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Sunday Study Guide: Issa, Feinstein, Pickering, and Roundtable

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and led the charge in the committee’s congressional hearing on the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi. After the hearing, which has been described as emotional, Rep. Issa released a statement calling for further investigation into the attack because “numerous questions are still unanswered, despite months of dogged investigation by the Oversight Committee.” However, he said, the testimony did tell him “the facts as we were told before during and after the attack at Benghazi simply aren't what they really were.”
  • Prior to the committee’s hearing, Rep. Issa said the responsibility of the attack lies with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides: “If Hillary Clinton is not responsible for the before, during and after mistakes ... it’s somebody close. There certainly are plenty of people close to the former secretary who knew, and apparently were part of the problem.”
  • Watch Rep. Issa’s latest Meet the Press appearance.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, appeared on Meet the Press in November to discuss the Benghazi attack and the hearings her committee held. She said she did not believe the public was misled for political reasons or that there had been a cover up in the president’s administration, and “the allegation that the White House changed those talking points [used by Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice], that is false.” Sen. Feinstein also said, “The security aspect of this is one of the biggest things. I went through hundreds of threat warnings … There is no question that Benghazi was one of the most difficult places. It should have had much better security.”
  • Sen. Feinstein also sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee which has seen both gun control legislation and comprehensive immigration reform before it this year.  The immigration bill, which she called “a major breakthrough” with “concessions by both sides,” underwent markup in this committee this week.  Last month, Sen. Feinstein’s assault weapons ban passed the committee but did not pass in the full Senate.
  • Watch the senator’s most recent MTP appearance here.


Ambassador Thomas Pickering

  • Ambassador Thomas Pickering chaired the State Department’s Accountability Review Board that investigated the Benghazi attacks. He said of the attack, “Frankly, the State Department had not given Benghazi the security, both physical and personnel resources, it needed.” However, he also said he was worried the attack would “let the pendulum over-swing; that we now put ourselves back into position of fortress embassies out which we never go to do the diplomatic work of the country. … not all of our posts are like Benghazi. It was, in some ways, quite unique, both in its exposures and its vulnerability. But we have to do business in a world where there are going to be Benghazis, and it's important that we do business, that we not hole up in bank vaults.” During his career, Pickering served as under secretary of state for political affairs and as ambassador to the United Nations, the Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan.


The Roundtable: Kinzinger, Brooks, Kay, and Moore

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said of the Benghazi attacks, “it was the anniversary of 9/11. Why were we not thinking this through and having people forward located in case something does happen and, you know, we just didn’t and that's what we have to get to the bottom of.” Here is his latest MTP appearance.
  • New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote this week, that while immigration reform opponents have “many small complaints, but they really have one core concern. It’s about control” but if “conservatives defeat immigration reform, the Republicans will definitely lose control of one thing for years to come: political power.” Brooks is also the author of “The Social Animal.” Watch his latest appearance here.
  • BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay recently said, “The House is still the stumbling block” when it comes to passing immigration reform. However, “there is this overarching self-interest in Republican Party, which the leadership realizes and will really try to push with the rank-and-file members of the House in a way they weren’t ever going to do with the gun bill. They’re going to try much harder to get immigration through because this is a survival issue for the party.” She also wrote, “Womenomics.” Watch her most recent MTP appearance.
  • Author Wes Moore, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, is featured in June’s issue of Men’s Fitness magazine for his fitness routine. Moore, whose father died when he was a child, wrote this week in Huffington Post about what not to say to young boys who grow up without a father. Growing up “a fatherless child is complicated and challenging … The conversation about fatherless boys often circles around what we should tell them, how we motivate them, how we incentivize them. Those things are important. But what matters most is what you don't say to them.” He wrote the book, “The Other Wes Moore.” Watch his most recent appearance on the show here.


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