Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice weighed in on the September 11 Benghazi attack that killed four Americans during a St. Louis Speakers Series Tuesday night, where she said at least three aspects of how it is being handled by the administration don’t seem “quite right.”
First, Rice noted that security seemed to be incredibly mismanaged at the consulate. At what level of the State Department these decisions were made, however, remain unclear. Second, Rice asked what happened during those “eight or nine hours” that Americans were under attack in Libya, without reinforcements, despite repeated calls for help. Third, Rice asks why the administration repeatedly shifted stories, either labeling the cause of the attack terrorism or YouTube, over the course of several weeks.
Here is a transcript of her remarks:
“When you have the ambassador walking off to talk to the Turkish [consul general] in the courtyard on 9/11– something doesn’t seem quite right to me about the level of security preparations at the consulate.
“When you hear Secretary Clinton talk about an Accountability Review Board, that’s what they will look at. It is headed by five retired officers…I think they’ll do a good job, but we need to know, and those decisions– it’s not clear where they were made in the State Department…The regional security officer is the head diplomatic security officer in the consulate. This one had come back in July, he had reportedly asked that some additional security be kept on the ground, so something didn’t get right in terms of the decisions about security on the ground prior to the attack.”
“The second big issue is what happened during that eight or nine hours. And there I think the proper place to understand that has to be the congressional intelligence committees, in Senate and Congress. There is a lot that has to be understood about what is the role of the CIA was in all of this. There’s a lot that has to be understood about what role the Libyan militias actually were playing. And frankly, this is something that neither you nor I should know. That’s what intelligence committees are for, because they can protect ongoing operations. So they’ve got to look at that and say, were military there assets that could have been deployed, did somebody in the CIA say ‘stand down…’
“It’s a sad thing with David Patraeus, who I know very much and admire. I think he will be called to testify before the committee because he did the investigation himself… And they have in the State Department something that we did not have, which is a real-time feed of what was going on on the ground. We didn’t have that capacity…so something happened in that 8 or 9 hours, you’ve got to accept that.
“And the third thing is, okay, so the administration kept shifting its story. One day it was apparently terror…Susan Rice says it was the video…
And here is audio of the speech, via Gateway Pundit: