Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that President Barack Obama "has not really faced up to Islamic extremist terrorism in the way that he should," as he accused the administration of trying to spin its way out of any responsibility for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
"There's been only false and almost irresponsible spinning out of the White House," Giuliani said of statements by administration officials claiming the attack that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islam video produced in the United States.
Giuliani, a supporter of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, was reacting to congressional testimony Wednesday from National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen, who told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that Stevens was killed last week "in the course of a terrorist attack" that apparently involved members of several militant groups and local extremists.
But Olsen also told the panel "the facts" still suggest the assault on the consulate in Benghazi was not planned but was "an opportunistic attack” that grew out of an ongoing demonstration at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Giuliani, however, joined with a number of Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, in disputing that assessment.
"This was clearly planned, it was clearly planned in advance. It was, and they hate to say these words, this administration, this was an Islamic extremist terrorist attack," Giuliani said.
"I think that the reality is that the president of the United States, from the very beginning, has really not faced up to Islamic extremist terrorism in the way that he should," Giuliani told Hannity. "Sure, they got [Osama] bin Laden, surely, they have done a couple other things. But every time we have one of these terrorist incidents, he's looking for a euphemism to kind of move away from it."
"Simple fact is that isn't true," he said. "Al-Qaida is extremely dangerous. There were related terrorist groups that are even more dangerous, possibly. And maybe they took their eye off the ball.
"And now there's going to be a certain amount of accountability for that. And boy, they don't want to be accountable for anything," Giuliani continued.
"Simple fact is, it doesn't matter what the president thinks. There's a war on terror. They they are at war with us, as they have demonstrated over the last few weeks."
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