Intel failure or were warnings ignored in Libya?
Former White House chief of staff Andy Card weighs in
- Duration 8:34
- Date Oct 16, 2012
Former White House chief of staff Andy Card weighs in
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Fox News alert I'm back now to our top story secretary of state Hillary Clinton may have taken the blame yesterday for security lapses in -- Ghazi.
But key lawmakers are now asking more questions about the security situation in Libya including what President Obama knew and when he knew it.
Republican senator Lindsey Graham sending a short but poignant letter to the White House asking President Obama how he could possibly have been unaware if he was.
Of the security worries ahead of the 9/11 terror attack in Ben -- Senator Graham pointing to a particular incident in June of this year when terrorists blew a massive hole in the security wall surrounding the Ben -- consulate.
Asking shouldn't something that significant have been in the president's daily intelligence briefing.
I had a chance to speak with former White House chief of staff Andy card a short while ago.
About his experience in the bush White House and how it really works -- situations like this come up.
-- great to have you back here.
So now we have a secretary of state Hillary Clinton saying that the buck stops with her and senator Graham asking questions about.
Where it really should stop and whether president what President Obama was aware of the problems at this -- and if -- Why wouldn't beat typical in your experience.
For something this significant at there was that an attack on the consulate in April and then again in June they were requesting more security it was being denied would -- be typical for that to rise up to the president.
In a daily Intel -- -- Experience suggested it would have been known at the White House who would have been known in the White House situation room probably would have been known by the national security advisor.
The deputy national security advisor the Homeland Security advisor.
The chief of staff and I suspect the president so yes I think that information would have gotten to the White House and probably -- gotten to the president.
But not -- that I think as you came up to the anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 2001.
And -- September 11 of this year.
This should have been -- heightened concern about intelligence all around the world specifically in the Arab world.
Given that the Arab Spring had not produce flowers -- was.
Producing a lot of weeds and I suspect that they should have been on highest to work around any intelligence that would have suggested an attack.
On the anniversary of that day.
At the vice presidential debate we heard Vice President Biden say we were never told that they were demanding more security now there is a question about whether.
He was speaking about the entire administration and just was unaware that the State Department officials had testified in great -- About 36 hours earlier that they had requested more security and that request was denied by state.
Or whether he did at the administration now claims mean -- Need to be -- it did distinction between the president vice president vs the rest of the administration in your view was a former chief of staff -- the White House.
Does it matter.
It I don't think it matters very much I suspect that the White House who.
I -- I suspect to very strongly that the national security advisor new in the Homeland Security advisor and probably the cheapest out.
No they didn't inform the president shame on them I suspect that the president in probably the vice president didn't know about the nature of the threats that exist at around nine elevenths.
And probably would have been -- the -- what had happened.
On 9/11 when we know what those attacks that happened in -- Gaza in quite frankly do with the other activities around other embassies and consulates throughout the region.
Now we're getting a greater picture of the of what actually went on here Andy I mean we of course went into -- it was the President Obama decision.
Not approved by congress and they're all sorts of warnings about that the risks of doing that who exactly where we help being.
Were we creating a power vacuum into which al-Qaeda affiliated groups could step.
And now we find out that there were concerns -- -- officials on the ground of exactly that the months leading up to this attack.
That even the ambassador himself had concerns about the rising threat about kite and whether he was an an al-Qaeda hit list.
That in March.
And June according to Eric Nordstrom the former chief security officer for our diplomats in Libya.
They requested more security and they got no response from this administration.
That we had two prior attacks -- the -- -- consulate both in April.
A month after the first request for security was ignored.
And then in June -- the pictures show the consulate with a huge hole being blown through the wall around it and so it was clear that they were not safe.
In the wake of all that we get attacked the ambassador -- murdered three others get murdered -- and then as you know five days later ambassador rice.
Our UN ambassador goes on all the Sunday talk shows.
And says this was all about a protest that we now know never took place in the question now.
In the wake of all of this with state -- -- department saying we never believed it was about a protest that didn't come from us.
Is who told Susan Rice.
To go on the Sunday talk shows and say that in your experience.
Who -- given such marching orders to the UN ambassador.
And quite frankly wasn't just for George W.
Bush it was for George H.
Bush and also for president Ronald Reagan.
Any time anyone from the administration went on the Sunday talk shows.
That good communication was coordinated by the White House communications office in the press secretary's office.
And I suspect that they would have had very clear talking points and guidance in May be even have rehearsed some of the Q&A that -- have taken place.
And with regard to any of those activities so I don't find it credible that Susan Rice oh.
Wasn't -- briefed by the White House before she went on those talk shows.
And if in fact that they knew something other than that what they were -- -- to do.
That is just not appropriate and quite frankly.
It's misrepresenting something to the American people should not -- been misrepresented.
So that in your perspective as somebody who was actually the chief of staff in the White House I want to add to that.
The perspective of our former UN ambassador prior to Susan Rice John Bolton listen to what he told me.
There's a little secret ambassadors carry out their instructions and when they don't they get fired so if somebody said to her you're going to the talk shows and this is what you're gonna say I'm sure she did it and I would have done the same.
But that begs the question about where the day if that was the White House telling her to do it -- Where they got the information from state is saying they knew was terror they'd they'd ever believed it was about a protest.
The Intel community has come out in with respect to various organizations and said they knew within 24 hours that this is a terror attack.
There is some conflicting information about the head of the CIA General David Petraeus and whether he gave in a briefing to congress that suggested it was about protests.
So -- how we get to the bottom of this.
Calling for for the administration has to answer some questions and they've been reluctant to answer the questions and I noticed that even Senator John Kerry asked certain questions and my understanding is that the administration said the you'll get the answer to those questions sometime after the election more like November 13.
Rather than information that would help to inform voters before they cast their ballot on Election Day.
But beyond that I just find it incredible that the White House was not coordinating the message that ambassador rice went forward with when she was on those.
Television talk shows and I suspect that also testimony that is given before congress this frequently reviewed the White House before it's delivered so.
The White House and should have known what was going to be said -- what was suggested to Venus said an -- compared that to the reality of what they knew.
And if they didn't know about what was happening in than Ghazi or in other places in the Arab world around the anniversary of 9/11.
Than the national security advisor of the Homeland Security advisor wasn't doing their job to make sure that the White House -- but I suspect the White House situation room.
We were both those attacks and then.
In April of 2012 and then June 6 in two -- 1012.
And they should have done a good job of anticipating kinds of challenges around the anniversary of 9/11.
2012 so I think that clearly some people to -- didn't wanna see the reality what was happening in the world.
We expected to be one of the topics that is likely to come up tonight -- Thank you --