Democrats defend Amb. Rice over Libya attack comments
California Congressman Adam Schiff explains
- Duration 4:19
- Date Nov 17, 2012
California Congressman Adam Schiff explains
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Welcome that you're ready fair and bounced clear about the democratic congressman Adam -- on the -- Gaza tragedy and his thoughts about General David Petraeus is testimony.
On Capitol Hill this week.
Welcome great to have you here let's begin with ambassador rice what do you think it's unfair about the criticism has been levied against her.
By several Republicans on the hill.
Well it's clear in General Petraeus was sort of quite adamant about this.
The CIA in the intelligence community gave us their best assessment at the time.
In fact we got those.
Talking points the afternoon before Susan Rice one on television.
They were flawed they were inaccurate but they were the best to the intelligence community had and we -- know they were flawed.
And so to criticize investor -- for taking from the intelligence community their best work product.
And and a and related and public.
I think that's grossly unfair if she had to pardon from that if she had speculated on her own if she had said things different than what intelligence -- he said was their best estimate.
Then I think should be subject of legitimate criticism.
But how can you -- her or anyone else frankly for relying on what -- -- on the -- Her and said what she says set aside what she said for the moment but therein though what do you say to those who say well you know the White House continued -- use.
The video as an explanation for what happened in -- -- as opposed to the fact that we knew.
-- from testimony from others that.
It was terrorism from the start and that was known within 24 hours but attack.
-- -- Harrison -- -- if you will recognized you know what you know that there are PGA's and mortars being fired an American facility.
That is terrorism.
The question was more was this pre planned to what terrorists were involved and it was this city.
Initially -- protest that turned into an opportunity for terrorists to attack the consulate.
And those questions weren't -- right away.
And in fact in looking at the raw intelligence there were many conflicting reports -- and there were protests on the so that worked.
And there were groups claiming responsibility others denying responsibility.
And it took time for the intelligence community to get it right.
And I think they can be just -- criticized for not having it right earlier.
But but I don't think there's any evidence.
Unless you're ready to conclude that General Petraeus is not telling the truth -- and I clapper is not telling the truth and I'm -- not telling the truth all the until his community have told us.
That initially they recognize there are extremists and terrorists involved but they thought it came from a protest.
That it took them time to sort that out.
That there was no political spin in this that there was no interference from the White House in this so unless you're willing to think they're all lying are all part of some grand conspiracy.
They -- simply isn't any there there.
-- now we have a very good commission that Thomas Pickering is heading up.
That will determined.
What was the security there.
What do we -- do need to do to protect our people.
What took place and how long did it take is to gain the good intelligence and why did it takes -- long.
Those are good a legitimate questions but to jump on the UN ambassador for relying on what the intelligence community said it was their best work product.
That's just isn't right and it's not productive.
What are your thoughts about having a select committee to investigate this further do you support that initiative.
I don't for a couple reasons -- primary reason is we already have a good commission the Pickering commission that's looking into exactly this.
And they're much more likely to get a good unbiased work product that the congress can then implement its recommendations.
Then anything that comes out of -- highly polarized politicized congress right now.
When you have members of the Senate's saying they're gonna fight the UN ambassadors confirmation over this.
When you have others saying that they're convinced that the White House change the talking points when there's no evidence of that.
It's pretty clear that the players who would be part of this select committee -- party made it their -- And that you're gonna have divisions between the two parties in -- gonna have a majority report come out of -- like community and minority report.
And that's going to be anything but constructive.
The -- and commission and if you look at the crow commission and the -- and commissions in the past.
They have produced could work products those have been commissions outside the congress not part of the political process.
And -- much likely to get a better work product from them than anything we senate and house congressman thank you for joining us it's a pleasure thank you appreciate it you.