Republican Senators Respond to Hillary Clinton Accepting Blame for Benghazi

October 16, 2012 at 9:00 am (Benghazi, Buck Stops, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, President Obama, Security, State Department, Terrorism)

Late last night we received word that Hillary Clinton – not President Obama – was accepting full responsibility for the security lapses that led to the successful assassination of four Americans in Benghazi.

Falling on the sword for the administration during a tough re-election bid, Clinton today told a CNN reporter “I take responsibility” for security ahead of the attacks. 

Notice consistent use of the phrase ‘the buck stops with her’.

This is clearly an attempt to deflect criticism being aimed at the White House ahead of the second Presidential debate scheduled for tomorrow night. 

Now, U.S. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte have responded to the ‘laudable gesture’, pointing out the unlikelihood that the President was unaware of the rising security risks in Libya.

“We have just learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed full responsibility for any failure to secure our people and our Consulate in Benghazi prior to the attack of September 11, 2012. This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever. 

“However, we must remember that the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there. 

“Furthermore, there is the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.”

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GOP Senators Rip Obama’s ‘Failure of Leadership’

September 26, 2012 at 9:00 am (2012 Election, Al Qaeda, Bumps in the Road, Egypt, Embassies, Failure of Leadership, GOP, Israel, John McCain, Kandahar, Kelly Ayotte, Libya, Lindsey Graham, Middle East, President Obama, United Nations)

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today released the following joint statement on President Obama’s recent comments about “bumps in the road” in the Middle East on his watch:

“President Obama recently said the broader Middle East has been experiencing some ‘bumps in the road.’ If the President had taken some time to hold even one meeting with his foreign colleagues during his visit to the U.N. General Assembly in New York today, perhaps they would have told him what has really happened in the Middle East on his watch.

“It is not a ‘bump in the road’ when American embassies, and those of our friends and allies, are attacked by hateful mobs who also murder their fellow citizens, allegedly because of a disgusting and bigoted video. That is the result of extremists who would seize on any opportunity to further their ideological agenda – extremists who have been gaining ground over the past two years.

“It is not a ‘bump in the road’ when Al-Qaeda fighters and their terrorist allies have been gaining ground in Libya, a country the United States helped to liberate but has not sufficiently supported in its ongoing struggle against lawlessness and violent extremism.

“It is not a ‘bump in the road’ when the relationship between the United States and Israel has never been worse at a time when the threat from Iran has never been greater and when events in the Middle East have never been more tumultuous or uncertain.

“It is not a ‘bump in the road’ when Israel and our Gulf partners have never had less confidence in the willingness of the American President to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

“It is not a ‘bump in the road’ when more than 25,000 men, women, and children have been slaughtered by the Assad regime in Syria – a conflict that is destabilizing the region, putting weapons of mass destruction at risk, creating a new safe haven for Al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies, and growing more dangerous by the day for the United States and our allies. That is the result of the President’s complete lack of leadership and unwillingness to take the necessary actions together with our friends and allies that could end the violence and create the conditions for a negotiated transition to a more peaceful, democratic future in Syria.

“It is not a ‘bump in the road’ when a small group of insurgents are able to destroy nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in U.S. fighter aircraft in a single attack in Kandahar – or when the ‘insider attacks’ against our forces and those of our allies have risen to such an extent that our commander has suspended training and joint operations with Afghan units, which is the core of our strategy to succeed. That is the result this Administration’s consistent efforts to cut corners in the war in Afghanistan – giving our commanders fewer troops than they recommended and withdrawing them in larger numbers and at a faster pace than our commanders advised, which is resulted in the very additional risks to our mission that our military leaders warned.

“It is not a ‘bump in the road’ when violence in Iraq is rising, the Iraqi political system is growing more authoritarian, Iranian meddling and influence is growing, and the Maliki government is allowing Iran to fly planeloads of weapons and fighters into Syria through Iraqi airspace. That is the result of a U.S. President who has squandered the gains of the surge in order to fulfill his campaign promise of withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq, even at the expense of our national security interests.

“None of these events are ‘bumps in the road.’ They are failures of American leadership. And they call for the United States to begin leading more actively, rather than trying to lead from behind.”

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