Another day, another explanation of what the president knew and when he knew it with the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
In just three days, the White House has gone back and forth three times on what the president knew, and when he knew it, in regards to the NIE:
• On Monday, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said the president was told about this report "in the last few months."
• On Tuesday, the president said, "In August, I think it was John - Mike McConnell came in and said, We have some new information. He didn't tell me what the information was... And it wasn't until last week that I was briefed on the NIE that is now public."
• On Wednesday, White House press secretary Dana Perino said that in August, the president was told of the NIE. More importantly, despite the president's contention that he was not briefed on what might be in it, Perino said he was told that when the report was analyzed, it might show that "Iran does in fact have a covert nuclear weapons program, but it may be suspended."
This doesn't fly with those of us who served and who have many friends still in harm's way. We need immediate hearings. We need to know if the president lied and played politics with our lives.
Did the president know, or not, whether he and his administration were ramping up rhetoric on Iran when our intelligence said there was no immediate nuclear threat? The type of rhetoric he and his administration spread on Iran does nothing to preserve the fragile calm among Shia forces, loyal to Iran, who can strike at our troops at a moment's notice. We need to know if the president painted a target on the backs of our troops for domestic political purposes.
Today, we launched an effort at VoteVets.org, to get answers. By clicking here, you can send a letter to the chairs of the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence, demanding they hold immediate hearings on the matter. I know everyone has their gut feeling on what happened, but we can't go on gut feelings - we need facts and we need answers that only hearings can provide.
While the president tap dances around the truth, our troops are dodging RPGs and bullets. His rhetoric on Iran could have worsened the danger they're in, if not for the release of this report. We need to know what he knew and when he knew it, and why he thought it was wise to use language that only served to aggravate Shia forces loyal to Iran.
Do your part. Demand hearings now.