Everyone had a reason to summon the name "Hillary Clinton" at Wednesday's hearing on Benghazi. For Republicans, it was a chance to chink the armor of the overwhelming favorite for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. For Democrats, it was a chance to suck up to the overwhelming favorite for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. For everyone else, it just made sense to reference the former secretary of state because it was on her watch that the Benghazi fiasco transpired.
In sum, The Cable counts 32 times Clinton was discussed during the nearly five hours of testimony. Methodologically speaking, we treated instances in which her name was invoked repeatedly as one "discussion" because we found it exasperating to collect each and every fleeting "Hillary" for five hours. What you'll find is a unique and interesting Hillary-centric snapshot of the hearing. Here's a teeny-tiny summary of every Hillary-related discussion:
Alicia Wittmeyer, Colin Daileda, and Elizabeth Ralph contributed amazingly to this blog post
Today, spokesman Jay Carney reiterated the White House view that the attacks in Benghazi have already "been looked at exhaustively." But despite the Obama administration's reflexive posture, Wednesday's House Oversight Committee hearing -- which followed a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Feb. 7 and a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Jan. 23 -- offered a few juicy revelations that observers on both sides of the aisle should find illuminating.
1. The moment the phrase "Islamic terrorists" first left the State Department's lips
The charge that President Barack Obama is afraid to use "the t word" is a rather tired attack line, something he disputed forcefully in the second presidential debate. But legitimate questions remain about why his administration misrepresented the nature of the deadly assault after evidence quickly emerged that it was a terrorist attack, not a "spontaneous reaction" to a YouTube video, as U.N. Amb. Susan Rice repeated on five Sunday talk shows on Sept. 16.
Today, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) divulged a previously undisclosed e-mail revealing just how early senior members of the State Department concluded that Benghazi was a terrorist attack. In a Sept. 12 e-mail from Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Beth Jones to Amb. Susan Rice and several other top State officials, Jones said, full-stop, "The group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists." The e-mail provides new fodder for Rice critics wondering why she actively rebuffed questions about a planned terrorist attack on TV while her own colleagues had been saying just that for days. Update: Pushing back against Gowdy's remarks, State Department senior adviser at the bureau of public affairs Moira Whelan tells The Cable that the e-mail Gowdy referenced mentions "Islamic extremists" not "Islamic terrorists," as Gowdy recounted. The second time Gowdy read the e-mail on Wednesday, he cited it correctly. It still stands that the State Department e-mail attributed the attack to Ansar al-Sharia, a group with ties to al Qaeda. In addition to Jones, Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, said he knew immediately that the assault on the compound was a terrorist attack. Here's Rep. Gowdy's rather theatrical reading of the e-mail:
2. Hillary engineered a mass Benghazi coverup, debunked
One of the more interesting flash points today was an exchange between Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism at the State Department. For days, Thompson's leaked testimony made headlines with the claim that on Sept. 11, Hillary Clinton cut the State Department's counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting for political reasons. However, when Norton pressed Thompson on the issue, he rescinded the allegation that he was pushed out of the loop for political reasons and confessed to not knowing why he wasn't included. "The quote isn't entirely accurate?" asked Norton. "Correct," said Thompson.
3. Gregory Hicks was demoted
Star witness Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 U.S. official in Libya prior to the Benghazi attack, was unexpectedly demoted after the Sept. 11 assault, according to his testimony. Hicks said that after the tragedy he was told by Ambassador Laurence Pope -- who replaced the slain J. Christopher Stevens as America's top diplomat in Libya -- that he could expect a "good level of assignment." Instead, he was made a foreign affairs officer.
"It's a demotion," he testified. "‘Foreign affairs officer' is a designation that is given to our civil service colleagues who -- frankly, who are desk officers.... So I've been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer." This is an especially interesting revelation given Hicks's sterling reputation at the State Department prior to the Benghazi attacks.
The State Department, however, says the story is more complex. "The Department has not and will not retaliate against Mr. Hicks," Whelan tells The Cable. She explained that after the Benghazi attack, Hicks opted to shorten his assignment in Libya and began a "standard" employment process. "Since Foreign Service Officer assignments work on annual cycles, by shortening his assignment Mr. Hicks was in the position of finding an 'off-cycle assignment,'" she said. "The Department worked with him to find a suitable temporary assignment and succeeded." She noted that Hicks now receives the same salary and employment status as he did previously and is under consideration for a new assignment.
4. Emotions over Benghazi still run high
Even though the text of testimonies was released Wednesday, reading doesn't do it justice. The powerful delivery of the witnesses offered a blunt reminder of the deep scars left by the attack, and the lingering despair over the death of Amb. Chris Stevens. All three men gave stirring testimonies of the events of that day, but Hicks's wrenching account is especially worth watching:
5. Eulogies can not be re-gifted
In his attempt to comfort the grieving State Department whistleblowers, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) recycled a eulogy he used "for a relative." Unfortunately, the phrase "death is a part of life" doesn't resonate quite so well when the purpose of your gathering is to find answers to a tragedy that may have involved negligence.
6. Hicks was told not to meet with Republican investigator Jason Chaffetz
Another new tidbit from today was the revelation that Hicks said he was told by a top State Department official not to talk to a congressional delegation investigating the Benghazi incident. "I was instructed not to allow the RSO, the acting deputy chief of mission -- me -- to be personally interviewed," said Hicks. "We were not to be personally interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz." In the end, Hicks went ahead and met with Chaffetz and other congressional investigators, but not without controversy. He said that Cheryl Mills, who was then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's chief of staff, "demanded a report on the visit."
"The phone call from that senior of a person is, generally speaking, not considered good news," Hicks said. While the incident is intriguing, it's still plausible that senior State Department officials were simply following protocols rather than covering up embarrassing testimony.
Whelan disputes the charge that the State Department was not accomodating to Chaffetz's investigation. "This was not an ordinary congressional delegation but part of an announced congressional investigation," she said. "When congressional investigators ask the Department to make employees available for interviews that are part of a congressional investigation, it is the Department's practice to seek to have Department counsel present during the interviews. As confirmed by the portion of the transcript read into the record by Ranking Member Cummings and Representative Speier, Mr. Hicks was not instructed to withhold information."
This post has been updated to reflect a response from the State Department.
Today's hearing on Benghazi features three whistleblowers: Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism at the State Department; Eric Nordstrom, diplomatic security officer and former regional security officer in Libya; and Gregory Hicks, a foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission in Libya. The statements from Hicks loom the largest, given his status as the top U.S. official in Libya after Amb. Chris Stevens' death and the nature of his accusations as excerpted by House Oversight Committee staffers earlier this week. Here's what you need to know about Hicks during today's hearings:
Who he is: With a 22-year career at the State Department, Hicks has distinguished record of service in six overseas assignments in Bahrain, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and The Gambia. In the course of his service, he's received six Meritorious Service Increases, three individual Meritorious Honor Awards, and four individual Superior Honor Awards. At the time of the attack in Benghazi, Hicks was the number two U.S. official in Libya.
What he's alleging: Hicks says he knew immediately that the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2011, was a terrorist attack. He also told committee staffers that he was turned down by Washington after asking for more support during the night of the raid USA Today's Oren Dorell has a good recap of his statements:
"I talked with the defense attache, Lt. Col. Keith Phillips, and I asked him, 'Is there anything coming?' "
According to Hicks' account, Phillips said the nearest fighter planes were in Aviano, Italy, and it would take two to three hours to get them airborne, and there were no tanker assets close enough to support them.
Hicks said when he asked again, before the 5:15 a.m. mortar attack that killed Doherty and Woods, "the answer, again, was the same as before."
Hicks said he believes the Libyan government would have approved the flyover and that it would have been effective because the militias "were under no illusions that American and NATO air power won that war for them," he said.
"If we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split," according to Hicks' excerpts.
"The Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them."
How the Pentagon responds: In response to Hicks's allegations, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Robert Firman says there was not an order to stand-down:
Firman said Tuesday that the military is trying to assess the incident Hicks is referring to, but the aircraft in question wound up evacuating a second wave of Americans from Benghazi to Tripoli, not transporting rescuers to a firefight.
The Department of Defense "responded in every way it could as quickly as it could and we were coordinating with the Department of State every step of the way," he said.
Watch the testimony live below:
Today, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform is convening its long-awaited hearing on the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi -- one that will feature a group of self-described "whistleblowers" from inside the State Department.
According to leaked copies of their testimonies, the witnesses -- Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism; Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission/chargé d'affairs in Libya; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer and former regional security officer in Libya -- will testify that the State Department rebuffed requests for additional security at the consulate and that the Obama administration denied a request to send a team of special forces to Benghazi. According to the witnesses, U.S. soldiers could have made it to the consulate in time to save lives, though that is a highly contentious allegation.
The controversial testimony is sure to generate heated debate among the lawmakers assembled. Here's a guide to what you can expect from the most high-profile antagonists in today's hearing:
Best known for lobbing endless accusations at the Obama administration for the botched "Fast and Furious" operation at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Issa, the committee's chairman, is now staking a claim as a major player in Republican efforts to keep the White House's feet to the fire on Benghazi. On Monday, Issa, a California Republican, told CBS News that there is "no question" that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's inner circle and possibly the secretary herself were involved in covering up the State Department's handling of the Benghazi attack.
"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," Issa told CBS.
A darling of the Tea Party, Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, has accused the Obama administration of seeking to suppress the testimony of the witnesses slated to appear. "There are people who want to testify that have been suppressed," he told Fox News Sunday. "They're scared to death of what the State Department is doing with them."
Expect Chaffetz to advance the ball on allegations that the U.S. military could have responded to distress calls at the Benghazi consulate. On Monday, he told Fox News that the military was told to "stand down" and that after the attacks the Obama administration worked to cover up orders for the military to not respond to the attack.
A South Carolina Republican, Gowdy is the man behind much of the hype leading up to today's hearing. "There are more Benghazi hearings coming; I think they're going to be explosive," he told Fox News in late April. But don't just expect grandstanding from Gowdy. A former prosecutor, Gowdy told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he is concerned his Republican colleagues won't sufficiently focus on fact-finding during the hearing, and that he has been working behind the scenes to educate his colleagues about the art of interrogation. "So I have worked with, now, four of my colleagues whose backgrounds are not in litigation, how to ask these questions in a precise, pithy way that makes the witness the star and not some arm-flailing congressman who wants to be on YouTube," Gowdy told Hewitt.
Expect Gowdy to pursue some interesting lines of questioning. Here's what he promised Hewitt:
My fear over the weekend was that a lot of the information that I thought would be most interesting tomorrow has already been released. So I went to staff, and I went to others, and said with any jury trial, you have to save something back. You have to be interesting on the day of the trial. And I have been assured, in fact, I know, because I've seen it myself, there's going to be new, provocative, instructive, dare not use the word explosive, but there's going to be information that comes out tomorrow that whether people have been so desensitized to government lying to them that they don't care anymore, I cannot speak to that. But if you're interested in Benghazi, there is going to be enough new material tomorrow to make you absolutely livid that it's taken eight months for us to get to this point.
The ranking Democrat on the committee, Cummings has been lambasting Republicans for politicizing the attacks. Expect him to describe the hearing as an exercise in partisan politics. "[Republicans] have leaked snippets of interview transcripts to national media outlets in a selective and distorted manner to drum up publicity for their hearing," Cummings said in a press release. "This is investigation by press release and does a disservice to our common goal of ensuring that our diplomatic corps serving overseas has the best protection possible to do its critical work."
Fresh off losing the Democratic primary in Massachusetts' special election to replace former Senator John Kerry, Stephen Lynch has been doing battle with Jason Chaffetz in recent days. During Wednesday's hearing, he'll likely be one of the louder Democratic voices pushing back on Republican claims. "This has been a one- sided investigation, if you want to call it that," Lynch told Fox on Sunday. "There's been no sharing of information in a significant way with the Democrats staff members who usually conduct this type of investigation. And I think it's disgraceful, to be honest with you."
Grab some popcorn. It should be a good show.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Syrian rebels have found a friend in New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. The chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced a bill Monday to provide weapons to certain rebel groups -- and though it falls short of many rebel requests, the Syrian opposition's de facto lobbying arm in Washington sees it as the best ticket in town to turn the tide against Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"We are quite happy with most aspects of the legislation," Dan Layman, spokesman for the Syrian Support Group (SSG), told The Cable. The SSG is the only organization licensed by the U.S. government to provide financial and non-lethal support to rebel fighters, and has unusually extensive contacts with military commanders in the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
After 24 hours of pouring over the Menendez bill's language, Layman gave The Cable the group's first assessment: in short, not bad.
"It is a more focused step in the right direction, and due to its less aggressive nature.... I think it has more of a chance of going through," Layman said.
The bill includes $250 million to the opposition for "basic services over parts of the country," additional sanctions on arms and oil sales to the government in Damascus, and the authority to provide "arms, military training and non-lethal supplies" to vetted elements of Syria's armed opposition -- a measure the Obama administration has yet to take for fear of putting arms in the hands of Islamic extremists. (In recent months, the CIA has attempted to vet Syrian rebels receiving support from Western and Arab governments.)
What it does not do is provide rebels man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), call for the immediate establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria, or offer specifics on military training and chemical weapons securement.
"Training and non-lethal supplies are a must, and we would like to see more specific descriptions of the training that is being proposed," Layman said. "At the very least, the bill's intention to exclude MANPADS should be substantiated by an intention to provide other forms of anti-aircraft artillery, which the rebels have been using somewhat successfully against both MiGs and helicopters so far." As for the bill's call for increased sanctions, Layman said Congress should be more focused on direct aid to the rebels. "We need to put our weight behind those particular efforts first."
The SSG's critique is not at all surprising to Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a critic of the Obama administration's reluctance to intervene in Syria.
"They want immediate relief, and after 70,000 killed, I can't blame them," he told The Cable. "If you want to pressure the president into acting, it's a pretty good bill," said Tabler, noting the indirect effect that legislative support for the rebels can have from members of the president's own party. "The last time the Hill moved on Syria was sanctions on Syrian oil in the summer of 2011. That pressured the president to move, and this could too."
According to an increasing number of senators, it's just a matter of time before the administration gives in. "My guess is we will give them to them," Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said on Meet the Press over the weekend, referring to weapons to rebels. "I do think we'll be arming the opposition shortly," Republican Senator Bob Corker told CBS News, a day after a golf outing with the president.
For now, the administration is emphasizing the action it has already taken in Syria and downplaying pressure from the president's own party.
"We are not going to comment on proposed legislation," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told The Cable. "As the President has said, we continue to explore every available, practical, and responsible means to end the suffering of the Syrian people and accelerate a political transition."
Though Hayden refused to draw out the potential hazards of Menendez's bill, the plain concern is the growing intelligence indicating that the country's rebel movement is increasingly being taken over by jihadist groups, with the powerful Al-Nusra Front's recent alliance with al Qaeda being a primary example. There are also concerns that even if Washington gives the rebels more guns and rocket launchers, they won't be able to topple Assad's regime.
Menendez has yet to announce a date for voting on the bill.
Even as Washington debates whether suspected chemical weapons use in Syria should provoke direct intervention, Secretary of State John Kerry stepped back from the Obama administration's longstanding position that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad needs to leave power.
"[I]t's impossible for me as an individual to understand how Syria could possibly be governed in the future by the man who has committed the things that we know have taken place," Kerry said at a press conference yesterday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, where the two officials laid out a plan for an international conference to reach a negotiated settlement to the Syrian conflict. "But ... I'm not going to decide that tonight, and I'm not going to decide that in the end."
Kerry's remarks came on the same day that President Barack Obama repeated his administration's stance that Assad must leave power. In a White House statement, Obama called on the Assad regime to end its "violent war" and "step aside to allow a political transition in Syria." Obama first called on Assad to resign in August 2011, saying that it should be done "[f]or the sake of the Syrian people."
The U.S. insistence on Assad's exit has long been a sticking point in its attempts to find common ground with Russia on the Syrian issue. The two sides now seem to be trying to bridge this gap: Lavrov said that he was "not interested in the fate of certain persons" when it comes time to determine who sits in a transitional government.
Kerry framed his refusal to say that Assad should step down as in line with the June 2011 Geneva communiqué, which was supposed to provide a roadmap for a negotiated settlement in Syria. The communiqué, which was agreed to by both Russia and the United States, ducked the issue of Assad's future by saying that each side -- the Syrian opposition and the regime -- would be able to veto candidates for an interim government who they found unacceptable. Presumably, the opposition would veto Assad while the regime would veto radical Islamist groups like the al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.
Washington and Moscow seem prepared to move quickly to get both sides to the negotiating table. Kerry said that Russia would try to arrange a conference as early as this month.
A failure to reach a compromise, Kerry argued, would mean that the bloodshed in Syria would only worsen. "The alternative is that Syria heads closer to the abyss, if not over the abyss, and into chaos," he said. "The alternative is that the humanitarian crisis will grow. The alternative is that there may be the break-up of Syria or ethnic attacks, ethnic cleansing."
Update: A State Department official, speaking on background to FP, clarified the U.S. position on Syria after this post was published. The official said that the U.S. position that Assad "has lost all legitimacy and must step aside" was unchanged, and that the United States also believes that Syrians must negotiate the makeup of a transitional government themselves.
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
In a statement to The Cable, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency announced the selection of the next head of the National Clandestine Service, a crucial branch of the agency responsible for sending spies overseas and running the CIA's controversial drone program. The male officer, who "remains under cover," has 30 years' experience within the agency and has had "rich substantive and operational experiences worldwide," according to the statement by CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood.
"This officer is known for his collaborative and inclusive leadership style, and has demonstrated strong interest in leading junior officers to positions of greater responsibility," reads the statement. "He will be a great leader for the NCS and for the Agency's senior leadership team."
The officer's promotion settles a long-simmering debate over the future leadership of the agency that began when the news broke in March that a female CIA officer who helped run the Bush administration's detention and interrogation program was being considered to lead the clandestine service permanently. A coalition of religious and human rights groups protested her selection due to her involvement in the program and an order to destroy prison tapes documenting the torture of detainees.
The female officer in question, who served as acting director, has been effectively demoted, though, according to the letter, "the assertion she was not chosen because of her affiliation with the CT mission is absolutely not true."
Interestingly, both officers remain undercover, a somewhat unique circumstance given that in 2010, former CIA director Leon Panetta announced the appointment of John D. Bennett as head of the clandestine service in a public press release, and in 2007, former CIA director Michael Hayden announced the appointment of Michael Sulick in a public press release as well.
In today's announcement, the CIA also announced the promotion of two female officers, Meroe Park and Deb Bonk, which may help rebut allegations that the agency is something of a boy's club. (Last month, former Bush officials Jon Yoo and Marc Thiessen accused the agency of hanging its first female clandestine service acting director out to dry in wake of the controversy.) The Washington Post first reported news of the male CIA officer's promotion this afternoon. Here's the full statement:
Today, John Brennan filled three senior leadership positions. The officers he selected will help the Director lead the Agency during this critical time and have a combined 80 years of experience in intelligence, both at headquarters and in the field.
For the first time since 2007, Director Brennan appointed a currently serving NCS officer-who remains undercover-to be the next head of the NCS, rather than calling on a retired officer to lead the ranks.
In addition, Director Brennan announced that women are filling two of these three positions-women will hold fully half of the positions on his current leadership team. Director Brennan appointed a minority officer for the first time in the Agency's history to serve as the EXDIR-the Agency's third in command and the position that manages the day-to-day operations of the Agency.
- The next head of the NCS, who remains under cover, is a talented and effective intelligence officer who has had rich substantive and operational experiences worldwide over the course of his almost 30 year Agency career. This officer is known for his collaborative and inclusive leadership style, and has demonstrated strong interest in leading junior officers to positions of greater responsibility. He will be a great leader for the NCS and for the Agency's senior leadership team.
- The new EXDIR, Meroe Park has broad Agency experience. She currently serves as Chief, Human Resources. As such, Meroe understands well the exceptional quality of our workforce and the imperative of matching capabilities with our mission requirements. Meroe has served in three of our four Directorates and in the Director's Area, in both mission and support assignments at HQS and in the field. Her experience and her skills will be invaluable to the Director's leadership team as the Agency navigates numerous challenges in a fiscally constrained environment.
- Deb Bonk will be the next Chief of Staff and has a strong record of performance throughout her 27 year career. Deb's experience includes substantive, staff, management, Center, and out-of Agency assignments; she has worked closely with Director Brennan during many of those.
The previous Acting Director of the NCS, who remains undercover, has expertly led the NCS through this period of transition and is a highly valued officer. The assertion she was not chosen because of her affiliation with the CT mission is absolutely not true.
Two months after stepping down as President Barack Obama's special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, veteran U.S. diplomat Princeton Lyman has joined the U.S. Institute of Peace as a senior advisor. According to a USIP memo, Lyman, 77, will focus on the roles of special envoys, "such as when and under what conditions they are most effective," and how the United States can successfully deal with rogue states with whom it has shared interests.
Since March 2011, Lyman, a former ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa, served as the president's chief troubleshooter in Sudan as the country split into separate pieces. The U.S.-backed peace deal, midwifing South Sudan's secession, ended decades of civil war, but left a number of disputes unresolved. (That includes border hostilities, which flared up as recently as Sunday, when at least 20 were killed including an Ethiopian U.N. peacekeeper in a shootout along a disputed oil-rich border.) Before his tenure as special envoy, Lyman worked as a U.S. senior advisor on North-South negotiations.
From his new perch, Lyman might be able to shed some light on delicate diplomatic dances like last week's controversy -- when the White House invited Nafie Ali Nafie, a Sudanese presidential aide accused of human rights abuses, to Washington for negotiations. Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, in a blazing letter sent to the White House, noted that Nafie had been accused of "torturing enemies" and "cozying up to Osama bin Laden in the 1990s." Justifying the visit, Hillary Fuller Renner, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. State Department, said the delegation was invited to launch "a dialogue on issues of concern to the U.S."
Lyman's move to USIP is something of a homecoming, as he served as a senior fellow at the institute from 1999 to 2000. "Ambassador Lyman brings an immense breadth and depth of knowledge to USIP, particularly in African affairs," said USIP President Jim Marshall in the memo. "We are glad that his long-standing relationship with USIP will continue in this new role."
The institute, which was created by Congress, bills itself as an independent, nonpartisan conflict-management center that works to "increase the government's ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance our national security."
See the full release here.
John Hudson reports on national security and foreign policy from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, the White House to Embassy Row, for The Cable.