Graham and Issa Slam Obama on Benghazi Lies and Incompetence
October 14, 2012 • 8:23PM

Appearing this morning on CBS TV Face the Nation, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Darrel Issa both slammed President Obama personally, for repeatedly lying to the American people about the Benghazi consulate attack weeks after the incident, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officials were killed. Graham began by emphasizing that there never was a riot or a mob outside the Benghazi consulate on Sept. 11 and on-site reports made clear, from the outset, that there was a sustained, heavily armed assault on the compound—never a protest demonstration. Yet, Susan Rice appeared on five TV interview shows on Sept. 16, and President Obama personally spoke on Sept. 18 and 25, claiming that the murderous attack was the result of a spontaneous protest over the anti-Islam video. Sen. Graham charged that Obama has been selling a narrative that Al Qaeda has been dismantled and that the ouster of Qaddafi in Libya was a success. The Obama White House and campaign assumed that, with Congress out of session and the media asleep, they could get away with the knowing lies. Pressed on whether he was calling the President a liar, Sen. Graham said that either he was misleading the American people or was incredibly incompetent. He said that whenever there was a national security success, the White House leaked classified details to tout their achievements, and have been falsifying accounts of the Benghazi attack, finally admitting only this week, that it was a premeditated terrorist attack. Graham reported that, within 24 hours of the attack, he and Senator Corker had received briefings from the intelligence community that the assault on the consulate had been a heavily armed attack that lasted over six hours.

Face the Nation host Charles Shieffer played the segment of the Sept. 16 Susan Rice interview, and noted that he had interviewed the President of Libya just before Rice, and he had said it was a premeditated terrorist attack. Graham added that President Obama appeared on the David Letterman show two days later and then on The View, where he repeated the same false account given by Rice. Graham noted that Patrick Kennedy of the State Department had briefed congressional staffers on Sept. 12 and had accurately described the incident as a terrorist attack, not a spontaneous riot. Graham compared Obama's accounts of the Libyan "success" with George W. Bush's infamous "mission accomplished" remarks in 2004 about Iraq, and equated Bush's failed foreign policy in Iraq, where there are now 2,500 Al Qaeda terrorists back in the country since the US withdrawal, with Obama's failures in Libya and elsewhere. He warned that the entire region is on the verge of exploding, citing the crisis in Mali.

Schieffer next interviewed Rep. Issa, who supported much of what Sen. Graham said, noting that State Department official Charlene Lamb had confirmed during last week's hearings that the issue was not lack of funds to secure the Benghazi compound; she was convinced there was no need for heightened security. Issa cited a $2.2 billion discretionary fund that exists to beef up security around the world, if American oficials or citizens are under threat. He repeated Sen. Graham's parallel between G.W. Bush's Iraq failure and Obama's refusal to admit that the US had been targeted for a second 9/11 attack eleven years after the initial hit. He charged that Obama is in denial that Al Qaeda conducted a preplanned attack on Benghazi.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrat on Issa's committee, briefly appeared on the broadcast to defend the Obama Administration's performance, claiming that it was too soon to draw any conclusions about what happened in Benghazi when the FBI has barely begun its investigation, accusing Graham and Issa of "conspiracy theories." Even host Schieffer was aghast at Cumming's remarks, and he concluded by repeating that CBS had asked the Obama Administration to provide a spokesperson to be interviewed about the Benghazi affair, and they refused.