Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday. He appeared to discuss President Obama’s role in the Benghazi, Libya attacks on Sept. 11, 2012. He posed the question that has been repeated across the nation.
“We know nothing about what the president did on the night of Sept. 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.”
Actually, we do know something about what the President did that evening and it was verified by the White House itself on its website.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 11, 2012
Readout of the President’s Call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
President Obama spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu for an hour tonight as a part of their ongoing consultations. The two leaders discussed the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, and our close cooperation on Iran and other security issues. President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed that they are united in their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and agreed to continue their close consultations going forward. Contrary to reports in the press, there was never a request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama in Washington, nor was a request for a meeting ever denied.
The President’s meeting at 5:00pm with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey has been widely reported. This was a pre-scheduled meeting and lasted approx. 30 minutes. The attack at the Benghazi special mission began at 3:42pm EST according to the government and the claim is that Panetta and Dempsey were informed at 4:32pm. They were purported to have then informed the President during the meeting. That is highly, highly unlikely to have happened. Reason being is the method of flash communications employed by U.S. diplomatic facilities around the globe in which a chain reaction is initiated upon a distress message being sent. The White House would have been aware in a matter of minutes.
The point is that by the time the 5:00pm meeting started, everyone already knew what was happening. At some point after the meeting ended, Obama made the phone call to Netanyahu. The W.H. readout doesn’t give the specific time of the call, however, it clearly occurred during the attacks timeframe which didn’t end until at least 11:32pm EST that night.
Perhaps Graham and others should be asking the President why it was so urgent to execute a pre-arranged phone call while Americans were dying? Was the content of that phone call a higher priority than the Benghazi attacks or was it actually tied into them?