As Dave already noted, Sen. Lindsey Graham was back on the air this Sunday, still flogging their latest Benghazi "scandal" that somehow President Obama was disengaged during the embassy attacks on the anniversary of 9/11. I'm not sure just how much more hateful and nasty this man can manage to be before he starts getting called out for his behavior by members of the media, but Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer seemed pretty shocked and exhausted by the time Graham finished his rant here.
Sadly, however, he did not ask Graham what the hell was wrong with him or why the public should care about this drummed up non-scandal that he refuses to let die.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is threatening to place a hold on key administration national security nominations unless President Obama explains how the White House reacted to the Benghazi attacks and who “changed” the talking points used by U.N. ambassador Susan Rice during back-to-back appearances on the Sunday political talk shows in September. Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, Graham insisted that Republicans shouldn’t “allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed to Secretary of Defense, until the White House gives us an accounting.” “Did the president ever pick up the pohne and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks,” Graham asked. “What did the president do?”
Since Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey testified before Congress last week, conservatives have seized on a portion of the testimony to argue that President Obama went “AWOL” the night of the Benghazi attack.
And here's more from Charles Johnson:
Demented GOP obstructionism to continue
Sen. Lindsey Graham has appointed himself the King of Republican Bad Craziness, pandering to the far right’s bizarre fantasies about the Benghazi attack with a relentless zeal that would be impressive if it were directed at something actually useful to the country. [...]
Let’s face it, this is exactly what the Republican Party would do anyway, Benghazi or no Benghazi. It’s just the latest excuse to do everything in their power to sabotage Obama, whether it’s good for the US or not.
Exactly, and he's going to keep going with this as long as there's no punishment for his actions and as long as he continues to be rewarded in the media for acting like a petulant child. Graham is right in there with his BFF McCain when it comes to making sure he's got his mug on the television somewhere every other day.
Full transcript below the fold.
SCHIEFFER: Well, have you tried to find out if he did call?
GRAHAM: I've tried. We know he had a 15-minute briefing by Secretary Panetta and the chairman of the joint chiefs right after the attack happened. It was a preplanned meeting. It just happened that Benghazi came up at the meeting. I don't know what the president did that evening. I don't know if he ever called anyone. I know he never talked to the secretary of defense. I know that he never talked to the chairman of the joint chiefs. And they never talked to anybody at the White House. I know the secretary of state never talked to the secretary of defense.
This was incredibly mismanaged. And what we know now, it seems to be a very disengaged president. Again, if he had lent his voice to this cause, I think it would have made a big difference. And I'm not going to stop until we get an accounting. I've pushed back against the Bush administration when they said Iraq was just a few dead enders. We know nothing about what the president did on the night of September 11 during a time of national crisis, and the American people need to know what their commander in chief did, if anything, during this eight-hour attack.
SCHIEFFER: What can you really do about it? You can ask them what the president was doing. If they don't give you an answer what, can you do?
GRAHAM: I don't think we should allow Brennan to go forward the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed for secretary of defense, until the White House gives us an accounting. Did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do? We know he talked to the Israeli prime minister from 8:00 to 9:00 on September 11 about a dust-up of a Democratic platform and the fact he didn't meet the prime minister of Israel when he came to New York to visit the UN. But that's not related to Libya. What did he do that night? That's not unfair. The families need to know. The American people need to know.
SCHIEFFER: But let me -- I'm not sure I understand. What do you plan to do if they don't give you an answer? Are you going to put a hold on these two nominations?
GRAHAM: Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm going to ask my colleagues, just like they did with John Bolton. Joe Biden said no confirmation without information. No confirmation without information. You know, when Secretary Clinton said she had a clear-eyed assessment of the threats in Libya, that proved, after this hearing, not to be true. The Department of Defense knew about the cable coming from our Libyan ambassador saying he couldn't defend the consulate. This was on August 15th. They knew about the deteriorating security situation. But the secretary of state didn't know any of this. So she was blind. The president was disengaged. And the Department of Defense never launched one airplane to help these folks for seven and a half hours.
This is a complete system failure. And I'm going to get to the bottom of it. I don't think it's unfair to ask these questions. Quite frankly, how could they say, after Panetta and Dempsey said they knew it was a terrorist attack that night, how could the president say for two weeks after the attack it was the result of a video? How could Susan Rice come on to your show and say there's no evidence of a terrorist attack when our secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs said they knew that night? I think that was a misleading narrative three weeks before our election.
SCHIEFFER: Let me just make sure, because you're about to make some news mere, I think. You are saying that you are going to block the nominations -- you're going to block them from coming to a vote until you get an answer to this?
SCHIEFFER: Now, John McCain has already said he doesn't think the Republicans ought to filibuster this. What will you do?
GRAHAM: I'm not...
SCHIEFFER: You're just going to put a hold on it?
GRAHAM: I'm not...
SCHIEFFER: And what...
GRAHAM: Yeah, I'm not filibustering.
SCHIEFFER: What would they have to do then to bring this to a vote?
GRAHAM: I want to know who changed the talking points. Who took the references to Al Qaida out of the talking points given to Susan Rice? We still don't know. Richard Burr and Saxby Chambliss have found e-mails discussing changing the talking points. So I think her story, after what we found out at this hearing, was incredibly misleading. I want to know what our president did. What did he do as commander in chief? Did he ever pick up the phone and call anybody? I think this is stuff that the country needs to know. We pushed back against Bush. We asked for Rumsfeld to resign when Iraq went into shambles. This is a national security failure of monumental proportions and I'm not going to stop until we get to the bottom of it. If it hadn't been for this investigation...
SCHIEFFER: All right.
GRAHAM: ... and these hearings and your show, we would still think this was a video that caused a riot and the president was hands- on.
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