Former Rep. Jane Harman on Benghazi: 'Time to Move On'

May 5, 2014 - 5:55 AM

jane harmon

Former Rep. Jane Harmon (D-Calif.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - "This is a circus," former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) said of the Republicans' call for a select committee to investigate the terror attacks in Benghazi and the misleading way the White House responsed to it, just two months before the 2012 presidential election.

Harmon, a former member of the House Intelligence Committee, told "Fox News Sunday" that the terror attacks that killed four Americans on Sept. 11, 2012 were an intelligence failure:

"But it wasn't a conspiracy. And there aren't aliens in Area 51 and Vince Foster wasn't murdered. And it's time to move on and focus on the real problems in Libya and other problems...."

Harmon said she met with "senior" intelligence officials the day after Susan Rice went on five Sunday talk shows and blamed the Benghazi attacks on protests:

"And I think there was legitimate confusion. I agree about the point that the video was in Egypt and nobody really knew what the facts were. I'm reading from the Ben Rhodes memo, which I've never seen before, and it said, 'We're not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.' And I think that was accurate."

Brit Hume, appearing with Harmon on the Sunday panel, said the question is whether there was a White House conspiracy to "create the false talking points" that Susan Rice used.

"All right. And my answer to that is no, there wasn't a conspiracy," Harmon said. "They didn't turn out to be accurate. I think that people made at the time their best guess at the facts."

"Wait a minute," Hume said. "But where did the idea that the video had anything to do with Benghazi come from?

"I think it came from people who weren't sure about it," Harmon said.

"Well, can you identify anybody? Can you identify any CIA information? Can you identify any source?," Hume asked.

(Host Chris Wallace noted that Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes talked about the video five times in his email.)

"I -- my view is, having been around at the time, that this not deliberately misleading. It turned out to be wrong but it was not deliberately misleading."

Harman also argued that Republicans shouldn't have subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

"They subpoenaed him to appear and testify on May 21st when he is scheduled to be in Mexico doing some serious work," she said.