Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC), asked the right questions of President Obama, Ambassador Rice and the State Department during this interview:
Sen. Graham is spot on when he said that President Obama “failed before, during and after the [terrorist] attack.” That’s indisputable. He failed to insist that the State Department didn’t provide proper protection to our diplomats, especially considering the fact that Christopher Stevens and the CIA had identified 10 different al-Qa’ida-related militias in Benghazi.
President Obama failed, apparently, to check with Secretary Panetta about what steps he was taking to kill the attacking terrorists. There’s no excuse for why an American president wouldn’t be in the Situation Room, monitoring the video feed from the unarmed drone with his national security team. That’s a total failure on President Obama’s part.
At that point, all other appointments must be rescheduled. Orders must be given to the CIA and the Pentagon that they send President Obama’s national security team updates every half hour on the situation on the ground and where the military is in deploying troops to protect Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Ty Woods.
Anything short of that is sloppy behavior that can’t be tolerated during a crisis of this proportion.
As for Ambassador Rice, why did she rely solely on the CIA’s briefing? It’s sloppy for her not to have checked with Charlene Lamb, the State Department career woman who was maintaining live, real time communications with the diplomatic staff. She’s the woman that sent timely updates to the White House Situation Room, too. Didn’t she think that information might’ve been helpful in connecting the dots of what happened that tragic night?
Perhaps that was her goal all along. Perhaps Ambassador Rice didn’t want to know what had happened. Perhaps she thought that finding out what really happened in Benghazi would hurt her boss. Perhaps she thought that knowing the truth would end her opportunity to be the next Secretary of State.
Put in that context, Ambassador Rice’s actions are perfectly understandable.
Finally, President Obama’s repeated statements that his national security team did everything they could to rescue Christopher Stevens and the other American patriots doesn’t square with the facts. It’s a great-sounding statement in terms of PR value but it doesn’t have anything to do with the truth.
Tags: Lindsey Graham, Benghazi, Investigation, National Security, President Obama, Susan Rice, Situation Room, CIA Briefing, Charlene Lamb, Live Feed, State Department, Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Military, Christopher Stevens, Diplomats, Patriots