U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, doesn’t think the Senate should call hearings yet on the Obama administration’s handling of the attack in Libya last month that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“Secretary Clinton appointed Ambassador Tom Pickering to do a detailed review asking tough questions,” Reed told WPRI 12′s Tim White in a phone interview on Thursday.
“Tom Pickering is one of our outstanding ambassadors – retired now – but both in a professional and personal way I think we not only have to do it because of the sacrifice of Ambassador Stevens but because we have to make sure we have adequate protections for our diplomats across the globe going forward,” he said.
Asked whether the time is right for senators should hold their own independent hearings into what happened, Reed replied: “No, I don’t think so.”
“I think what you really want to do is a very careful, thorough review which could call upon classified materials as well as unclassified materials, so that what you have is a complete picture touching on the intelligence that might have been available,” Reed said. “That’s awful hard to do in a public hearing. I think the Pickering report might be the basis of another review by the Senate. But I think this should be done very carefully, thoroughly and in a timely way.”
Reed spoke by telephone from as he prepared to join Vice President Biden at Thursday night’s debate. The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Wednesday that BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings reported “completely shredded the Obama Administration’s original story about what happened in Benghazi,” though lawmakers have been criticized for revealing classified information.