Lindsey Graham: Benghazi Will 'Loom Large' in 2014 Elections

Image: Lindsey Graham: Benghazi Will 'Loom Large' in 2014 Elections

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 04:40 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Sen. Lindsey Graham predicts Benghazi will "loom large" in this year's elections.

"Democrats are going to have to start making President [Barack] Obama account for his leadership. Where was he that night? Did he know it was a terrorist attack? Why did he say for two weeks we think it was a protest? How could he have done that?" Graham, R-S.C., told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"I hope, eventually, in 2014, President Obama will have to account for his leadership."

Graham said the Senate's conclusion that the deadly Benghazi attacks were preventable leads to the question: who was responsible for the lack of security at the U.S. consulate in Libya?

"It became a death trap. The question is who's responsible for allowing it to become a death trap? Is it [then-Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton?" Graham said.

"No one's been fired. The report debunks the story line of a protest caused by hateful video. It was a preplanned terrorist attack you should see coming, and so much for the phony scandal narrative."

Story continues below video.



On Wednesday, a long-awaited bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee blamed the State Department for failing to boost security at the consulate.

That failure came despite dire warnings from the CIA and staff about the danger of attacks by terror groups.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks, which followed requests for more security by Stevens.

"It's pretty clear that the reporting from Libya back to the State Department about the threats was just ominous," Graham said.

"All indicators were that Benghazi was deteriorating, the Red Cross withdrew because their office was attacked, the British withdrew after their ambassador was attacked in April, the consulate itself was attacked on June the 10th.

"And I found out just about three weeks ago that we renewed the lease on . . . the place of the attack for a year in July. So, after a June attack, somebody in the State Department decides to renew the lease on the property without fortifying it. So, yes, it became a death trap."

Graham compared the media reports on Benghazi to those about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the Bridge-gate controversy that threatens the Garden State lawmaker's political future.

"These two parallel universes here. Look at the amount of energy going into the New Jersey bridge problem. It's something that needs to be looked at fully and thoroughly, and Chris Christie is saying, 'I welcome the investigation, it happened on my watch, I take responsibility,'" he said.

"Look at the mainstream media interest in Benghazi all of these years later. For a guy like me who thought [the official line] was a BS story from the moment I heard it, it's been very frustrating, but I do appreciate the report."

Story continues below the video.



Graham said while the State Department deserves plenty of blame, the investigation must also point to the White House.

"Here's the question, on Sept. 14th there was a meeting in the White House. The evidence was overwhelming and clear that this was not a protest but a terrorist attack, all the intelligence suggested that," he said.

"Remember [then-UN Ambassador] Susan Rice's story on the 15th of September: there's no evidence of preplanned terrorist attack, no al-Qaida involvement, al-Qaida's on the run, this was a protest caused by a video.

"Who was in the meeting on Sept. 15th in the White House, and did the intelligence community agree with those talking-point changes? And if they did, why, and when she said what she said, did they object, and if not, why not?

And did anybody in the intelligence community ever call the president up and say, Mr. President, for two weeks we're saying it was a protest caused by a video, you've got this wrong. Somebody needs to ask those questions of the intelligence community."



See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.



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