Three U.S. senators have identified the missing parts of the response to the Benghazi terror attack. In a statement, Senators Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain list "What We Do Not Know" about Benghazi:
· We do not know whether the President was made aware of the classified cable that, according to published media reports, Ambassador Chris Stevens sent in August 2012, stating that the U.S. Mission in Benghazi could not survive a sustained assault from one or more of the threatening militia groups that were operating in eastern Libya.
· We do not know whether the President’s national security staff made him aware of the attacks on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi that occurred in April and June of last year and the assassination attempt on the British Ambassador in Benghazi around the same time.
· If the President was informed, we do not know what actions, if any, he ordered.
· We do not know who within U.S. Special Operations Command, Africa ordered a U.S. special forces detachment in Tripoli not to go to Benghazi to assist the Americans under attack, and why that “stand down” order was given, as the former Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli, Gregory Hicks, testified to Congress.
· We do not know why, on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, after multiple attacks last year on U.S. and Western interests in Libya, and with rising insecurity in countries across the Middle East, U.S. military units and assets in the region were not ready, alert, and positioned to respond in a timely fashion to what should have been a foreseeable emergency – despite the fact that there is a U.S. military base in Souda Bay, Crete, which is a short flight to Benghazi.
· We do not know what the President did or who he was in contact with during the seven hours of the attack, and we do not know why the President did not reach out to Libyan President Magariaf during that period of time.
· We still do not know the names of the survivors of the Benghazi attack, and they have not been interviewed by the Congress.
· We do not know why the testimonies of the U.S. personnel who were evacuated from Benghazi on September 12, 2012 – eyewitnesses who knew there never was a demonstration outside the U.S. Mission – were not shared in a timely way with, and immediately factored in to the judgments of, our intelligence community.
· We do not know whether this failure reflects obstacles that still exist to the free sharing of information across executive branch agencies, which was a key concern of the 9/11 Commission.
· We do not know why the Administration did not do more to support and assist the new Libyan government that took power after the fall of Qaddafi, including in the establishment of civilian-led national security forces that operate under central government control, a counterterrorism force that is trained and equipped to combat Al Qaeda and its affiliates, national justice and prison systems, and effective control over the immense stockpiles of weapons and dangerous materials that exist across Libya. The result of this ‘light footprint’ approach was that Al-Qaeda, its affiliated groups, and local militias were able to establish sanctuaries almost uncontested in the ungoverned spaces of eastern Libya. Some of these individuals were involved in the attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi.”
In a joint statement, four lawmakers urge President Obama to treat the Boston bombing suspect picked up last night in Watertown, Mass. as an “enemy combatant.” Here’s the joint statement, signed by Rep. Peter King, Senators Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham:
The New York Times reported Monday that congressional Republicans were split on the coming defense budget sequestration, with many in the GOP suggesting the cuts ought to go through because "fiscal questions trump defense" Now, more than 70 foreign policy experts, including prominent Republicans and Democrats, have signed a letter drafted by the Foreign Policy Initiative that urges congressional leaders to act and stop the sequestration.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has written a letter to Chuck Hagel to ask that he open his Senate archive at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Graham, who also asks Hagel to authorize the release of past speeches organized by the Washington Speakers Bureau, believes interested parties should have access to the former Nebraska senator's record.
Having profoundly failed to enforce federal immigration law for the past several decades, the federal government is now angling to use the immigration debate as a means to accentuate its own power. The Wall Street Journal reports that Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), among others, supports a national biometric I.D. card, calling it “the public’s way of contributing to solving the problem” of illegal immigration.
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham has just sent a letter to Barack Obama's defense secretary nominee, Chuck Hagel. Graham asks if, at a 2010 appearance at Rutgers University, Hagel said Israel "was risking becoming an apartheid state."
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared to be unaware that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified that she did not see a cable from Ambassador Christopher Stevens in August of 2012 in which the late ambassador warned the consulate in Benghazi was not safe from attack. Republican senator Lindsey Graham asked Dempsey about Clinton's testimony.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted in a Senate hearing Thursday that no military assets, individual soldiers or aircraft, sent in response to the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Watch the video below:
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina pledged last night on Fox News to block President Obama's secretary of defense nominee, Chuck Hagel, until Leon Panetta testifies on the Benghazi terror attack:
Senate Republicans signaled Tuesday afternoon that they may put up a fight if Barack Obama nominates former Nebraska Republican senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.
Asked about Hagel’s 2008 statement that the “Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people here [in Washington, D.C.],” South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham said Hagel will “have to answer for that comment” if he is nominated.