Hoekstra: Ex-CIA Deputy Director's Benghazi Testimony 'Disgusting'

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 03:29 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Pete Hoekstra, former Michigan congressman and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says former CIA deputy director Michael Morell''s testimony on Wednesday about the Benghazi talking points was a political stunt.

"Legitimate oversight on Benghazi has to happen. I wish it could happen in a bipartisan way. The Democrats have dug in on this, but the difference here is Republicans never signed off on anything that Obama, the Obama administration talked about, about Benghazi and the immediate aftermath. What we saw earlier this week with Mike Morell was absolutely disgusting," he told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum" Friday.

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In his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday, Morell denied that the administration's talking points about what happened during the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya were a cover-up or politically motivated.

In the aftermath of the assault, which killed four people, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, the talking points attributed them to demonstrations over an anti-Muslim video rather than to a terrorist attack by al-Qaeda.

Morell claimed in his testimony that CIA analysts had said there was a protest over the video.

"Mike Morell, the former acting Director of the CIA, he threw our operators -- the men and women on the front line risking their lives every day -- he threw them under the bus and said, 'yeah when we're in crisis, we're not going to believe the people who are on the ground, who are in the vicinity, who know the players, we're going to rely on our desk jockeys back here in Washington to tell us what's going on.' Unbelievable," Hoekstra said.

"Even the desk jockeys didn't come out all that well because number one, Mike Morell said the people who were closest to the crisis, the guys who were risking their lives every day, we're not going to believe them. And by the way, the analysts in Langley, the analysts in Washington, D.C., they got it totally wrong. So he threw everybody under the bus except Mike Morell."

Asked if it was a public relations exercise to help glorify Morell, Hoekstra, who served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from 2004-2007, replied, "Kind of like that. The bottom line is Mike Morell, he has visions of coming back in a Hillary administration. One of the places that he will not be welcome is he will not be welcome at the CIA."

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