After a scathing bipartisan assessment of the Obama administration regarding the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, a Republican senator is now asking for a name of anyone “who’s been fired” over the scandal. The lack of accountability at the State Department is being compared with the accountability in the scandal involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s “bridgegate,” which resulted in two firings.
When confronted with the comparison, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney scoffed, calling the assessment “a little bizarre.” He said the administration has “a long record of accepting responsibility” concerning Benghazi.
Christie fired two top aides responsible to closing down part of the George Washington Bridge in what was seemingly a political retaliation against a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse the Republican governor. The matter is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department as well as the New Jersey Legislature.
In the case of Benghazi, terrorist killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens on Sept. 11, 2012. President Barack Obama, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials claimed the attack was a spontaneous response to a YouTube video. Once that claim was discredited, the officials stepped back from it.
The Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report Wednesday, completed after 16 months of investigation, that concluded the State Department had ample warning signs to prevent the attack. It further said the attack was pre-planned by Al Qaeda. Although it said there was no herd evidence of a cover-up by the administration, the State Department has blocked Congress from having access to witnesses.
“You want to know what Chris Christie did? Fine, absolutely fair game. We know what he did when he found out what his people did about the traffic jam. He fired them,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on the Senate floor Thursday. “And he got up in front of the whole world and said, I’m embarrassed, it’s my fault, I’m going to fire the people who did this bad thing.”
“Name one person … who’s been been fired for ignoring repeated requests for additional security on the Consulate coming from people in Libya,” Graham added, according to Politico.
Carney was asked about Graham’s comments during the White House press briefing Thursday.
“Well, all I can tell you is again this has been exhaustively investigated by both the Congress and the ARB and others,” Carney said. “Very stark assessments have been made. Recommendations have been put forward, including on personnel and the State Department adopted those.”
“I mean, it strikes me as a little bizarre to try to compare what’s happening in New Jersey to that,” Carney continued. “But, in terms of the State Department’s actions, the intelligence community’s actions, the administration’s actions, in response to what needed to be done in the aftermath in response to Benghazi, I think there is a long record of accepting responsibility and acting on those recommendations.”
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