Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that
the U.S. intelligence community in Libya
informed the administration in Washington, D.C.,
within 24 hours of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack
on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya
that the attack had been a terrorist strike
whose perpetrators included
militia associated with al Qaeda.
"The intelligence community on the ground in Libya has told Senator Corker and myself that within 24 hours, they communicated up to Washington that this was a terrorist attack," said Graham.
"The president of Libya on the same date said it was a terrorist attack. The video of the compound shows that there was nobody at the Benghazi consulate. There was never a group to riot. And the evidence is overwhelming, and the idea that it was spawned by a video and a riot would hold the administration blameless. They said it was a copycat of Cairo. It wasn`t a copycat, it was a sustained attack that lasted for six or eight hours using heavy weapons, which undercut the idea that al Qaeda has been dismantled and on the run...."
On Sept. 16, five days after the attack in Benghazi and four days after Graham says the intelligence community informed Washington that the attack had been a terrorist attack, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice appeared on "Face the Nation" and assured the country that the administration had no information to suggest the attack had been preplanned.
"We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned," Amb. Rice said.
Sen. Graham said that it was not just Amb. Rice, who--even after the intelligence community had informed the administration Benghazi was a terrorist attack--continued to suggest to the nation it had been a spontaneous protest to a video tape posted on YouTube.
"Well, it`s not just Susan Rice, the president of the United States said it was the result of a video on David Letterman two days later," said Graham.
Obama: Consulate attack not an act of war
September 18, 2012 10:44 PM
During an interview on the "Late Show with David Letterman," President Obama says that the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was not an act of war. The president goes on to say that though the anti-Muslim film that sparked outrage across the Muslim world was "extremely offensive," it's not an excuse for violence.