Lindsey Graham: 60 Minutes 'Death Blow,' Will Block Nominations Over Benghazi
Monday, October 28, 2013 08:57 PM
By: Cathy Burke and Kathleen Walter
Calling the Obama administration "irresponsible" for shielding witnesses to the deadly 2012 Benghazi terror attack, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday he'll hold up every executive branch appointment and nominee until more survivors are allowed to speak to Congress.
"I have nothing left available to me," the South Carolina Republican told Newsmax TV. "Fourteen months after the attack and we still haven't had access to the survivors.
"It's incredibly irresponsible of the Congress to allow, and the administration to basically shield witnesses who are relevant to a congressional investigation as to what went wrong in Benghazi."
Graham called a "60 Minutes" report Sunday a "death blow" to the administration's initial narrative on what sparked the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
"The '60 Minutes' piece conclusively proved ... that al-Qaida was behind this attack, that they had provided warnings to Washington, all of their additional security requests were ignored, and no one's been held accountable," he said.
Graham told Newsmax TV a special committee may be the only way to untangle the events surrounding the attack.
"What Greg Hicks said on '60 Minutes' was pretty telling," he said, explaining that there were three requests made for security, the third of which was denied "and stopped from moving forward from Libya to Washington."
"I know who the person was that stopped that security request, I know what's in it, and the American people deserve to hear about this, and everything around Benghazi has been overly classified for political reasons," he said. "So I hope there will be a bicameral, joint select committee."
Graham refused to elaborate on who stopped the security request, or why.
"But I can tell you this, that the idea that our consulate was attacked by a bunch of protestors was absurd from day one, and it is now absolutely conclusively proven to have been a lie," he said.
But why the ambassador was left in Benghazi is a question still left unanswered, Graham said.
Dismissing the international furor over the reported spying of allies by the National Security Agency as something that "will blow over," Graham insisted that even more disturbing is the lack of accountability of the Obama administration.
"We've gone from blaming [President] Bush for every problem in the world now to [President Obama] doesn't have a clue of what's going on, whether it be Benghazi, whether it be the NSA, IRS, you name it," he said. "It seems to be that the new answer is, 'I just didn't know about that.'"
The lawmaker said the president's signature healthcare law is another area where the administration has conceded accountability.
"People are going to be shocked at how much their healthcare premiums go up under Obamacare," he said. "This thing is going to be a disaster for job creation. The website is just the tip if the iceberg ... The worst is yet to come."
Graham said a delay in the mandate on the individual sign-up for Obamacare "is inevitable."
"Basically, what we should do is stop and start over," he said. "We should just basically put everything about Obamacare on hold and see if in the next year we can come up with a bipartisan solution to our healthcare needs in this country."
"Somebody needs to be held accountable for not being able to have the website functioning in the most basic manner after a couple of years' notice," he added. "But again, it goes back to ... What do you have to do to get fired in the Obama administration? ... The person I blame the most is the president himself."