Did Washington ignore security concerns before Libya attack?
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld weighs in
- Duration 6:58
- Date Oct 2, 2012
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld weighs in
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So what do these new documents really tell us our next guest is the author of known and unknown a memoir.
Donald Rumsfeld former secretary of defense under president George W.
Bush secretary -- thanks for being here.
Thank you else.
Let's talk about what Catherine Herridge just reported there are whistle blowers who have come forward to say that the Libyan security forces themselves were scared.
And wanted to quit in the weeks leading up to the September 11 attack and it -- goes inside the consulate had requested.
Added security but those requests somehow we're not fulfilled what do you make -- baldness.
Well I heard the same report you heard and as we know and in a US embassy or consulate overseas.
Theoretically the first responsibility.
Is for the local government.
Of this of the country to provide security for the consulate -- the embassy.
The second responsibility of course in the principal responsibility really is with the Department of State.
And what they.
Do normally is they gather intelligence and determined some level of threat that may or may not exist in -- given situation.
And then it's the responsibility of the Department of State to see that the embassy has appropriate.
That would meet that level of threat so what -- wrong here do you think well it sounds if -- it's too early to tell really I'm delighted that the congress is taking.
Look at it.
And that there are people who are whistle blowers who were talking about what they know and what might have happened.
And I think we just have to let the the investigation run but from what the report sounded like it sounded like there were people who.
And unwilling to respond promptly.
Two -- threat report and to concerns that we're being expressed by the people in Libya.
And if that's the case if that proves to be the case obviously.
The responsibility for that behavior and I will fall on them.
But secretary Rumsfeld now that we know that there were requests for more security people were expressing their concerns and their fear.
Does it make it all the more confusing and questionable.
Why this was first labeled as just a spontaneous reaction to an online video as opposed to a terrorist attack.
Well it certainly does -- in the idea of sending him the UN United Nations ambassador for the United States out.
To market and cattle and spin that story that has within a matter of hours demonstrated to be not accurate.
I think is inexcusable I can't imagine.
But but we -- all -- that's what happened.
And I think it's probably because people hoped that the the situation there was caused by something other.
Then the reaction of the people.
To the United States I mean we've seen it now in country after country where American flags are burned -- Pictures of the president or burned and and the al-Qaeda -- can black.
Banner goes up.
And and there are tax on our embassies and and there are various security.
Fences are breached.
If there is it is happening it isn't the Arab Spring it is something that's much broader it's it's across the Islamic world.
And it reflects a serious problem and I think that the president -- -- characterizing it if if I'm correct.
As bumps in the road I think is is.
Is inappropriate I also think the idea that he decided to go off to Las Vegas to a fund raiser.
When the news of this broke was surprising.
-- -- -- we want to follow up with you and I talked to a little bit longer you can stick around for just two minutes who wanna carry you over and talk to you on the other side of this break.
Fine thanks so much more eleven -- We're back now -- former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld he's the author of known and unknown.
A memoir we are of course talking about security concerns in Libya.
They were expressed -- head of the terror attack that killed four Americans.
On 9/11 mr.
secretary you mentioned president Obama's trip to Las Vegas on September 12.
Chief White House advisor David -- defended that decision this weekend.
And he said -- basically President Obama is the president 24/7 and he can multitask.
What what do you think of that if you -- secretary of defense today what would you be advising the president to do about this -- Gaza.
I think that the band got the situation is that part of a pattern that we're seeing in the not just the Arab world but the Islamic world and I it seems to me that the people in the White House including the president.
Have a responsibility.
To the country.
To focus on what is a apparently a very serious and broad deep problem.
It is not something that can be attributed to video no one's seen.
Everyone knew that that day it was September 11 and that date opposed particular dangers for Americans.
And it seems to me that -- president has a responsibility.
To focus now it's true a president takes a long advisors and communications.
But but it seems to me if you have group of people killed that the president has a responsibility.
Be on the scene in the White House focusing on it and anyone in Las Vegas -- the fund raiser would certainly have understood.
If -- president decided that his attention was required elsewhere.
Secretary Rumsfeld now that we know that it was a terrorist attack what should the US is response -- -- Well it it it's going to be a function of what intelligence we have.
And and and what kind of information the FBI is able to glean from the the site.
About a course now it's been days since the the attack.
And there's no question but that the information they're gonna gain from going to the site is going to be minimal given the number of days that a product.
But but it seems to me that that what it really requires is certainly getting better intelligence.
-- providing better security for our people.
But it also requires the president understanding the nature of the problem we face in the world.
And we faced a serious problem there are people who don't believe in the nation state there are people who are training people to go out and kill innocent men women and children.
And we have to recognize that that is the enemy be willing to talk about it and face it.
Former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld thanks so much for joining us for your expertise -- -- Thank you.