Lindsey Graham Vows to Block Brennan Nomination

Wednesday, 20 Feb 2013 10:41 PM

By Matthew Auerbach

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., says he will block the nomination of John Brennan as head of the CIA until he gets more information from the White House regarding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Graham’s dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s responses to what actually occurred that night has caused him to draw a line in the sand.

Either it turns over items it has declined to provide, such as drone video of the attack and e-mails on talking points that falsely claimed the attack was an impromptu protest that quickly spiraled out of control, or the nomination process grinds to a halt.

“The role of the Congress is to provide oversight of the executive branch,” Graham said in an interview with USA Today.

“When Brennan comes up I think it's very relevant what role did he (Obama) play?”

The Democratic response has been predictably critical of Graham’s ultimatum.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, believes a vote should be held because the only question that matters is whether or not Brennan is qualified to be the nation’s top spy.

"Mr. Brennan made clear in two confirmation hearings that he will be a strong and capable CIA director," she said.

Graham is very interested in what information survivors of the attack can provide. The FBI interviewed survivors who were evacuated from Libya on Sept. 12.

“I want to know who the survivors are and for the appropriate committees to interview them,” Graham said.

“We know it was clear from the beginning it was a terrorist attack. I want to know what kind of help they asked for.”

Graham is waiting to see a drone surveillance video taken while the attack was happening that could have been viewable in Washington.

Graham said he believes the lack of proper security at U.S. installations in Libya was a result of Obama’s commitment to downsizing a military presence there.

“They outsourced our security in Libya to a non-existent Libyan government,” Graham said.

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