Congress should hold hearings into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four Americans to prevent a cover-up by the Obama White House, U.N. expert Richard Grenell tells Newsmax.TV.
“We should do it immediately, because we’ve already seen the State Department scrubbing some of its information from its website,” Grenell, a partner with Media Capital Partners, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. He referenced a recent Fox News report on the development.
“The State Department gave a warning that said, ‘We don’t have any intelligence that anything is going to be wrong on 9/11.’ And then they removed that from the website,” he said. “So we already see a scrubbing from the State Department and it’s really important for congressional committees to quickly get in and figure out what’s going on.”
Watch the exclusive interview here.
Grenell, who once served as foreign policy and national security spokesman for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said the only reason why President Barack Obama’s White House is coming clean about the attacks in Benghazi is because of conservative legislators — not the media.
“The media was completely complicit in trying to make this all about a film, a YouTube video that had been out since June, and the narrative was falling apart. Not because the media was aggressive but because conservatives were pushing the media to ask some questions.
“I find it ironic that Mitt Romney waited 15 hours while the situation in Libya and in Egypt was developing – and he didn’t say anything for 15 hours. The President of the United States didn’t say anything for 15 hours.
“And when Romney finally came out and said: ‘Hey, look. I think there’s a weak response going,’ the weak response was this Cairo statement that Hillary Clinton rejected – and the weak response is no response from the White House.
“What the media failed to understand is that no reaction from the White House for 15 hours is a weak response,” Grenell continued. “And when President Obama finally spoke out, his first words were to condemn Mitt Romney. I really find it shocking that the media then spent the next five days piling on Mitt Romney for speaking too early.”
The cables of murdered U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens are critical to any congressional investigation, Grenell said.
“We are getting answers slowly, but it’s not because The New York Times or The Washington Post is being aggressive. The real answers are yet to come and I see the administration already saying, ‘Well, we can’t release classified cables.’ I get that.
“Of course we’re not asking for a WikiLeaks here to release classified cables to the public, but you can easily release these cables to congressional oversight committees and members of the committees.”
In addition, Grenell said he doesn’t buy Obama campaign claims that the president was too busy raising money for his re-election bid to meet with world leaders at the United Nations this week.
“He went up there. He didn’t want to meet with anybody.”
That included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Thursday drew “red lines” that Iran could not cross for developing its nuclear weapons. But “red lines” were established in 2006 during the George W. Bush White House, he said.
Grenell served Bush as director of communications and public diplomacy for the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N.
“I was at the U.N. inside the Security Council when we passed the first red line,” he said. “And that is a very a clear red line that was put into an international resolution – and it says that Iran cannot enrich any uranium. Zero. Zip. No enrichment whatsoever. It says no enrichment.
“So that resolution, which passed in 2006, has been repeated six times, including one time by the Obama administration. If we focused on the red lines from 2006, we should all be saying: ‘Iran shouldn’t enrich any uranium, and if they do even one percent of enrichment, they’re in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution,’
“So the Obama team that’s floating these other alternatives, they’re floating alternatives that are weaker than what the U.N. says,” Grenell concluded. “If you’re weaker than the U.N., you’ve got a problem.”
More broadly, the Obama administration is “scrambling” to get its hands around the turmoil in the Middle East, he said.
“They refuse to admit that the Islamists have been organizing and that we haven’t been paying attention. We call it the Arab Spring, but there are a lot of people in the Middle East that call this the Islamic Awakening. And we’ve seen it in the Obama administration that the Islamists have been allowed to organize and to take hold of some countries.
“Now, we have word that they’re beginning to lead in Syria. If we don’t play a role, like this administration has refused to do anything in Syria, then the Islamists are going to step in and fill that vacuum and that is a danger.”
“That is exactly what we’ve seen in Libya,” Grenell added. “When our U.S. ambassador doesn’t have security around him, that’s a problem because the Islamists are beginning to take hold.
“The Obama administration is on a parade float saying: ‘You know, everything is fine. We’ve killed al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden is dead.’ They’re parading around, but they’re missing the fact that their parade float is completely on fire.”
Such neglect would not occur under a Romney White House, Grenell said.
“He’s got great gut instincts, and those gut instincts were shown to be right and accurate when he came out after 15 hours and said: ‘Where’s the response? Why is it so weak?’ That’s the kind of president that I want.
“Mitt Romney would be very hesitant to put boots on the ground. He views the world as if you don’t war, then you have to have really strong, tough diplomacy. If you’re somebody who says, ‘No war,’ then you better be on the side of tough diplomacy.
“We have not seen tough diplomacy from this administration,” Grenell said. “We would see it from the Romney administration.”
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