Another day, another stonewalling for reporters at the State Department over Libya. Today, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refused to comment on reports that the CIA had sent a cable 24 hours after the Benghazi assault, explaining that it was a terrorist attack. Instead, she shut down the conversation:
QUESTION: On Libya, there are now reports that the CIA station chief in Libya sent a cable 24 hours after the attack in Benghazi saying that it wasn’t carried out – that it was carried out by militants. Did that cable ever cross over and reach the State Department, do you know?
MS. NULAND: Well, I think you know, Catherine, that we never talk about intelligence issues from this podium at all. So I’m not in a position to comment on that here today.
QUESTION: Wait a second, that’s not true.
MS. NULAND: Here we go.
QUESTION: You talk about intelligence issues when you want to talk about them and when it’s in your interest to do so.
MS. NULAND: That’s fair.
MS. NULAND: And when the intelligence community – (laughter) – when the intelligence community –
QUESTION: When the intelligence makes you look good, then you’re willing to talk about it.
MS. NULAND: – when the intelligence community releases intelligence information into an unclassified format.
The questioner is exactly right. The State Department’s story now is that bad intelligence led to the classification of the Benghazi attack as a result of a spontaneous protest and YouTube video. But when information comes out denying that fact, the State Department suddenly worries about the propriety of intelligence leaks.
This administration is a mockery on foreign policy and transparency. And every day is a new insult to the intelligence of the American people.