By Deirdre Walsh
Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, blasted as "irresponsible" comments by Obama administration officials who have suggested that lawmakers pushing for tighter sanctions on Iran are increasing the risk of war.
Hoyer, of Maryland, didn't name names, but an aide said he was referring to several comments from various officials over the past month.
The New York Times quoted Obama's deputy national security adviser, Benjamin Rhodes, on the subject on Tuesday.
"It just stands to reason if you close the diplomatic option, you're left with a difficult choice of waiting to see if sanctions cause Iran to capitulate, which we don't think will happen, or considering military action," Rhodes said, according to the paper.
By Deirdre Walsh and Jill Dougherty
House Republican leaders released a report Tuesday on the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which they claim former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally signed off on cuts in security at the compound, which they say would contradict her congressional testimony.
The September 11, 2012, attack resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The 46-page report by Republicans on five House committees cites a request from then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz, sent last March 28 to Clinton asking for additional security resources, and a response dated last April 19 that bears Clinton's signature.
The April cable from the State Department, according to the GOP report, "acknowledged then-Ambassador Cretz' formal request for additional security assets but ordered the withdrawal of security elements to proceed as planned."
By Deirdre Walsh and Gregory Wallace
The State Department's rejection of "repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi" came amid "a clear pattern of security threats" in the five months leading up to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, a Thursday letter from House Republicans obtained by CNN reads.
"The attack that claimed the Ambassador's life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012," the letter from Reps. Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads.
The Republicans demanded answers to several questions and testimony at a hearing next Wednesday – the only hearing on any matter scheduled so far in the 35 days remaining until Election Day.
By Deirdre Walsh
Ignoring a veto threat from the White House, the House passed legislation Thursday designed to protect communications networks from cyberattacks.
The vote was 248-168.
But even as the House bill moves forward, privacy concerns about granting government agencies access to personal information transmitted on the Internet could prove to be a major obstacle to any new cybersecurity law.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan and a former FBI agent, said he spent the last year working on the bill because the national security risk to the United States posed by cyberattacks is one, "we are just not prepared to handle." FULL POST
Two influential U.S. senators introduced a resolution Tuesday expressing support for limited American involvement in the NATO-led military campaign in Libya - part of an effort to counter rising pressure in the House of Representatives to withdraw backing for the mission.
The resolution, introduced by Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry and Arizona Republican John McCain, authorizes the commitment of U.S. forces for one year while stressing the lack of support for any use of American ground troops.
"I believe the president did the right thing by intervening to stop a looming humanitarian disaster," McCain said. "I believe we will find a strong, bipartisan majority that is in favor of authorizing our current military operations in Libya and seeing this mission through to success." FULL POST