Nov 09 2012

Today, we finally received from the Secretary of Defense the first response to our many letters.  Unfortunately, Secretary Panetta's letter only confirms what we already knew -- that there were no forces at a sufficient alert posture in Europe, Africa, or the Middle East to provide timely assistance to our fellow citizens in need in Libya.

Nov 05 2012

During an unaired portion of his September 12th interview with 60 Minutes, President Obama refused to answer when asked if Benghazi was a terrorist attack.  Now that this information has become public, it raises two very serious questions.

Nov 02 2012

The Time for Stonewalling, Delaying and Denying are Over

Mr President, the families of the fallen and the American people deserve nothing less than a full accounting of what happened.


Enough already, Mr. President. You need to address the American people and account for your leadership in the attack on our Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. You should explain to the American people what you knew, when you knew it, and what you did about it before, during and after the attack.






Oct 31 2012

American People Deserve a Full Accounting of Events in Benghazi

Senators highlight serious questions about the terrorist attack that the Obama administration hasn’t answered

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is calling on the Obama administration to immediately respond to questions posed over the past three weeks about the administration's actions before, during, and after the terrorist attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

Oct 29 2012

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) responded to the following comments made by President Obama during a radio interview with Philadelphia’s Michael Smerconish.

 

Original question: On Monday WSJ reported that you're daily briefings said the attack had arisen from a spontaneous protest. Is it true that your statements and those of [Ambassador Susan] Rice were simply repeating what the PDBs were telling you?

 

President Obama: "What's true is that the intelligence was coming in and evolving as more information came up. And what is true--this is something that the American people can take to the bank: my administration plays this stuff straight. We don't play politics when it comes to American national security. So what we consistently have done throughout my presidency and what we did in his circumstance is as information came in we gave it to the American people. And as we got new information we gave that to the American people. And that includes by the way members of Congress. One of the things that always frustrates me about this town is when people go out there and try to politicize issues despite knowing that we have given them all this information."

 

Graham’s response:

 

“In the words of President Obama, this statement sounds like a lot of B.S. 

 

“This Administration does play politics with national security.  In an effort to look strong, this Administration has strategically leaked classified information about numerous sensitive national security programs, ranging from the raid on bin Laden, the cyber-attacks on Iran, to disrupting the underwear bomber plot.  The President has also refused to appoint a special counsel to investigate breaches of national security, while demanding it for others in past administrations.

 

“These leaks have created distrust amongst our allies and damaged operations in the field.  Fearful that the reality on the ground in Benghazi cuts against the narrative that al-Qaeda has been dismantled, the Administration has been cherry-picking intelligence and intentionally misleading the American people.  There was no mob, there was no riot.  This was a preplanned attack by al-Qaeda affiliated militia.

 

“I wrote letters to our nation’s top intelligence officials asking for information regarding Ambassador Rice’s sources.  It has been almost two weeks and I have not received one bit of information from them.  The President promised transparency, an unveiling of details regarding the Benghazi attack, but they have done nothing but stonewall the American people and their elected representatives.”

 

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Oct 24 2012

Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte wrote a letter to President Obama expressing deep concern about information in a news article yesterday citing internal emails from U.S. personnel on the ground in Benghazi which make clear that the Obama Administration knew within two hours of the attack that it was a terrorist act.

Oct 23 2012


I respectfully disagree with the Department of Defense decision to classify the Fort Hood shooting as workplace violence.  It’s not fair to the victims, and their families, for this incident to be described in that manner


Oct 19 2012

Washington­– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today renewed their request from ten days ago that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, answer questions regarding the shifting official explanations surrounding the tragic murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of our other fellow Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. As the senators write in their letter, “Our questions should not be hard to answer, and the American people have a right to learn what our intelligence communities knew about the events of September 11, 2012, and when they knew it.”

 

Today’s letter and the senators’ original October 9th letter are below.

 

October 19, 2012

 

The Honorable James R. Clapper, Jr.

Director of National Intelligence

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Washington, DC 20511

 

The Honorable David H. Petraeus

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Central Intelligence Agency

Washington, DC 20511

 

The Honorable John Brennan

Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and

Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Director Clapper, Director Petraeus and Mr. Brennan:

 

It has been ten days since our letter to you requesting a prompt reply to important questions regarding the circumstances of the tragic murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of our other fellow Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. As of today, October 19th, we have not received a response. Our questions should not be hard to answer, and the American people have a right to learn what our intelligence communities knew about the events of September 11, 2012, and when they knew it.

 

As time progresses, it only becomes more important for Congress and the American people to have the intelligence community clarify the confusion still surrounding the Administration’s initial explanation of the attack in Benghazi. We have important responsibilities to our constituents, who are demanding clear answers to the questions we sent to you. Your lack of response is inhibiting our ability to perform our duties on behalf of our fellow citizens. We therefore continue to seek answers to our questions and expect a reply as soon as possible.

 

Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lindsey Graham

John McCain 

Kelly Ayotte

 

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October 9, 2012

 

The Honorable James R. Clapper, Jr.

Director of National Intelligence

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Washington, DC 20511

 

The Honorable David H. Petraeus

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Central Intelligence Agency

Washington, DC 20511 

 

The Honorable John Brennan 

Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and

Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500 

 

Dear Director Clapper, Director Petraeus and Mr. Brennan:

 

Amid the public confusion and shifting official explanations surrounding the tragic murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of our fellow Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, we write to ask you to provide your best professional judgment in response to a few questions regarding the circumstances of this attack. Clarifying the record about what information our intelligence community possessed in the aftermath of the attack in Benghazi, what judgments it reached at what time as a result of this information, and what recommendations it provided to senior policymakers as they spoke publicly about these events is a matter of utmost important for the Congress and our constituents. The American people deserve answers.

 

We therefore ask for your prompt and thorough reply to the following questions:

 

  • First, within 48 hours of the attack, was there credible information and reporting to suggest that the assault on our Consulate and other U.S. facilities in Benghazi should be characterized as a terrorist attack? This is certainly how it appeared to many Americans, allegedly including some members of the Administration. It has been reported that Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy – a Foreign Service Officer with decades of experience, and the senior official responsible for the security of State Department operations – offered his personal judgment during a briefing to Congressional staff on the day after the attack in Benghazi that it had the hallmarks of a sophisticated, well-coordinated terrorist act. We are eager to know what the intelligence community knew, and what initial judgments it reached, at that time.
  • Second, at what time did intelligence community agencies or elements first assess that the events in Benghazi were a terrorist attack? This is important because, as late as five days after the attack in Benghazi, senior policymakers were still characterizing it as the result of a spontaneous demonstration in response to a disgusting video insulting Islam. Furthermore, in a letter last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice maintained that she was relying on the best assessments of the intelligence community when she characterized the cause of the attack in Benghazi as a spontaneous protest, not an act of terrorism, during a television interview five days after the fact.
  • Finally, what information did you and the intelligence community provide to senior policymakers that led some of them to draw the conclusion as late as five days after the attack in Benghazi that it was the result of a spontaneous demonstration, not a terrorist act? Was there no credible evidence at that late date that was compelling enough for the intelligence community and the senior policymakers to draw a conclusion with at least moderate confidence that the attack in Benghazi was a terrorist act?

 

We look forward to your prompt reply to our questions and ask that they be submitted in unclassified form. It is important for the intelligence community to clarify the confusion that still surrounds the Administration's initial explanation of the attack in Benghazi. This matter raises many critical questions for Congress to consider further, and we appreciate your cooperation and assistance in this effort.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lindsey Graham

John McCain

Kelly Ayotte

Saxby Chambliss

 

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