Lindsey Graham Blames Benghazi for Ukraine Invasion

Image: Lindsey Graham Blames Benghazi for Ukraine Invasion

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 08:36 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Sen. Lindsey Graham has claimed that President Barack Obama's failure to hold anyone accountable for the attacks on the Benghazi consulate emboldened Russia to invade Ukraine.

In a series of tweets, the South Carolina Republican said Obama's "weak and indecisive" leadership on foreign crises contributed to Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering the Crimea incursion.

During the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and the CIA annex, Libya, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed. The United States has not killed or captured those responsible for the attacks.

One of his tweets included a video of his appearance on Fox News during which he told Greta Van Susteren that unless the United States takes action, soon Putin will continue with his aggression.

He said, "This is a symptom of a greater problem. In many ways, it started with Benghazi. When our consulate was overrun, and our first ambassador was killed in 30-something years, and three brave Americans died, and when not one person has been held accountable, you are absolutely sending the wrong signal to our foes around the world. And Putin is not going to stop until he feels a stain.

"The best way to get his attention is to go after his rich friends, the oligarchs who are making billions by ripping off the Russian people, stealing their money. Don't let them travel through Europe and throughout the world and lead the high life. Don't let them do business as normal. That would really stain Putin."

Graham said Putin has been "suppressing freedom and democracy" in Russia, and he compared it to a totalitarian state.

He added, "If we don't stand up and support a country like Ukraine, he will continue this [aggression]. It is never good when an autocratic dictator is intimidating people in that part of the world.

"He basically has come to the conclusion after Benghazi, after Syria, after Egypt, after everything that Obama has been engaged in, that he’s a weak and indecisive leader. I think Putin believes he's going to grab the Crimea and march eastward until somebody pushes back.”

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