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3 AM Telephone Calls

Jake Tapper describes the President’s steely resolve to get to the bottom of the Benghazi fiasco. Americans are dead, murdered. And someone is responsible.

In an interview that aired today, President Obama said that “if we find out that there was a big breakdown and somebody didn’t do their job” regarding the attack on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, “then they’ll be held responsible.”

The president said that he took offense “to some suggestion that, you know, in any way we haven’t tried to make sure the American people knew as information was coming in what we believed happened.”

Was the intelligence community giving the president bad information? “Well, that’s what we’re going to find out from the investigation,” the president said.

In the meantime the administration has been succoring the bereaved. In another story the father of one of the SEALS who died in Benghazi described in “unflattering” terms the administration’s efforts to soothe this grief. Tapper recounts:

Charles Woods, the grieving father of one of the security officials killed in the terrorist attack on the U.S diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya – former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods – called into conservative media outlets this week, offering some unflattering descriptions of his interactions with the president and top officials of his administration.

At the memorial service at Joint Base Andrews for his son and the three other Americans killed, Woods said that the president approached him. “Shaking hands with him was like shaking hands with a dead fish,” he said. He recalled Vice President Biden saying to him “in an extremely loud and boisterous voice,” “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?” He questioned the sincerity of their sympathy, and that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Who was it who said that a familiarity with the game of pool was the sign of a misspent youth? But words cut both ways. The elder Woods has just said in an interview to “remember this Mr. President, my son and the others died heroes. And it’s better to die the death of a hero than it is to live the life of a coward.” Who he might be referring to is unknown.

The Benghazi incident continues to be a political hot potato. “Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said that last month’s attack in Libya had been politicized, and said officials and candidates should come together like they did after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” But the issue has now become an explicit election year talking point.

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