Sen. Lindsey Graham is urging the creation of a joint select committee to investigate the government's handling of information about the Tsarnaev brothers, the accused Boston Marathon bombers.
“When it comes to Boston, we need a joint select committee to look at the FBI, the CIA and Homeland Security,” Graham told CNN Tuesday,
adding, “The system did not work as designed.”
Graham suggested there should have been a more coordinated response among the agencies after Russian law-enforcement officials told their American counterparts that they suspected the older Tsarnaev brother, Tamerlan, of having radical ties.
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“When he left to go back to Russia, the system dinged at DHS and they were supposed to share their information with the FBI and the CIA,” said Graham. “The fusion center in Boston was supposed to have been made aware that, ‘Hey you’ve got a guy we’ve looked at in the Boston area.’”
President Barack Obama dismissed Graham’s remarks at a news conference on Tuesday, saying, “Based on what I’ve seen so far, the FBI performed its duties; Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing.”
Graham told CNN, “It’s not so much about blaming people, as to get it right.”
Referring both to Boston and to the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed the Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, Graham said, “We need to up our game. Clearly to me, the systems did not work they way they were supposed to.”
“I’m shocked that this happened after 9/11, where people are no longer talking to each other,” Graham said. “I thought we’d gotten over that.”
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