How will emerging Libya scandal impact election?
All-Star panel weighs in
- Duration 7:16
- Date Oct 10, 2012
All-Star panel weighs in
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So let's bring the man Steve Hayes senior writer for the weekly standard Mara Liasson national political correspondent of national public radio and syndicated columnist Charles -- Okay Steve this Libya situation.
Today's hearing and what you just watched in contact I mean I I think the timeline that you just played is it is absolutely jaw dropping him and there are so many times at which the administration.
Makes claims that are inconsistent with one another and inconsistent with what virtually everybody understood was that -- ground truth behind.
The attacks and we saw examples of this throughout.
The hearing today there was one particular interrogation by congressman James Lankford Oklahoma -- talking to a senior State Department official Charlene -- Who's in charge of security there and he asked her in detail about where she was that evening the night of the attack September 11.
Who she was talking to what she was doing -- she will be answered him in some detail set I was here in the United States I was in contact with people on the ground.
As all of the attacks were unfolding I've talked to them all night I talked to them the next day.
Getting details about what precisely had happened and went -- I -- very very skillfully then turned her and said.
How was it that you were in contact with these people on the ground has this was all happening.
And five days later Susan Rice was outselling the country a totally different story.
And what makes this even more incredible -- she the president of the United States on David Letterman.
Selling the story that at least some people understood immediately.
Was untrue immediately we almost went intercepts that very night and discussions between al-Qaeda in the Islamic -- Maghreb terrorists from that organization.
And local jihadist that told us this was a terrorist attack.
-- suggested that this was premeditated.
And yet for weeks the administration went out and sold a totally different story and -- to hear Jay Carney today kind of try to.
Read package this today was was.
Kind of interest to say that this is what we thought at the time and information has evolved the and I think the most.
Kind of mystifying part of this is that Susan Rice was so definitive -- and was so kind of out over the tips of her skis as they say.
On the Sunday talk shows why not say then we're doing an investigation to find out what happened.
Instead of saying definitively this was a spontaneous -- that in some cases got hijacked I mean that's cause more trouble for them than the attack itself.
I believe which is often the case and yet how often the case Charles to Steve's point.
This shocking thing was the State Department last night on this conference call we weren't invited to it they say it was an oversight.
We pointed that out last night.
They say everything is calm the ambassador walks the Turkey Turkish diplomat essentially out to the road there's nobody there.
They don't see anybody on the video the security people are saying it's been like that all day nobody is around nothing unusual.
All day long.
As Steve points out this official says they talk all the way through the attack they talk after the attack.
Six hours long this attack took.
And they have all of this information.
And -- five days later Susan Rice goes out on five TV shows and doesn't have that information.
Yet these people do.
It's it's such a disk and.
It's beyond -- disconnect there is utterly again.
There are two scandals going on in the first his recovery.
When we now know we need -- and they knew early.
There was no -- there was no demonstration.
There is no incentive about the video that was old.
Completely false story.
This is simply an attack of armed men who infiltrated.
And -- people.
So everything Susan Rice says it was a confection.
Who -- an invention.
And it was it because you showed it was repeated again -- if you -- Hillary Clinton speaking about the video as though the body of the -- was lying.
Next and -- had Susan Rice giving them details you have the president of the United States addressing the general assembly more than two weeks later.
Talking about the video -- the insult to Islam -- -- You have this entire story on all along they're trying to sell the video they're trying to sell extremism.
And they're trying to sell all of us at the time when I know it isn't true so that's number one.
And that's a scanner and I think guys to do with the fact that they were spiking the football over.
That they death of bin Laden and al-Qaeda -- earlier in Charlotte and this was a contradiction of the second scandal is a lack of security at the site before so what happened before.
And I think that what happened was the administration wasn't lack of money that they would group would true all the support.
And they didn't put up the required barbed -- -- -- -- -- all that he was under the theory which starts with Obama at the beginning.
We don't want to be intruders in the we -- one of the oppositional.
Me wanna have a fortress America we want no we don't want to look imperialists.
We want to blend in with the people -- an album bill.
That's a noble aspiration.
And that was the motive for having very -- security.
But he was -- catastrophically.
To do it in Ben -- in -- no man's land in Dodge City and it cost us the lives of the ambassador and three other American.
We want to play some of -- exchanges from that hearing that we took a lot of time obviously -- that timeline will do it on the online shows a stick around for that.
Morrow when -- put up some of the polls from the new fox -- first of all the question.
-- Obama's handling of Libya among voters here approve disapprove you -- September to now disapprove 46%.
That has changed a bit the Obama administration initially giving false information on on the attack.
It is troubling 67%.
Not much of -- concern 26%.
And the reason.
For the information.
On this this.
From the beginning to help Obama's campaign 37% when you look at these polls you look at this issue where do you think this falls in the campaign.
Well I think this is an opportunity for Mitt Romney he in essence gets a do over when he first -- into this controversy he focused exclusively on a press release at the embassy in Cairo had -- and didn't decide to make.
A kind of I.
Critique of the president's bungling of the Arab Spring that's a decision he made that this gives us the White House also -- that yes that's true but he still didn't didn't take the opportunity that I think was before him -- This now he gets a job.
Yes that's -- and now this gives him a new opportunity and he can certainly do it in Florida at the foreign policy debate to say.
That this all of the things that we just heard that this was bungled it wasn't -- security you couldn't say -- say straight what it was.
And we already know that the president's numbers on foreign policy -- dropping even though this has been a strength for him throughout the campaign we know it's not a top issue for voters this is an economic.
Policy election but.
This comes at a really crucial moment Mitt Romney has kind of forced the door open with his good debate performance in Denver now is to get a shoulder in the door and keep on pushing through it.
And this is this is one of the opportunities.
And foreign policy is an important issue just for baseline credibility is commander in chief so I think I think this isn't a big opportunity forum.