House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Monday disputed President Barack Obama’s assertion that he attributed last year’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya to terrorists, arguing that an “act of terror” is a different characterization than “a terrorist attack.”
“The President sent a letter to the president of Libya were he didn’t call it a terrorist attack even when in real time the president of Libya was calling this a pre-planned Sept. 11 terrorist attack,” Issa said during an interview with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. “So I think when you look at official correspondence from the President through the acting ambassador to the president of Libya, which came out in our hearing and was testified to under oath, the words that are being used carefully — like you just said, act of terror — an act of terror is different than a terrorist attack. The truth is, this was a terrorist attack, this had al Qaeda at it, this came over the wall very quickly, attacked and killed two people and then later two more hours later.”
Obama used the phrase “acts of terror” the day after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, a point he reiterated at a Monday news conference.
Issa also assailed the U.S. government’s response to the attack, suggesting that military forces could have been deployed there easily.
“Quite frankly, you can take off from Washington, D.C. on a commercial flight and practically be in Benghazi by the end of seven hours,” Issa told Kelly.
But former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday dismissed that very suggestion, contending that it reveals “a sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces.”