Former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, who oversaw the Accountability Review Board that reviewed the government’s response to the Benghazi attack, are clearly unhappy with Republican hitman Darrell Issa and his distorted characterizations of their work: Pickering, Mullen Challenge Issa to Let Them Testify in Public.
The dispute between Issa and the co-chairmen came to a head after neither Pickering nor Mullen attended a May 8 House Oversight Committee hearing on the attacks, sparking a heated back and forth about who was invited and when. The rhetoric intensified Sunday during a highly contentious joint appearance with Issa and Pickering on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in which Issa maintained the two “refused to come before our committee.” Pickering insisted that he was not invited despite expressing a willingness to testify.
“Chairman Issa sent word back that he might want to take me up some time in the future” Pickering said.
Issa also suggested on the program that Pickering and Mullen meet with the committee behind closed doors so as not to create “some sort of stage show.” But the two assert in their letter that a public hearing is a “more appropriate forum” and accuse Issa of changing his “position on the terms of our appearance.”
By demanding that the hearing be open to the public, it’s clear that Pickering and Mullen simply don’t trust the blatantly partisan Issa to tell the truth — and they shouldn’t.