Sen. John McCain is demanding President Barack Obama provide Congress the names of the survivors from the deadly attack last year on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“We don’t even know the names of the people who were evacuated from the consulate and taken to Germany and should have been debriefed immediately,” the Arizona Republican told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Thursday. “Then any illusion about what kind of attack that was, and what caused it, would have been dispensed with.”
McCain confirmed that he sent a letter to the president this week requesting the names during the interview with Van Susteren. He said the accountability review board set up by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to investigate the attack failed to interview the survivors.
“That’s my understanding that they didn’t even talk directly to them. And at the same time, since we in Congress didn’t know the names, we obviously didn’t talk to them,” McCain said.
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“You would think that one person at the CIA, or one person at the White House, would have picked up the phone and said, ‘Hey, let me talk to one of these people who were in the fight and were taken to Ramstein, Germany, for treatment, so that they could give their depiction of what happened.’ And guess what? They didn’t do that.” he added.
Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton also told Van Susteren that talking to the survivors is essential to finding out what happened during the attack.
“What did these individuals who were on the ground in Libya actually see and do? They’re the ones with the most important information,” Bolton said. “Forget the bureaucrats. If the administration really has nothing to hide, let them testify. What could they possibly be afraid of?”
GOP strategist Karl Rove weighed in on the Van Susteren program with his view, charging that the accountability review board conducted a “whitewash” with its Benghazi probe. He also said White House spokesman Jay Carney “made a huge mistake” when he said this week that Benghazi “happened a long time ago.”
“He basically signaled to the members of the press that a cover-up was under way,” Rove said. “That was a clear message to the media of, ‘Boys and girls, we want you to go along with us on this, we're just going to try and bury this.’”
“I think it's going to have the opposite reaction. I think it's going to say to a lot of people in the mainstream media, this may be worthy of our attention,” Rove added.
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