After President Barack Obama called him out at a news conference on Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) promptly issued a statement defending his charge that the attacks in Benghazi, Libya and Boston indicate that U.S. national security had declined.
Obama said Graham was wrong on both counts but said he was sure that the senior South Carolina senator “generated some headlines” with his criticism.
Graham fired back with a forceful statement, asserting that the September attack in Benghazi represented a “system failure” from beginning to end and that the Boston Marathon bombings serve as “an example of a pre-9/11 stovepiping mentality.”
“With all due respect Mr. President, Benghazi and Boston are compelling examples of how our national security systems have deteriorated on your watch.
“In Benghazi, multiple requests for increased security were denied and numerous warnings from Ambassador Stevens about the growing threats from al Qaeda were ignored by Washington. For over seven and a half hours during the attack our Americans in the field were abandoned. After the attack, your Administration provided misleading information to the American people.
In Boston, both the FBI and CIA were warned by the Russians about a radical Islamist in our midsts. Once enrolled in the system as a potential terror suspect, the older brother was able to travel back to Russia unimpeded by DHS or any of our intelligence agencies. Agencies under your control were unable to coordinate the information they received on the Boston terrorists.
“If Benghazi is not an example of system failure before, during and after the attack what would be? If Boston is not an example of a pre-9/11 stovepiping mentality what would be?”