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The Despicable Michael Morrell

I look at former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell and all I see is a liar and a fraud. His willingness to play fast and loose with facts was on public display yesterday during the 2 April hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Let’s review the facts courtesy of Sharyl Atkisson’s blog:

At today’s hearing, Morell stated that the C.I.A. believed then, and that he still believes, “some of the attackers” were “affiliated with al Qaeda.” That information, too, was edited out of the talking points but Morell said he was not responsible for that word change.

“I did not take al Qaeda from the talking points,” Morell said. When asked who did, he answered, “The group of officers from our office of Congressional affairs and our office of public affairs.”

Previously, government officials had vehemently denied that any public affairs officials made any edits to the talking points.

Morrell apparently fancies himself a lawyer given his verbal gymnastics.

The Senate Intel Committee report on Benghazi made it very clear that Morrell removed the word “Islamic” and inserted the meaningless phrase, “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” There were more than “indications.” There were cold hard facts. Yet, Morrell chose to ignore the analysts on this point.

However, he then does a complete reversal and claims that he had no choice but to “go along with the analysts” in pushing the bullshit that the attacks in Benghazi were spontaneous and inspired by an obscure anti-muslim video:

Under questioning from members on the committee, Morell described a process under which C.I.A. analysts in Washington provided an early assessment without seeking or receiving information from the many C.I.A. officers and other witnesses on the ground in Libya. And when the C.I.A. Tripoli station chief attempted to correct the record in an email to headquarters on Sept. 15, 2012, Morell says it was discounted as unreliable. According to Morell, the email claimed the attacks were “not an escalation of a protest.” However, Morell said that intel relied on press reports and C.I.A. officers on sight who probably would have arrived too late to see a protest anyway.

“My actions were appropriate in response as Deputy Director of CIA,” Morell testified. “I immediately recognized the discrepancy between my station chief and the judgment of our [Washington] analysts.” Morell says he asked his analysts to revisit their judgment and “they stuck to their initial conclusion” that the attacks were by protesters. Morell defended the decision.

This is nothing but Intelligence Dim Sum–Morrell gets to chose when to trust the analysts and when to ignore the analysts. And he adopts positions that are polar opposites–when it comes to claiming the attack was spontaneous and ignoring the views of the Chief of Station (i.e., the senior CIA guy on the ground in Libya), then the views of the analysts are sacrosanct. But, if the analysts state the fact that Al Qaeda was involved in the attack, their factual statement must be fundamentally altered and an anodyne substitute provided that says nothing about Islam or Al Qaeda.

This entire affair exposes, at a minimum, the incompetence of the analysts and the senior CIA managers. The mere fact that mortars were employed on the attacks on the CIA base in Benghazi was an immediate, irrefutable piece of evidence that the attack was not spontaneous, but planned and organized. It is one thing for a junior, inexperienced analyst to make that mistake. It is an entirely different matter when someone with Morrell’s experience displays such a breathtaking level of ignorance. This was an intelligence failure and Mike Morrell was the architect and builder of that failure.

  • jbjd

    Michael Morell. One “r.”

  • Larchmonter445

    I’d like to see a photo of this scumbag suffocated, sodomized, dragged by the rag heads through the streets like we see of Ambassador Stevens.

    Or maybe, mortared on a rooftop.

    Morell is all that is wrong with our government.
    He would have sold out George Washington to the King.

    • jbjd

      Down arrow. Sick and tired of real racists and their repulsive racist rants.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    oh yea, I was wondering about Morrell, I saw part of his testimony, many inconsistencies…

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    I know this is OT… but seriously the CEO of Mozilla is resigning b/c he doesn’t support gay marriage?? Has he ever discriminated against an individual b/c they are gay? NO!

    WTF?!?!?!?

    so now we have bigots on the other side. Gay marriage movement Bigots!

    I have gay friends whose own parents dearly love them, defend them as individuals, but they don’t support gay marriage… and these gay friends still dearly love and defend their parents.

    stupid damn f**king intolerant progressives!

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Fully agree.

  • jrterrier

    How and why does it happen that a Deputy CIA director is so compromised or incompetent? Scary thought.

  • wyntre

    I watched at least half of the hearing.

    The parts that stood out for me was when MM said he trusted analysts hundreds and thousands of miles away from the incident over the station chief and eyewitnesses on the ground in Benghazzi.

    Then, he admitted the inclusion of the anti-Islamic video TP was not in the doc after he had last seen it on Saturday, implying Rice and the WH had inserted it.

    We will never know the truth.

  • elizabethrc

    I think that Morrell would have us think that he was simply ‘ignorant’ but it’s becoming too easy to spot yet another blatant, uncaring administration liar. I think bold and unrelenting lying has become a requirement to be a part of this crew.
    Now what are the bets that Morell gets off scott free? No trial, no jail time, no diminution of his pension perks (we’re paying for them).
    Bravo to Michele Bachman for holding his feet to the fire in no uncertain terms.

    • KenoshaMarge

      Evidently Morell like so many other Dems thinks it better to be considered “inept” rather than corrupt.

      That may save his bacon when it comes to being indicted but when did Americans start to accept incompetence as a viable, and acceptable, alternative? As they seem to have done with POTUS.

      Are mistakes better if they weren’t done on purpose? Is that now the norm?

  • KenoshaMarge

    A “real” reporter had something to say about Morell’s testimony:

    Sharyl Attkisson: Morell’s ‘Bizarre’ Benghazi Testimony Contradicts Past Claims About Attack

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2014/04/03/sharyl-attkisson-morells-bizarre-benghazi-testimony-contradicts-past-#ixzz2xujFhky2

  • KenoshaMarge

    When I watched him at the hearings on Tuesday I thought, “what a weasel.” An arrogant weasel at that. This man will never tell the truth.

    I would think his hopes for a favored place in any Clinton campaign or Administration is gone. The Clinton’s dump people who are no longer useful quicker than you can say bye-bye. Ask Hillary’s erstwhile pal Huma Abedin.

    • S7teen70six

      Hillary could snap her monstrous thighs together and Huma would come running back like a lost little puppy, wiener in hand.

      • KenoshaMarge

        Indeed Huma would – especially since she and her Weiner are now consigned to the outer darkness.
        However unless she is useful to Hillary there will be no snapping of thighs, monstrous or otherwise, from the Clinton camp.

      • jbjd

        Thumbs down. Enough of the negative references to women’s bodies. Enough.

        • S7teen70six

          Geez, grow a pair.

  • HARP2

    It’s ALWAYS some lower level people with this administration.

    So WHAT do the people in charge know what is going on in their own departments ?

    Not much apparently.

  • Deapster

    Meanwhile HRC is now out campaigning “can’t we all just get along”?

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HILLARY_CLINTON?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-04-03-22-31-05

    Guess this means she thinks any further Benghazi issues are just part of a “vast right wing conspiracy” out to get her … again.

    Something big must be coming down this Sunday. Troll-sitings here are excellent predictors of Big Trouble coming.

    • HELENK2

      Not in San Diego.

      • wyntre

        Saw that.

    • wyntre

      Nauseating.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Will NO Obama or Hillary supporter on these pages come to the defense of Morrell? Or have you gotten the word that Morrell is expendable and not to be defended?

    • Fred82

      What was Morrell’s general reputation prior to this display of political expedience?

      • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

        An oily kiss-ass who would sodomize his Granny to get a promotion.

        • KenoshaMarge

          And I take it those are his good points.

        • Fred82

          Has this kind of personality become the norm at the CIA or is this the rise of such individuals to positions of power a temporary phenomenon that will eventually work itself out?

          • Retired_from_SPOnaj

            This is definitely not the case with the current D/NCS, who is an excruciatingly competent professional, up through the ranks quite literally, who got the job because none of the political ass kissers had clean hands from the water boarding era.

            • Fred82

              Do you see this becoming the norm or is ass kissing going to remain the norm while meritocracy remains an occasional occurrence?

              Additionally, are budget cuts and PC hiring practices here to stay?

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        Morrell is a contemporary of mine. He established a reputation for being a highly political opportunist from the start of his career. I watched his most recent Congressional testimony with a retired colleague, and the line about Morrell’s “33 years of distinguished service” elicited a five minute laugh riot from both of us.

  • DianaLC

    LJ, When you say Morrell is the architect and builder of that failure, I am assuming you mean he deliberately planned and built an intelligence failure so that he could end up with a well0paid job in Hillary’s campaign.

    • gracepmc

      Back in Hillary’s bosom — until some other streetdog comes in and knocks him off the teat.

  • Deapster

    Back to the Sunday Benghazi block-buster – another toothless tiger once these people call in their chips?

  • stodghie

    it is treason. let’s not parse our words. it is a betrayal of those who died, their families and the american people. they need to all be immediately dismissed and appropriately charged. do we expect this jerk who laughingly call himself our president to act? hell no!

  • S7teen70six

    This is well beyond incompetence. It is willful disregard of well known facts for political purposes. Pure and simple. Akin to treason in my book.

  • KlugerRD

    Is it SOP that CIA analysts in DC ignore on-the-ground intelligence? Or was this unusual?

    David Petraeus is not a shrinking violet by any standard, but in this case he apparently deferred to Morell and took a back seat to something that was wrong. I believe the reason is that Holder knew of the Patraeus affair and the FBI investigation during the summer of 2012 and withheld public knowledge until after the election. I would not be surprised if Holder et al coerced Patraeus into playing ball on this.

    They need to put other under oath and on the record – Hillary among them.

    Right now this is an investigation going nowhere under Rogers.

    • wyntre

      Rogers and MM are BFF’s.

    • jrterrier

      Remember Petraeus was compromised by his affair.

  • HELENK2

    how do you expect a correct and informed answer, when you do not give the person you ask all the information?

    • jrterrier

      Of course, the mechanic should look under the hood before giving an opinion, no?

  • Deapster

    How can we get Trey Gowdey to cross-examine Morrell?

    • HARP2

      Make him Speaker of the House.

      • S7teen70six

        That is a proposition I could get behind. But I heard he was becoming disenchanted with serving in Congress and is considering leaving. It would be a damned shame, if not a catastrophe, if it turns out to be true. This guy rocks!

      • elizabethrc

        Give him a prominent position and prep him for 2016. He’s a plain speaker and we don’t have enough of them in the Republican party.
        Off topic, but yesterday I was so offended at the actions of a bunch of gray haired old Congress men standing together eagerly waiting their turns before the microphone to put in their ‘heartfelt sympathies and prayers’ for the tragedy at Fort Hood. True, it was a tragedy, but this was the most drippingly maudlin display of publicity hungry pols and rang so hollow. The victims and their families deserved so much better.

    • KenoshaMarge

      I doubt anything is possible until the clowns in power now, left and right are gotten rid of. With a decent POTUS – not even really great just adequate but honest, Trey Gowdy as Attorney General could clean up a lot. Without PC or skin color – just about the law.

  • Deapster

    They have names and they have motivations. Who are they? Tax-payers pay their salaries.

    “The group of officers from our office of Congressional affairs and our office of public affairs.” ….. (cut out the Al Queda references)