Lawmaker: President keeps ‘blaming America for having freedom of speech’
Lawmakers have just scratched the surface in their investigation of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but Congress has made progress on getting to the bottom of the biggest mysteries: Why the State Department denied requests for more security at the consulate and what information the White House initially received from intelligence sources.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is chairman of its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. He said the Democrats have an explanation for the lack of security that simply doesn’t hold water.
The Democrats’ contention is that Republican budget cuts in security spending are responsible for the consulate being vulnerable to attack. Rohrabacher said the State Department official responsible for turning down the request for more security in Benghazi told his committee that theory was wrong.
“I personally asked her, ‘Was budget consideration any part of your decision not to have a higher level of security?’” said Rohrabacher. “And she answered, ‘No, there was no consideration of budget.’ So the Democrats trying to politicize this and get away with it doesn’t work.”
Rep. Rohrabacher said the official believed local militias could adequately enhance consulate security, a conclusion that was obviously wrong. But the congressman sees another troubling reason as to why the administration rejected calls for security upgrade.
“The administration has been trying to downplay the threat of radical Islam for the last few years. The president can’t even get those words out of his mouth, ‘radical Islamic terrorists,’” said Rohrabacher. “They’ve been excusing every one of these actions as something else other than radical Islamic terrorism. You have a mindset in the administration of minimizing the danger, and perhaps that had something to do with her decision as to having a lower level of security than was necessary.”
As for the administration’s explanation of the attack to the American people, Rohrabacher said United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice blatantly misled the American people by claiming several days after the attack that an Internet video was responsible for inciting the attacks.
“You got the ambassador to the United Nations out there saying something that is factually not true six days after it was clear to the CIA … that it was a terrorist group and not a movie rage that resulted in the deaths of our diplomatic personnel,” said Rohrabacher.
While Rohrabacher finds Rice’s conduct unacceptable, he aims far more blame at President Obama.