A New York Republican said there’s “no question” that Americans traveling to Sochi for the Olympics will be under threat, and not owning up to what happened in Benghazi only increases the risk.
“What we have right now is — is much bigger than a United States problem, as evidenced by the latest bombing in Russia. This is a global problem. And to defeat terrorism, we’re going to have to have cooperation and coordination throughout the world,” Rep. Michael Grimm said on CNN.
“But if we do not — if we are not honest with the American people and we don’t — and we put out information that is not accurate, then how are these other countries going to be able to rely on us and depend on us and cooperate with us?… It really goes to the heart of how do you combat a global problem like terrorism if we can’t honestly and sincerely discuss the issues of our own breaches in security, such as Benghazi.”
Grimm said “there’s no question the are vulnerabilities there” when Americans go to Sochi in a post-Benghazi environment.
“If someone is willing to give their life, like a suicide bomber, it is extremely difficult to protect from that outside a certain perimeter. Within a certain perimeter, you can protect. You can have layers. Security works like an onion and you peel different layers to get to the point that is most protected on the inside. But when someone is willing to kill themselves, like a suicide bomber, it is very difficult to prevent it. And in some instances, it’s impossible to prevent. We have to take it very seriously,” he said.
“But again, how are we going to help Russia? We should be — we need to cooperate with them. We have to increase their security, mostly because of what the Olympics represent. The Olympics represent really nations putting aside differences and coming together a peaceful competition, which is something we should promote. But again, I think for Russia to be able to rely on us and to work with us, there has to be an underlying understanding that we come to the table openly and honestly about security.”
Grimm said we shouldn’t keep our athletes from going, though.
“We can’t allow that to happen. We can’t live in a state of terror or panic,” he said. “But you do have to take the appropriate precautions. And I think us offering to help Russia with that is a good sign. And that’s also the reason why you have to have diplomatic relations with countries like Russia. We — they’re plagued by terrorism, as we are, and we have to work together if we’re going to be successful in combating it.”