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by
Bridget Johnson

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February 8, 2013 - 8:24 am

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Sean Hannity on Fox last night that, if he had a loved one killed in Benghazi, he’d be sick to his stomach at yesterday’s testimony of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The president of the United States talking to the secretary of defense for 15 minutes, never talked to the secretary of state until after the attack was over, never made a phone call saying how close are we to help these people?” Graham said.

“Where is Chris Stevens? What did he do when he was told the ambassador was missing? We’ve had one ambassador killed in the last 30 years?” he continued. “The president of the United States has to account for his leadership here and I intend to hold him accountable. Thus far the White House has delayed, denied, deceived and stonewalled and this has to come to an end. He has to account for his leadership.”

Panetta told the committee that he and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, talked to Obama for about half an hour at about 5 p.m., when the Sept. 11 attack was about an hour old. Stevens went missing a half hour later.

“The secretary of State never once talked to the secretary of Defense. The president of the United States never made one phone call to find out how this operation was going,” Graham said.

“Well, Mr. President, what did you do for eight hours? Who did you talk to? What kind of leadership did you exhibit? They made two movies about the Bin Laden raid and you deserve credit for that, but you’ve had no accounting for the Benghazi attack and you’re going to have an accounting. I’m not going to stop until the American people know what their commander-in-chief did for eight hours and thus far, all we know is he had a 15 minute conversation.”

Graham added that the testimony confirmed yet again that UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s “statements on the 15th of September, five days after the attack were a bunch of BS.”

And though not a member of the Intelligence Committee, the senator had a few thoughts on the John Brennan confirmation hearing yesterday, too.

“I think [Obama] should have enhanced interrogation techniques that are classified and I think we should kill all the terrorists or capture the terrorists we can find. I’m okay with the drones, but he won’t use Gitmo, we’ve captured one person, Sean, in four years and hard to interrogate a dead man,” Graham said.

“So this president has closed Gitmo and we’re a nation without a jail and this is going to come back to haunt us and more Benghazis coming, this commander of chief is disengaged, doesn’t understand the reality and let Syria become a contagion for the region and the Middle East is blowing up and we don’t have a place to put a terrorist if we capture him and it’s going to bite us in the butt.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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