The Conversation

Lindsey Graham Vows to Block Brennan And Hagel Unless WH Provides More Info On Benghazi

Appearing on CBS's Face the Nation, this morning, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Bob Schieffer that unless he gets full disclosure from the White House about what directives the President ordered on the night of the attack in Benghazi, he will block the nominations of both John Brennan and Chuck Hagel.

Graham used the example of John Bolton's contentious nomination hearing in 2005 to justify his actions. Democrats had refused to confirm Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations because of their "grave concerns" about Bolton's "diplomatic temperament", and had demanded that the Bush administration
provide documents they said were needed to assess Bolton's fitness for the job.

Joe Biden had said "no confirmation without information."

Finally Republican Senators are showing some spine. Graham vowed not to confirm the nominees until they got more information.

I've pushed back against the Bush administration when they said Iraq was just a few dead enders. We know nothing about what the president did on the night of September 11 during a time of national crisis, and the American people need to know what their commander in chief did, if anything, during this eight-hour attack.

Schieffer asked Graham what he would do about it if they don'y give him an answer, and Graham suggested that Republicans could block the confirmations of Brennan to the CIA directorship, and Hagel to Sec. of Defense until the White House gives them an accounting.

Senator Graham asked, "did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do?" 

Transcript via Newsbusters:

SCHIEFFER: But let me -- I'm not sure I understand. What do you plan to do if they don't give you an answer? Are you going to put a hold on these two nominations?

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm going to ask my colleagues, just like they did with John Bolton. Joe Biden said no confirmation without information. No confirmation without information. You know, when Secretary Clinton said she had a clear-eyed assessment of the threats in Libya, that proved, after this hearing, not to be true. The Department of Defense knew about the cable coming from our Libyan ambassador saying he couldn't defend the consulate. This was on August 15th. They knew about the deteriorating security situation. But the secretary of state didn't know any of this. So she was blind. The president was disengaged. And the Department of Defense never launched one airplane to help these folks for seven and a half hours.

 This is a complete system failure. And I'm going to get to the bottom of it. I don't think it's unfair to ask these questions. Quite frankly, how could they say, after Panetta and Dempsey said they knew it was a terrorist attack that night, how could the president say for two weeks after the attack it was the result of a video? How could Susan Rice come on to your show and say there's no evidence of a terrorist attack when our secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs said they knew that night? I think that was a misleading narrative three weeks before our election.

There are all kinds of reasons to block these two, but holding out for more information from the White House on Benghazi is as good a reason as any.

Who doesn't want to know  more about what Obama did on the night of 9/11/2012?


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