WH: US Consulate assault was 'terrorist attack'
Former State Department official Liz Cheney weighs in
- Duration 9:25
- Date Sep 20, 2012
Former State Department official Liz Cheney weighs in
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Back and -- -- -- top stories today the White House issuing a significant statement in just the last hour on the embassy attack we -- in Libya was -- consulate attack.
Saying it is quote self evident that the attack on that consulate was an act of terrorism.
Ten days ago we were hearing that the attack involved what we were told was a spontaneous.
Despite video like this taken the night of the attack look at this is extraordinary it shows men carrying far -- Rocket propelled grenade with no sign of any protests going not and that's what our -- Catherine Herridge reporting and her intelligence sources that there wasn't protests.
Going on any significant degree prior to the attack that took the lives of four Americans.
-- now some Republicans are asking if the White House is playing politics.
With national security.
Liz Cheney is a former State Department official in hot ticket and -- That they came out and said it was spontaneous protests it -- was not pre planned it would it end.
And the -- president was saying it is an act of terror it was pre planned and they came out and said well he doesn't know as much as we know.
And now today they say.
It self evident that it's an act of terror you know which is -- well you know I think that the real question is when is this White House not played politics with our national security.
Out when you have a situation where there -- these are PG attacks where they were firing mortar rounds and the embassy.
We've heard that there was a four hour firefight going on.
It is it's preposterous to say that that was a spontaneous eruption of anger about this movie clearly it was a terrorist attack.
Look I think the White House really wants the American people to focus on the fact that President Obama ordered the operation -- lot.
And they like the spectacle on that and they'd like people that they go cable -- he killed them odd and so therefore the dangers over the threats over the war's over.
And what's happening across the Middle East today tells you al-Qaeda is strong -- -- surgeon.
These reports are that al-Qaeda affiliates have been involved in this attack can and that's -- that's knew that -- -- which raises the stakes event on the right end and it tells you that in fact.
The White House efforts to claim credit for some how ending the war on hair.
For putting all all of the attention and focus on killing bin Laden is not the full story and that the American people need to understand we're still at war -- -- now if the initial headline.
Let's just imagine the initial headline was al-Qaeda successfully launches a terror attack that kills our American ambassador and three others.
You you expect to hear from the president you know he sets the tone he helps Americans get through it he puts in perspective and says what we're gonna do.
In retaliation exactly OK so Bill -- had it bend the -- and who's the Press Secretary for the Obama campaign.
On America's Newsroom this morning and he asked him.
Whether we are gonna hear from our president now.
And I want to play for you how bendable responded.
Governor Romney -- weighed in before he had a full set of facts about a developing situation.
We're not going to do that.
The president is in somebody.
Who who shoots first and -- later.
Thought well look we have had an attack apparently by al-Qaeda that resulted in the death of -- diplomats.
And for the present -- United States you know first of all he went out into the rose garden and he condemned what happened in Libya.
Didn't mention the attack on our embassy in Egypt flew off to Las Vegas for -- fund -- Now not mentioning the attack on the embassy in Egypt immediately sent a signal across the region.
And you know -- -- showing the footage from Pakistan from Islamabad.
We've now got radicals across the region attacking US embassies and you know with a sense they can do with impunity US president doesn't even condemn it apparently when you attack an embassy burn our flag and hanging out -- -- -- -- does -- talk about the -- -- -- as you -- the trip -- -- and we talked -- -- -- quite -- -- contributors -- and Republicans -- -- -- said that that probably wasn't the smartest move.
By the president to you know literally the day we found out that these four diplomats have been murdered he was in Vegas testing for pundits in a fund -- help.
But he's also in the past few days has done fundraisers with beyoncé and Jay-Z and gone on Letterman.
And you know you look at the screen with these violent protests look at I mean is Pakistan with the gates.
To our embassy and did destruction of American flags and chanting death to America in so many spots across the globe.
And what you know.
What message does -- -- what should he be doing well look the president you know at best you can say he's a -- on this.
But in fact I think what you've seen that happen in the Middle East is is that results of the policies of the last three and a half years.
The response is a continuation of the policies the last three and a half years as a president if you listen to his own words.
He came into office he said no nation you -- any world order that elevates one nation -- others cannot survive.
He does not believe America should be ascendant in the world.
And we're seen what happens when you've got a weakened America we're seeing what happens frankly nobody in the Middle East these days really is saying to themselves -- what will the Americans and what we Americans do I hear time and time again.
From me and my friends and contacts in the Arab world you guys have major selves completely irrelevant.
And that is.
Hard to imagine much more dangerous situations in the United States of America being -- relevant at a time of this rising extremist violence I want to talk about whether this was a political move by the administration to try to say it was spontaneous as opposed to pre planned.
-- -- say was the result of protests as opposed to some terrorist group al-Qaeda or otherwise that was out to kill American diplomats.
Because that is extraordinary mean if you actually think if there's -- there's a conscious motivation to play politics with.
This kind of narrative with with terror in this country and we really got into a scary place I wanna challenge one that I'm gonna -- -- right after -- Things.
Which is that with me now so well why can't just be that the administration.
Was acting on its initial information which was they had this crazy video.
That -- that led in part at least to some of these protests and that was their best information as opposed to a conscious decision to mislead.
Well because you know -- -- with when you look at what Susan Rice said when she went out on Sunday.
It was just complete confidence this is because of the -- And even if you give them the benefit of the doubt.
At a minimum you have to be saying and Sunday week we cannot tell you at this point exactly what the causes what I don't think that's that's more actually more used to seeing with these administrations.
Both you know and your dad and George -- and -- -- -- more caution like.
It's -- it's an ongoing investigation.
You know what we think right now but it wasn't really hedged that way but I I think part of that is because there foreign policy national security record.
And they do not want the American people to dig too deeply into their record and so therefore it's more convenient for them frankly to be able to say this is a film -- because of the film you know.
It's not that al-Qaeda is resurgent and that we're still at war I mean think about this Megan.
We now know al-Qaeda is clearly operating al-Qaeda clearly intends to attack has attacked across North Africa we know -- -- in the Arabian Peninsula.
This president has no program in place to interrogating terrorists is no way if he captures a terrorist to get information there is no program.
So when you know that we're facing a war that's going to require.
At very heavy active intelligence component.
And we have no way to interrogated terrorist figure out about his network's what's in his computer what's in his pocket you know what does he know.
Yeah they clearly fallen down on the job here to what extent do we need to be concerned at all about this movie that's gonna come out.
The tail of the killing of Osama bin Laden by -- Kathryn Bigelow she did the Hurt Locker room we're told that the White House cooperated with her to -- an unprecedented extent.
So that she would have the details of the operation in fact some -- -- -- -- too -- -- -- -- I mean you CDs -- protests out there they're so upset in part.
About this Muslim film -- anti Muslim film now we're gonna go on the big screen with that with the film showing reenacting.
Did the assassination of their leader Osama bin Laden do we need to.
He concerned you know what concerned about that film is is where you started the segment today which is the politicization of our national security.
And -- you've got a situation where the White House cooperated apparently very aggressively with her and gave her information they probably shouldn't have.
In order to make president look good.
We -- the same thing happened with respect to the cyber war program in Iran one of our most highly classified programs that was apparently having some success and the fact.
According -- times senior members of the president's team who were in the rent those are the words -- times during the deliberations about that program.
Briefed the New York Times and again you end up with front page stories -- President Obama such -- to an amazing decisive national security leader.
Based on the leaked information they are doing tremendous damage to our national security.
Nobody's been held accountable -- its senior members of the president's national security team on a program that highly classified is a handful of people.
And I think the American people need to know is the president in the loop on -- did he know that there have been a leak that program that he authorized the leak and looking in that still on capital -- Cheney.
It was good to see -- -- you for being here thank --