Rep. Ed Royce wants answers on Benghazi
Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sounds off
- Duration 6:20
- Date Nov 15, 2012
Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sounds off
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Well just minutes until congressional leaders arrive at the Libya hearings on Capitol Hill those hearings today on what went wrong.
In the Ben Ghazi terror attack on 9/11 four Americans including US ambassador Chris Stevens were murdered.
California congressman Ed -- sits on the house foreign affairs committee he chairs the house terrorism subcommittee and I know you're gonna be -- -- in there and just a moment so.
Thanks for for taking a few minutes -- boss the president offered almost no information yesterday in the news conference on being Ghazi.
He refused to say.
If he issued an immediate order to help those under attack.
Are you disappointed that the president hasn't been more forthcoming.
I think we're disappointed in several things one we had 1816.
Security personnel that were pulled out there were pulled out of the theater.
Before the attack that was very fortunate.
Second he's quick reaction force did not arrive in time to save.
Are Americans and every indication is that that was -- delayed response.
The third point of course is that to try to spin this after the attack and attack that occurred on 9/11.
To try to argue that this was a protest.
Against a video that spun out of control.
When we already had the evidence and indeed an al-Qaeda affiliate was claiming credit for the attack on the very day of the attack.
That just that seemed bizarre well so yes we have many many questions do you think the president of the White House is -- Well I think the question is why did it take eight days.
-- spinning the story.
That it was -- -- what is -- any answers.
Well I think the answer is that the British.
The United Nations.
The Red Cross all had ample evidence that they had come under attack and so did our counselors are counselor had been under attack.
All reach the conclusion conclusion that it was time to bring security and and the administration did not do that the administration did not put the security that have been request -- In place congressman yesterday and I'll quote the president.
This is about the only thing he did say of substance.
My orders were to do whatever we need to do to make sure they're safe.
Congressman no help ever arrived.
Does that mean that the president's orders.
Were either ignored or refused.
Well we we need to get the answer to exactly that question.
Because -- in the first place the contingency plans that should have been in place the cancellation.
Of the security team that was supposed to be there to defend.
-- -- in an attack like this the lack of response by the quick reaction team and a timely fashion.
The fact that you had a six hour firefight.
With out without.
Forces coming to the -- of Americans there and lastly we now lost that asset.
We've lost that CIA unit that was there on the ground monitoring.
And trying to tell us.
About weapons systems that were moving through that area and al-Qaeda in that area congress all of that isn't lost.
Reportedly there were a couple of drones there one in particular that was providing.
Real time coverage of exactly.
What was happening all the way arguably to the White House in the situation room.
If it's true.
That the president was there.
May have been watching and yet delegated the task to the Pentagon.
Do you consider that to be inappropriate for -- commander in chief when American citizens.
Are under fire.
Well I do think it's inappropriate and I also think that the administration had in mind -- certain scenario that they were pushing.
As we saw on five separate appearances.
By our you win ambassador over the weekend.
Where the thesis was that this was a that was after all the protests that it spun out of control.
I I think that they had body into a story -- that didn't match the reality on the ground.
And it was very hard for him as a consequence.
To the fact that it was an al-Qaeda attacks.
But the -- on 9/11 it should have been obvious to them and it was certainly obvious to other consulates in the area.
That that al-Qaeda was operating and indeed training not far from the deep in Gaza its facility congressman what is the one thing you hope to learn today.
Well what I would like to know is.
When the request was made for help.
Who in the chain of command denied that help to -- pastor and to our team there on the ground do you have suspicions.
I do not know the answer to this I want to find the -- there's a mountain of evidence that contradicts the story.
That was put out by the White House for up to two weeks that this was all just to YouTube video.
And not a terrorist attack.
What do you make of that.
I think this is the problem when you have these ceases.
It has to.
There's resentment against the United States around the world and you you advance that this is the explanation.
When in point of fact.
What we really had on the ground.
Was al-Qaeda preparing for in -- 9/11 attack in the unfortunate thing about this.
Is that al-Qaeda -- these targets over and over we saw that on 9/11.
And so we need to learn from this particular attack.
Our inability to be prepared and have a contingency plan to save these Americans.
We don't want -- replicated again.
So it the next time this occurs we have to have the right frame of mind going in.
And we have to give these security forces.
The go ahead to come to the aid of Americans under attack.
Congressman Ed Royce we will let you up -- -- behind Jew into the hearing.
Room and thank you so much for taking a few moments -- think you should be fast.