Fox News host Gretchen Carlson criticized President Obama for not releasing his daily intelligence briefings after the Benghazi attack, citing former President Bush's release of intelligence documents after the 2001 World Trade Center attack. Carlson failed to mention Bush only released one document after being pressured by the 9/11 Commission years after the attack.
Watch as Carlson cites the Bush administration's track record to criticize Obama for resisting pressure from Republicans to release daily briefings connected to the Benghazi witch hunt:
CARLSON: Meantime, new calls now for the White House to release the daily intelligence briefings on the days right after the Benghazi attack. It is something that President Bush did right after 9/11. And joining me now, Andy Card, former White House chief of staff under President George W. Bush. Great to see you Andy.
CARD: Good to see you, Gretchen.
CARLSON: This came to light today and I think it is fascinating on this story. It is about the daily intelligence briefings. President Bush really set the precedent after 9/11. Did he not? Tell us what he did.
CARD: He did. He set a precedent and it was very controversial when he did it. He did it because he wanted to be transparent with a congressionally mandated investigation. And so he said that he was going to release that document. That document is one of the most secret documents in American politics, if you will, and he felt that it was important to put it out but he did it in the right context. I do think this situation warrants President Obama making a similar decision because this is not going to be a document that would be released that would have to be redacted to the point that it impacted national security policy.
Carlson picked a bizarre model as the basis of her call for disclosure. The Bush administration only released one daily briefing, titled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US,” years after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center -- and only after pressure from the 9/11 Commission. The New York Times reported:
On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief -- and only that daily brief -- in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document's significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda's history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.
That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration's reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.