Three Republican senators who met behind closed doors Tuesday morning with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice say they are more troubled now over her initial explanations about the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
One of the three lawmakers was South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. Graham says to him it is clear that the first account of the incident was unclear and there was little if any initial follow up.
“I’m very disappointed in our intelligence community. I think they failed in many ways,” Graham told reporters after the meeting. “But with a little bit of inquiry and curiosity I think it would be pretty clear that to explain this episode as related to a video that created a mob that turned into a riot was far afield.”
After further investigation, American intelligence reported that the incident was a planned terrorists attack. Initially Rice said she was given information that the attack was sparked by a spontaneous protest of anti-Muslim internet video produced in the U.S.
Graham says he remains troubled that the wrong information about the cause of the incident continued to be conveyed days after the attack. “The American people got bad information on September 16. They got bad information from President Obama days after; and the question is ‘should they have been giving the information at all?’ If you can do nothing but give bad information, isn’t it better to give no information at all?”
Graham says he will continue to seek information on who knew what and when because the American people deserve a system they can trust. “My belief is not only is the information bad, and I’m more convinced than ever that the information was not only bad, it was unjustified to give the scenario as presented by Ambassador Rice and President Obama three weeks before an election”
The Republican senators in the meeting with Graham were John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.