Full interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham
S.C. lawmaker on Benghazi investigation
- Duration 10:24
- Date Mar 15, 2013
S.C. lawmaker on Benghazi investigation
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This transcript is automatically generated
Senator thanks time thank you.
Why's it taken so long to find information out about this -- guys terrorist attack we've been on this for a long time you've you know I've talked about a lot.
Why is it like this administration doesn't want you know what happened and -- is so bad story they're trying to covered up in my opinion.
You know this this administration this under criminal investigation -- -- the details of the bin Laden right which was the very successful operation.
-- the underwear bomber plot in Yemen attacking the Iranian nuclear program with Israel through cyber.
If they do something good you can read about it on the front page of the New York Times that they have a national security debacle I think -- It's like pulling teeth that's why and the media seems to be on interested.
And detailing the failures of president Obama's foreign policy.
We're in -- has -- -- terrorist attack where interest in finding out what happened the survivors right.
We're starting to find out more information about them and you've met with some of these people have had contact with some of the survivors their story is chilling they feel afraid to tell it this important day.
Come forward to tell their story the best evidence of what happened in -- Is not a bunch of politicians in Washington trying to cover their political class.
-- to people live through that debacle.
And I'm doing everything I can't -- -- them before the congress and the American people an appropriate fashion.
So that we can learn firsthand what happened in Gaza USB wire are they not being forthcoming.
I think is exhibit a of a -- foreign policy do you think -- -- debacle before during and after.
Shows what happens when you lead from behind al-Qaeda is not on the run bin Laden may be dead -- al-Qaeda is alive and well all over the the region and being guys these examples of that are these survivors back on the job -- -- worried about their.
Their job their livelihood is that -- -- -- summer back.
Working for the government summer still injured.
The bottom line is they feel that they cannot come forth they've been told to be quiet.
And at the end of the day -- -- let this administration or any other administration get away with hiding from the American people and the congress.
People who were there in real time to tell the story again what Susan Rice told the American people five days after the attack has collapsed.
What the president told the American people for weeks after the attack makes no sense this was never as spontaneous -- -- house back hateful video.
It was always.
A pre planned terrorist attack.
That you could seen coming if -- been attuned to what was happening.
You know Secretary Clinton was not clear act as she claimed to be about these guys issued an even though the cables coming from investor statements about.
Protecting the consulate from an attack and that al-Qaeda flags were line -- -- guys.
What do they talent and you talk about that well I can tell you that the American people need to hear what happened that night.
They need to hear from the people who -- on the ground they're desperate situation.
They need to understand from the people who were there from -- how bad it was skating and how frustrated they weren't that nobody would listen to them and provide aid.
There were requested this is a story of -- administration.
-- and blind to the reality of what people living with every day in Libya.
It is important that they be able -- -- story without reprisal.
We get to the bottom of what happened and learn from a -- -- Ghazi is exhibit A but failed foreign policy -- was in bad.
Steve Stevens in Ben Ghazi if he had been sending of all of those.
Memos and cables that took place was essentially security unsustainable.
Why was he there because that's where the action was regarding.
The rising Islamic extremist.
We're trying to get their hands on weapons that are flowing friendly in Libya.
We were desperately trying to control the anti aircraft missiles the man pants.
That were all over -- -- and now all over the mideast Cris Stevens.
Got outside the wire -- consequences job.
Don't blame the soldier when he's.
Going outside the wire to do his job blamed the commander who creates a bad environment for the soldier.
Love the Libyan people and they love him and he knew that and -- -- was falling apart.
And he was doing his job in a very dangerous environment -- -- the president.
Not Chris statements to British closed their consulate in June when it was it when -- basket was.
Our consulate was attacked in April lynching there was violence all over -- Ghazi months before September the eleventh.
The British lifting Ghazi they chose wisely we chose poorly the person -- -- It's not clear statements -- the president announced it do you think we'll learn something from the people you've talked to and others.
That will illuminate this situation.
And they get they get to tell their story without fear.
We will understand that during that night.
They felt abandoned.
And they will tell us very clearly that the threats we're building for months and nobody would listen to them.
This -- -- that they tell their story.
Because without the people on the ground telling us what happened.
You're relying on politicians in Washington that the political motivation these people have no political motive.
They just need to -- you tell -- story without fear.
There was a big CIA operation there as we have reported on.
We actually don't know the extent of what was going on a lot of those people obviously will not talk because there right undercover.
-- How much does that factor into all of this language.
What congress has an oversight role if you have a CIA operative anyone know what happened that night -- do it in a classified setting.
Make a record so that we can learn from the mistakes and not repeat them there are a lot of people there who could testify publicly.
I'm not asking.
The administration to turn over witnesses to the congress.
Two to compromise intelligence.
I'm asking the administration turn over to the congress and the American people the witnesses to people who live through this so we can learn from our mistakes.
And quite frankly they're hiding from the American people and the congress the primary source of the truth and -- Ghazi the people who lived through it.
Last thing Secretary Clinton said why does it matter you know -- that hearing.
Others have said that this is a political.
Effort on your part to get.
Points before you re election.
That's what they say -- -- -- but nobody right nobody said that about me and Senator McCain or asking the Bush Administration.
To tell us the truth about Iraq it was and if you did -- we challenge the construct that everything was going fine in Iraq.
That we didn't need a surge of troops we challenged interrogation policies of the Bush Administration because it mattered to me.
To make sure that when we're war that the truth comes out and we make appropriate adjustments.
To Secretary Clinton madame secretary here's why it matters.
I want to know why the system got so broken that you.
Could not understand what was being said in Libya.
And that when our investor tales.
Your State Department on your watch we can't defend consulate from -- terrorist attack.
And -- by the way bingo I've been Gaza is full of al-Qaeda flags how could you not.
-- how did you not get that input.
When I understand from our military clearly -- seven and a half hours could you not help these poor people now want to understand.
How the Obama administration could have ever come up with a story this was anything other than a terrorist attack from the beginning.
It had nothing to do with the video.
So I think it matters a -- For for the American people don't understand it what was set after -- -- was false.
That during the attack we were not prepared when we should have been in before the attack our entire.
State department's deaf and blind to what was going on the ground these people deserve to have their story told.
And they're going to get a chance to tell their story we're not done a cover up.
They failed foreign policy episode and read in the New York Times all of the successes of the Obama administration you cannot have a country.
-- the commander in chief gets to celebrate his successes and hide his failures.
You think we'll get to the -- I think the American people deserve it and I have been.
Pretty forceful in the senate about standing up.
If we do not have the survivors come forward in an appropriate way.
How will continue to make life difficult in the senate and I am begging my house colleagues.
If they went out voluntarily.
Released the names of these survivors to the congress for appropriate inner peace to get to the -- -- happening -- that you subpoenaed him.
House Republicans Jason -- it's Frank Wolf have done a great job but to our leadership in the house.
You're gonna have to up -- game around and guys.
What do you think the end is here I mean what is the and of this if you have people testified people find out things what do you think the end so well I think if we knew the truth about -- -- some people will be far nobody's been -- and quite frankly as to Secretary Clinton.
She's going to be able to talk about her success as a secretary of state -- she had some no doubt about it.
But she's going to have to account for her failures.
And it really does matter to make sure that the record is clear about what happened on her watch him what happened on president Obama's watch.
So that in game for me -- -- -- truth and if we do get to the truth and no one gets fired.
It will be unbelievably.
To allow people to keep their jobs who -- the people in the -- down so badly and mr.
You cannot tell the American people you've had a clear act -- -- that the threats and -- given what I'm.
And what I know comes from the people who were there and it's time for the people who were there to tell the American people what happened.