Michele Bachmann embarrasses herself during House Intelligence Committee hearing [VIDEO]
|Bachmann's nuttier-than-ever questions are proof that serving on the Intelligence Committee doesn't require actual intelligence.|
FROM LAST WEEK: Jim Graves will run again next year, setting up rematch with Bachmann [UPDATE]
Bachmann, who remains on the committee despite a recent 200,000-person petition drive calling for her ouster, made a fool of herself while attempting to question CIA leaders during a hearing last Thursday.
Bachmann's questions either didn't make sense or pertained to classified information CIA officials weren't about to discuss during a public hearing. She repeatedly elicited blank, baffled stares and extended silences in which the CIA leaders seemed to be asking themselves, What the hell is this lady talking about?
Here's a transcript her questions and the responses offered up by CIA Director John Brennan and another CIA official, followed by the raw video:
[BACHMANN] My questions are regarding Iran and obtaining the nuclear weapon. I'd like to ask some questions about that, but before I do that I'd like to ask a question of Director Brennan.
When the White House conducted their armed drone strikes in north Africa, particularly in eastern Libya prior to the attack on our mission in Benghazi on 9-1-1 last year, did the White House notify the State Department of the armed drone strikes before they were made?
[BRENNAN, LOOKING TOTALLY BAFFLED] Ah, armed droned strikes in Libya? Um, I'm unknowing of such and I would defer to the White House to address your question.
[BACHMANN] Were there any armed drone strikes in north Africa that were made by the White House?
[BRENNAN] The White House doesn't have a drone capability/responsibility, whatever so...
[BACHMANN] Did they have any directives toward having armed drone strikes in north Africa?
[BRENNAN] Again, I don't know what it is specifically you're referring to, but again, I'd defer to the White House on whatever happened at that time.
[CIA OFFICIAL] I can speak to the capability, the UAVs that were over, flying over Libya were military and were unarmed.
[BACHMANN] And so were there any armed drone strikes that were made in north Africa prior to 9-1-1?
[CIA OFFICIAL] In Libya?
[BACHMANN] I'm asking in north Africa, I'm asking, I'm asking director Brennan, were there any armed drone strikes that were made by the United States in north Africa prior to 9-1-1?
[BRENNAN] Well we usually don't talk about any sort of specific actions, but ah, again, I don't know what you could be referencing.
[BACHMANN] I'm just wondering if the State Department was aware, or if the military was aware, or if the CIA was aware. And if we aren't going to talk about that we aren't going to talk about that, but that's a question I'd like to know.
Going back to Iran. What is our red line regarding the Iranian nuclear weapon development program? And I would ask director Brennan. What is our red line?
[BRENNAN] That clearly is a policy question. That's one of the things that the intelligence community is trying to make sure that policy makers are fully informed about, developments inside of Iran and their nuclear-related pursuits.
[BACHMANN] But regarding the nuclear weapon program and our intelligence capability -- again, we have a wonderful intelligence community, but we weren't aware of the bombing in 1993 at the World Trade Center tower. We weren't aware before 9-1-1 occurred in 2001, we weren't aware of the Arab Spring developments, and we weren't aware of the attack on the mission on Benghazi. How do we have confidence that we will know when Iran has amassed the capability of developing a nuclear weapon? I ask that because the President said last month that it would take approximately a year for [Iran] to develop a nuclear weapon once they had make that decision. Last week -- we know that the current negotiations have gone without any breakthrough or any development. And so I'm very concerned about our intelligence capability of knowing with a high degree of certainty when Iran has either made the decision to develop nuclear weapons, or has obtained nuclear weapons.
[CIA OFFICIAL] I think this subject would be much, much better talked about in closed session.
[BACHMANN] I would look forward to that, and I would appreciated that. Could you comment on what is happening with, ah, we talk a lot about uranium development with Iran's nuclear program, but Iran is also building a heavy water reactor capable of producing plutonium. What is the status of Iran's heavy water reactor?
[BRENNAN AND THE OFFICIAL LOOK BAFFLED, THEN THE OFFICIAL SAYS] Well agian, this would be a subject for closed session I think.
[BACHMANN] I look forward to that.
After witnessing that debacle, we're surprised Bachmann didn't slip in a question about the dire national security threat posed by weapons of mass destruction possessed by hostile alien communities or something.
Look, we're all for members of Congress asking the CIA tough questions about drones. But at least come prepared to ask coherent questions on topics officials are at liberty to speak about.
It should also be noted that Bachmann's baffling questioning comes less than a month after she made everyone scratch their heads by saying Obamacare "literally kills women, kills children, [and] kills senior citizens" during a rant on the House floor. The 6th District is getting what it paid for last November, unfortunately.