Sen. Chambliss: I Quickly Knew Benghazi Raid Was Terrorism

Image: Sen. Chambliss: I Quickly Knew Benghazi Raid Was Terrorism

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 09:15 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Saxby Chambliss says he knew within hours after the Benghazi attack that it was terrorism and within 24 hours that a suspected al-Qaida leader was involved.

"As for what the White House knew, surely they knew more than I did, quicker than I did," Chambliss, R-Ga., said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

Chambliss, who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was privy to information on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in that Libyan city that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

A report released by Chambliss' committee on Wednesday said the attack was preventable and blamed the State Department for not taking better security measures.

The Obama administration publicly blamed the attack on a spontaneous action by demonstrators against an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States. 

President Barack Obama would have been better served to say the intelligence community declared it a terrorist attack and the United States was going to respond in a very strong way, Chambliss said.

"He didn't do that. In fact, we haven't responded yet. We still haven't held anybody accountable," he told Van Susteren.

His committee had trouble getting documents from the State Department for its investigation, Chambliss said, but he didn't want to characterize what he sees as a lack of cooperation as obstruction.

"I don't want to accuse them of something I don't know for sure is the case," he said, adding, "It didn't seem that the White House really wanted to get to the bottom of it to explain to these families what happened."

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