Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air:
If the scoop from Reuters last night surprised Americans with the knowledge that the intel community knew that the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous demonstration that spun out of control, no one was more surprised than Senate Intelligence Committee vice chair Saxby Chambliss. His committee has been requesting those e-mails for weeks, and Chambliss to Fox and Friends that the information in them shows why they demanded them in the first place.
“At the very least,” Brian Kilmeade asks, “this shows a massive disconnect [between the intel community and the administration], doesn’t it?” “No question,” Chambliss answers, but he’s more concerned about how the White House handled the issue. “We got pushback, both from the White House and the intelligence community, early on. We couldn’t figure it out. I mean, that was really strange — because they never do that.” Chambliss now wants hearings in the Senate to pursue why these e-mails, and perhaps other intel, have been held back from Congress:
This points to a few possible conclusions. Either the White House and the intel community kept Congress out of the loop because they didn’t want to admit that terrorists had successfully attacked an American diplomatic mission for the first time in fourteen years, or because they didn’t know themselves what the data meant. Neither is particularly commendatory, although the latter looks a lot less dishonest. Nevertheless, despite having this detailed description of the attack and the fairly credible claim of credit for the attack from a leading terrorist network in the immediate area within two hours of the start of the attack, the White House chose to repeatedly claim that they had “no evidence” that the sacking was a planned terrorist attack for most of the next two weeks. That looks a lot more dishonest with every revelation that comes out in this issue.
That leaves the questions of the provenance of the revelations themselves. If the intel community was reticent about discussing what it knew and when it knew it, at least someone in that group wants the real story to come out. Those e-mails didn’t get leaked by anyone who was in the Situation Room that night and received them, certainly.