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Congress Just Blew the CIA's Cover in Libya

Dana Milbank thinks outbursts at yesterday's hearing uncovered a CIA base
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2012 9:03 AM CDT
Congress Just Blew the CIA's Cover in Libya
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, confers with ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings during the committee's hearing to investigate the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Some Congressmen are really, really bad at keeping a secret. In their zeal to embarrass the Obama administration over the attack on the Benghazi consulate, House Republicans "accidentally blew the CIA's cover" in a hearing yesterday, Dana Milbank alleges in the Washington Post. Oversight Committee members didn't come right out and say that the "annex" Americans retreated to was a CIA base, but they might as well have. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, for instance, objected to a satellite photo of the site, saying, "I was told specifically while I was in Libya I could not and should not ever talk about what you’re showing here."

Darrell Issa belatedly ordered the photo hidden, since it "may still in fact be a facility of the United States government." Lawmakers revealed that there had been a "rapid response force" run by some "other government agency," which, Issa revealed, was not the FBI. Gee, Milbank quips, "maybe they were referring to the Department of Agriculture." What's more, their slip means that blame they're attempting to lay at the door of the State Department really belongs with the CIA, Milbank notes. Issa eventually ended the hearing in favor of a classified briefing. "Good idea," Milbank writes. "Too bad he didn't think of that before putting the CIA on CSPAN." For Milbank's full column, click here. (More CIA stories.)

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