Another fabricated ‘scandal’ from the ‘Beat Hillary Fight Club’

Cartoon_31Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi! “Beat Hillary Fight Club,” leaking information to the conservative media entertainment complex, has been ginning up a “scandal” that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “outed” a CIA source in one of her e-mails that his committee is looking into. Gowdy says new emails show Clinton confidant naming CIA CIA source, pushing Libya interests (FAUX News). So when Scooter Libby and Karl Rove out an actual CIA spy,well that’s just fine because IOKIYAR.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), the ranking member of the Benghazi! committee, made a startling charge against chairman Gowdy:

To further inflate your claim, you placed your own redactions over the name of the individual with the words, “redacted due to sources and methods.”  To be clear, these redactions were not made, and these words were not added, by any agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing classification guidelines.

Predictably, commentators began repeating your accusations in even more extreme terms, suggesting in headlines for example that “Clinton Burns CIA Libya Contact.”

Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified.  Specifically, the CIA confirmed that “the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.”

Unfortunately, you sent your letter on October 7 without checking first with the CIA.  Now that we have done so, we have learned that your accusations were incorrect.

 As a result of your actions, the State Department yesterday asked the Select Committee not to reveal the individual’s name publicly, not for classification reasons, but to protect the individual’s privacy and avoid bringing additional undue attention to this person.

Unfortunately, the standard operating procedure of this Select Committee has become to put out information publicly that is inaccurate and out of context in order to attack Secretary Clinton for political reasons.  These repeated actions bring discredit on this investigation and undermine the integrity of the Select Committee and the House of Representatives.

Daily Kos reports that In response to Rep. Cummings, Gowdy confesses he “redacted” document:

After much bluster and obfuscation, Rep Trey Gowdy admits he altered the  documents that he used to make false claims against Hillary Clinton in a response to a letter from Rep Elijah Cummings. The key parts:

[M]y understanding is the CIA advised the Committee in a very brief email late Saturday night that it had reviewed the material in question and asked for no material to be redacted [. . . ]Our Committee has access to career civil servants, former federal prosecutors, former intelligence experts as well as military experts who are uniquely well suited to gauge intelligence information and how it should be handled. Although the Executive Branch is ultimately responsible for classification, we remain concerned with the naming of sources and methods and will continue to protect that information now and going forward where it is readily apparent to us. As such, we will continue to redact certain information to protect sensitive information regardless of how others treat that information […] [My emphasis.]

Gowdy admits that he decided to make this improper redaction. That he attempts to obfuscate the point by stating the “Executive” branch, AFTER Gowdy appointed himself as arbiter of classification, asked for the redaction on PRIVACY grounds, something Cummings himself stated in his letter, does not obviate the fact that Gowdy purposefully altered a document in order to falsely accuse Clinton of wrongdoing.

Despite his alleged concern for “sources and methods” in redacting the CIA source’s name, Trey Gowdy actually posted the name of the source online in another document, and then attempted to shift blame the State Department.  POLITICO Tiger Beat on The Potomac reports, Gowdy appears to accidentally ID CIA source:

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy appears to have accidentally released the name of a CIA source in the midst of a back-and-forth with Democrats about how sensitive the information was and whether its presence in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account constituted a security breach.

* * *

The email posted Sunday on the panel’s website included in one instance the name of “Mousa Kousa,” an alternative spelling of Moussa Koussa, a former Libyan government spy chief and foreign minister. The name appeared to have been redacted in several other instances but was included in a subject line of a forwarded email.

The redacted email was released at Gowdy’s direction “so the American people could decide for themselves regarding concerns about sources and methods,” the Benghazi Committee said in a statement. By Monday morning, the committee had replaced the document online with another version in which Koussa’s name does not appear.

Asked about the change, Benghazi Committee spokesman Jamal Ware said the State Department had cleared the email for release in the form it initially appeared Sunday.

“The State Department failed to redact a name in a subject line, so the committee took steps to remove this information so it was consistent with State Department’s redaction of it in another subject line,” Ware said Monday. “The committee will not confirm the name in question is the alleged source.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed Monday afternoon that State officials had missed one occurrence of Moussa’s name it had intended to delete from the email in question.

“There was one case — I think it was just human error in our desire to get these documents to the Benghazi Committee as quickly as possible,” Toner told reporters at a regular news briefing.

Toner said the CIA had not objected to the release of the name, but State wanted it withheld for privacy reasons.

CIA “assessed that the information in question was not classified and suggested no redactions to the documents in question,” Toner said. “We have asked the Benghazi Committee not to use the individual’s name publicly to protect that individual’s privacy. … That was our rationale behind redacting his name.”

The top Democrat on the Benghazi panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, revealed Sunday morning that the CIA had not requested the deletion of the source’s name and did not consider the information classified. Cummings said the CIA’s stance undercut Gowdy’s earlier claim that Clinton had endangered national security by having such information on her private server and by forwarding the message to one of her aides.

In Gowdy’s response Sunday, he said he was committed to protecting the source’s identity, even if the CIA was not.

Key Point: “The CIA normally would treat the names of its alleged sources as confidential. However, Koussa’s contacts with U.S. intelligence have been publicly acknowledged for years.”

While it’s unclear how much information Koussa was giving to Western officials at the time the email was sent, the former spy chief’s role was being bandied about publicly at that time. A mention of Koussa in former CIA director George Tenet’s memoir was referenced in a New York Times story the day before Blumenthal sent the email in question to Clinton.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi! is a complete farce, it is nothing more than a vehicle for a partisan witch hunt, i.e., the “Beat Hillary Fight Club.”

It is time for another Army McCarthy hearing moment when Joseph Welch shamed Sen. Joseph McCarthy for his red scare witch hunt: “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

My guess is that Trey Gowdy, like Joseph McCarthy, is incapable of being shamed.

UPDATE: Gowdy: GOP colleagues talking about Benghazi panel should ‘shut up’

One response to “Another fabricated ‘scandal’ from the ‘Beat Hillary Fight Club’

  1. captain*arizona

    a newsman asked jeb bush over the weekend why mrs. clinton is responsible for the deaths of 4 americans at benghazi but his brother is not responsible for the deaths of over 10,000 americans on 9-11 iraq war and katrina. his answer democrats like nancy pelosi don’t hold republicans accountable we republicans are not good government wussie liberals so we hold democrats accountable.