IF HOUSE Republicans have had an obsession to rival their hatred of the Affordable Care Act, it has been their determination to find a scandal in the 2012 attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed.
Yet this week those same Republicans are putting U.S. embassies across the world at risk with their shutdown of the U.S. government. More broadly, they are endangering national security at a time when the United States remains under threat from al-Qaeda and affiliated groups.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the intelligence committee, said on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday that 72 percent of the civilian intelligence agency workforce has been furloughed.
“This means that, with the exception of a few intelligence agencies that have a significant number of military personnel, the lights are being turned off and the majority of the people who produce our intelligence, analyze that intelligence and provide warning of terrorist attacks or advise policymakers of major national security events will be prevented from doing their jobs,” she said. “We have ambassadors in threatened capitals . . . [who] rely on their intelligence briefers and the tactical intelligence support to their security teams as much as they rely on the Marines who guard front gates. . . . What we are doing now puts American lives at risk.”