo)

  24. its not up to cheffetz to say what is or is not classified.

  25. cheffetz seems too full of himself.

    it’s from google earth you moron.

  26. votermom says:

    I am impressed with Lamb’s statement & demeanor. Very professional.

  27. Issa doesnt froth at the mouth?

    who knew?

  28. myiq2xu says:

    That was a tempest in a teapot.

  29. myiq2xu says:

    I don’t think he’s a Kennedy-Kennedy.

  30. myiq2xu says:

    Kennedy just covered for Rice.

  31. wmcb says:

    WTF??? They agreed that the American bodyguards had to go fucking UNARMED to comply with local Libyan firearms laws.

    Jeebus Crispies, how clueless and irresponsible can you be.

  32. heroic image of those were killed that day — esp Amb Stevens.

  33. yttik says:

    Issa has been speaking rather respectfully about Hillary Clinton and yet when I read the news it’s full of stories like, “Issa narrows in on Clinton.” “Issa targets Clinton.”

    Now it almost sounds like some are accusing Hillary of favoring Republicans. To me that’s a dog whistle that implies Hillary is not willing to cover up for her boss.

  34. Issa must have been pretty lethal in a courtroom.

  35. myiq2xu says:

    “Whistleblower provided documents”

  36. “In real time a whistle blower”

  37. votermom says:

  38. gram cracker says:

    Issa has called four witnesses for the hearing.

    Two of them have alleged that the State Department refused requests for more security in Libya, prompting Issa’s probe.

    Eric Nordstrom, a regional security officer who left Tripoli about two months before the attack, told the committee that Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs Charlene Lamb wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low,” according to the Democratic memo.

    And Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the head of a 16-member special operations team that left Libya in August, said Stevens wanted his team to stay in the country.

    The State Department is sending Lamb and Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, to give its version of events.

  39. holy shit

    shit just blew up.

  40. myiq2xu says:

    Issa is laying the groundwork

  41. Issa closing in on Lamb.

  42. repeatedly in the cables that were denied to us are people telling you that they need more security and that there are al quaeda type people running around . . .

    — issa to lamb.

  43. wmcb says:

    Kennedy trying to argue that 10 documents that are not classified become magically classified in aggregate. Issa basically tells him to STFU, idiot.

  44. myiq2xu says:

    Nordstrom looks like a corporate yes-man out of central casting.

  45. why are they nit picking over 5, 4, 3 additional blah blah blah

    it’s like all they know how to play is small ball.

  46. cj says:

    Lamb sounds totally coached.

    • what is the difference between coached and prepared? Serious question. Seems that they should all be very prepared for this (reading their notes and past emails calendars etc) but is there a line that can be crossed?

      ie, this hearing is not a criminal trial right? But they are under oath I think. Are rules the same for criminal court and congress hearings?

      • cj says:

        I mean that Cummings seemed to be feeding her lines that they had come up with earlier. Just IMO, I’m not a lawyer, it seemed to go a step further than preparation, but I could be wrong.

      • myiq2xu says:

        There is nothing improper about coaching a witness as long as you coach them to tell the truth.

        Coaching them to lie is suborning perjury.

  47. wmcb says:

    Issa has docs to prove extra security was requested and denied. Warns Lamb about perjury.

  48. cj says:

    Good catch by Issa.

  49. myiq2xu says:

    Dan Burton became infamous for shooting a pumpkin to test out the Vince Foster suicide story.

  50. myiq2xu says:

    I think Holmes-Norton is trying to ask a question.

  51. myiq2xu says:

  52. governor mitt romney?


  53. myiq2xu says:

    These witnesses looked a lot better before the questions started.

  54. Steve Lynch. What a Boston accent! holy shit.

  55. myiq2xu says:

  56. Jim Jordan musta been a prosecutor. Id be scared of him even if I was innocent.

  57. Kucinich is blaming America.

  58. wait, did kucinich just call Kennedy stupid?

  59. soupcity says:

    Geez Kucinich is there a question about the attack in there somewhere?

  60. gxm17 says:

    Dayum. Go Kucinich. Now that’s something I wasn’t expecting.

  61. carol haka says:

    Kucinach just shit all over Obama and the arab spring. However he is responsible for fucking up hillary in iowa. So, fuck him. 👿

  62. Chaffetz comes across as a constipated twit. But that’s just me.

    What he’s saying right now is pretty devastating though.

  63. myiq2xu says:

    This hearing should produce some interesting sound bytes.

    • just in time for the foreign policy debate. Jeez but Mitt Romney’s republican party are playing the democrats like a fiddle.

    • carol haka says:

      10000 to 20000 shoulder to air missiles missing. How’s that for a sould bite? It’s us or them. Blow them to hell and be done with it. Try not to damage Pyramid and other historical sites. :evil. Funny seeing ms lamb’s head bobbing in and out from under the bus. 👿

  64. gram cracker says:

    Looks like the security provided was bare minimum for best of circumstances.

    Key questions not being asked:

    Is it customary to not increase security on and around the anniversary of 9/11 at embassies and diplomatic missions that might be high value or vulnerable terrorist targets?

    Is it customary to not advise our embassies to minimize exposure of our embassy and diplomatic mission employees to unnecessary risks by having minimal staffing on site on and around the anniversary of 9/11?

  65. Lynch sounds like a cross between JFK and Mayor Tom “Mumbles” Menino.

    Not a good thing.

  66. myiq2xu says:

    Lynch sounds like he has a kazoo stuffed up his nose.

  67. the republicans killed ambassador stevens.

  68. myiq2xu says:

  69. “you have gotta be kidding me”


  70. myiq2xu says:

  71. carol haka says:

    Where is the really good looking dude from Tennessee? I want to see him chop a few heads off.

  72. “five days later” is going to be a sound bite.

    circle is tightening.

  73. votermom says:

    Here it comes … Lankford in for the kill

  74. cj says:

    I won’t go any farther than that??? wtf?

  75. “There were reports that there were protests in Benghazi that day and I will not go any further.”

    yeah right.

  76. Lankford looks like redheaded Skeletor.

    damn but the repubs on this committee are scary looking.

  77. myiq2xu says:

    Jim Cooper has no lips.

  78. Gosar = another republican skeletor.

  79. myiq2xu says:

    Where did all the Democrats go?

  80. wmcb says:

    One conservative in my Twitter timeline has suggested a new rule to keep govt honest: Regardless of who controls the House, control of the Oversight Committee should always be in the hands of the opposite party from the Executive branch.

    That’s actually not a half bad idea.

  81. myiq2xu says:

    Connolly’s teeth are too white and even for a guy his age.

    Caps or dentures?

  82. votermom says:

    Here comes Labrador. His middle name is Pitbull. Kennedy is gonna get his @zz chewed off.

  83. myiq2xu says:

  84. I just got back- sounds like I missed all the good stuff. WHo is this Ambassador Kennedy you are talking about? Related to “THE” Kennedy’s? Do those damn people always have to be in the dirt?

  85. tommy says:

    I just told an Obot friend of mine that his candidate is a dumb, weak, narcissistic, race-baiting, dog-eating violence-inducing, egotistical piece of sh*t. Dude refuses to talk to me anymore. Did I say something wrong or offensive? I admit that I’m TUI (talking under the influence).

  86. gxm17 says:

    Hot damn! Mike Kelly is serving up one angry rant. Thank you, Mr. Kelly for asking the same simple questions that I’ve been asking for the last month.

  87. carol haka says:

    Trey Gowdy on now kicking ass!

  88. carol haka says:

    Now Cummings is covering Rice’s ass. It is pathetic. 👿

  89. myiq2xu says:

  90. myiq2xu says:

  91. myiq2xu says:

    Dana Rohrabacher is a smiling tiger.

  92. carol haka says:

    Finally, someone mentions the political prisoner and freedom of speech! 👿

  93. myiq2xu says:

    New thread up, I’m closing this one.

Comments are closed.