AP reporter’s question on Benghazi leads to Abbott and Costello-like routine

A simple question submitted by an Associated Press reporter prompted a ridiculous, illogical State Department response.

In early September, AP reporter Matt Lee asked State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether there was a “group spine-removal procedure at the White House over the weekend” due to its on-again, off-again invasion plans directed at Syria.

The two were at again Wednesday, but this time the subject was the availability of Benghazi survivors for congressional testimony. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he would not honor this request despite previous promises to the contrary.

“I believe that it is this complaint that has been made before that you have not been forthcoming with making people available, allowing the survivors to testify to the committee, and that certain — they have not yet gotten certain documents,” Lee noted. “Are those valid complaints?”

Psaki answered:

Well, I can say we’re not preventing, as we have said, as many of my colleagues have said from this podium before, any employees who wish to tell their story from doing so. The ARB interviewed the five RSOs who were in Benghazi the night of the attack, along with more than a hundred other individuals who were on the ground in Tripoli or in Washington. Both the unclassified and classified versions of the Accountability Review Board reflect the input of people on the ground in Benghazi and Tripoli.

I also know that there is — this is a separate question, but in terms of our participation, that there is a hearing next week where Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen will also be testifying. And we’ve consistently supported their willingness to appear in public hearings and are pleased that they will finally be given that opportunity.

“No employees are being preventing from testifying. Did we hear that right?” Lee followed up.

“Right, but what about — but the — so the complaint specifically that survivors of the attack who were interviewed by the FBI and then interviewed by the ARB are not being allowed to testify is incorrect?

Well, not quite. It turns out they are being kept from testifying — but for their own good.

And it goes on and on like that — much like an Abbott and Costello routine — in what they bill as the “most transparent administration” in recent history.

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