Graham: Call from Obama Would Have Helped Rescue Team Stuck at Benghazi Airport
February 15, 2013 - 8:35 am
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said a phone call from President Obama to the Libyan government on the night of the Benghazi attack could have made a difference between life and death.
But as has been finally confirmed to the senator by the White House, no such call was placed.
“I’ve destroyed a small forest trying to get the president to account for his leadership and the knowledge about Benghazi. And I’ve got one question answered. I probably sent 30,” Graham said on Fox.
“I asked him, did you ever pick up the phone to call a Libyan official on September 11th during the attack? And he said after a two-page letter from his lawyer, no. The president only called Libyan government officials the next day, the night of 12th September after they were dead,” he continued. “The point is that the rescue team was held up in the Benghazi Airport for 3-1/2 hours trying to get to the annex to help these people. And I’ve always believed if the president picked up the phone, there is no voice in the world like that of the president of the United States that could have made a difference. He never called anybody in Libya.”
Graham mentioned the brief phone conversation that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee they had with the president shortly into the attack — with no follow-up — and the lack of conversations with other key members of his staff as the attack raged on.
“He didn’t talk to Brennan. He didn’t talk to Jack Lew. He didn’t talk to Dempsey and Panetta during the evening. He never called and said how are we doing? How close are we to getting aid there?” Graham said.
“Did it matter to go back and investigate the Bush administration’s interrogation techniques? I think it did, and I joined them. Did it matter to question our policy in Iraq after it was failing? The point to me is you got four dead Americans. You got a commander in chief who is absolutely disengaged. You got the secretary of state never talking to the secretary of defense. You’ve got ample evidence of a national security nightmare in the making.”
And the interviews with the survivors conducted by the FBI in Germany two days after the attack still haven’t been made available to Congress.
“I think they manipulated the intelligence and evidence close to an election to create the narrative that Bin Laden was dead, al Qaeda is dismantled, we’re all safe,” Grahams said. “…The best evidence of what happened that night were the survivors. They will not give the United States Congress the FBI interviews of the survivors.”