Pickering, Mullen reject request to testify on Benghazi in private
WASHINGTON — The two retired senior U.S. officials who oversaw an internal State Department review of last year's attacks on U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday rejected as “an inappropriate precondition” a Republican request that they submit to a closed-door interview before testifying in public.
The letter from former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen added new tension to the battle between Republican lawmakers and the Obama administration over the assaults last Sept. 11 on a diplomatic mission and a CIA complex that killed four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
The latest development occurred as Democrats on Capitol Hill praised the White House for releasing 100 pages of documents that they asserted put to rest GOP charges that the administration had tried to cover up a bungled response to the attack to protect President Obama's bid for re-election.
Responding to criticism that U.S. military units and aircraft were not positioned to reach Benghazi in time to save Stevens and the other three Americans, Obama said he had directed the Defense Department “to ensure that our military can respond lightning-quick in times of crisis.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said an investigation by five GOP-run committees would forge ahead.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Medicare payments to tie doctor, hospital payments to quality rather than volume of care
- New York City hunkers down as Nor’easter threatens blizzard conditions
- Northeast waits for foot (or 2) of snow to drop
- Dems stall Keystone XL legislation
- VA plans major structure changes; Pittsburgh’s fate as regional HQ remains unclear
- American drone hit kills al-Qaida terror suspects in Yemen
- National debt due to sharply escalate
- Operator of drone that crashed on White House grounds identifies self to Secret Service
- Ex-CIA officer convicted of leaking info about covert Iran mission
- 3 Russians charged with spying spoke in code, passed concealed message, sought recruits, federal prosecutor alleges
- Ramping up e-cigarette voltage may be more hazardous to health