October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama nominees could be slowed over Benghazi concerns

Sen. Lindsey Graham will appear on "CNN's The Situation Room" Tuesday at 5pm

(CNN) - A top critic of the U.S. response to the terror attack on the Benghazi diplomatic compound said Monday that he would block all Obama administration nominees before the Senate until survivors of the deadly assault testify before Congress.

"I think the story was about the fact that our guys died in a different way than explained by the administration," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News on Monday following a dramatic CBS "60 Minutes" interview with a man described as a British security officer who witnessed last year's attack.

"They died as a result of an al Qaeda planned attack that you could see coming," Graham said.

The South Carolina Republican was an early skeptic of the administration's initial assessment the September 2012 attack in eastern Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans appeared to be the result of a demonstration over an anti-Muslim film produced in the United States.

Graham has pushed forcibly ever since to uncover details of what happened and why the administration appeared to bungle the response.

"Where are the survivors? Fourteen months later," Graham said. "The survivors, the people who survived the attack in Benghazi, have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes."

Graham said he would use Senate rules to stall approval of presidential nominees until he gets the testimony he wants.

"I'm gonna block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to Congress. I'm tired of hearing from people on TV and reading about stuff in books. We need to get to the bottom of this," he said.

If Graham were to block a nominee, Democrats, who control the chamber, could make procedural moves to get around his objections. Doing so would require 60 votes to succeed.

An aide to Graham noted that the Senator previously blocked the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA until the White House produced information on when President Barack Obama first contacted Libyan government officials about the attack.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday the administration has made "extraordinary efforts" to meet congressional demands for information about the attack.

"The State Department has worked in good faith to meet the Hill's many requests and will continue to review legitimate incoming requests. But let's be clear, some Republicans are choosing to play politics with this for partisan purposes and we find that unfortunate," Carney said. "What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy; it is the case that there was not adequate security."

An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had no reaction to Graham's threat or say how it might impact the Senate schedule.

The Senate is expected to take up several high-profile judicial appointments and other nominations in the near future.

Filed under: Lindsey Graham • Obama administration • Senate
soundoff (615 Responses)
  1. stevetall

    Lindsay Graham? He hasn't done anything worthwhile in years. RIP, GOP, the sooner, the better.

    October 29, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Bryan

    and this is why nothing gets done....bunch of children!

    October 29, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Republicans will never learn...

    ...you cant use one incident or issue to block something else...

    ...didn't the shutdown teach you that???

    October 29, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. FlyOnTheWall

    We cant rise up and do that!! they Gerrymandered the system so we cant beat them with votes any more.....time to think of getting them out aother way.

    October 29, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Hogan's Goat

    "Start impeachment proceedings " You guys say that a lot, but you never say why. I notice you never wanted to impeach Dubya and Cheney over the WMDs. Just explain what you would charge the president with, please?

    October 29, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Judge Dredd

    And while you are at it, please investigate the collapse of Building 7.

    October 29, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. david saint

    if only they had directed this much attention towards 9-11, or the USS Cole, or the 13 embassy attacks under Bush, or Pat Tillman, or the faux Jessica Lynch rescue, or...you get the point

    October 29, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Annie

    This report by 60 minutes is very disturbing. I don't understand why some people are attacking Graham, it seems he's right. Why do we hear about these things from EYEWITNESSES through books and TV shows?? What was being said by the White House was very strange from the get-go.

    Of course there are serious concerns about Benghazi, even yet. Why wouldn't there be???

    October 29, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Glen Price

    As a resident from a state that pays more in federal taxes than is spent, unlike South Carolina (federal spending welfare recipient), President Obama should suspend all federal spending in South Carolina as long as Senator Graham blocks all appointments. this would help balance the budget, a key goal of the Republican Party.

    October 29, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. knklhead

    "What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy; it is the case that there was not adequate security." Yes, it is that simple, folks. The Libyans were supposed to be protecting the consulate and were playing cards instead, had no idea how to defend our people. And YES, the US military also didn't do what it could to help prevent the assault and casualties. That's it. Was it a terrible tragedy and our military dropped the ball? Yes. Was it some wacko conspiracy of some sort for some odd reason? No. In fact, there were 13 Benghazi's under W's watch! Get to work, GOP!

    October 29, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Ben Goodridge

    Eventually, you just have to ask the question: "What's this really all about?" We went through this with the Birthers; the point wasn't whether or not Obama was lying, it was about keeping the question itself alive as long as possible. A politician can ALWAYS way, "Well, I have some more questions;" he can ALWAYS perpetuate a story for the media, and he will never, ever have "enough" information, because it's not information he wants – it's showboating. He gets his CNN headlines, it's red meat for his base, his contributors will make it rain – the last thing in the world he wants is an answer.

    There are people in his base who believe that Obama personally ordered the attack. Not that he lied about something or that he had bad information or that there was a media misfire, but that he, himself, got on the phone, ordered away his troops, rang up al-Qaeda, and told them it was go time – that's how they're filling in these blanks that Graham is claiming are still there. That is the level of dialogue he's courting.

    October 29, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. z2cents

    some people never learn

    October 29, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. getoverit

    They've learned NOTHING.

    October 29, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Tim

    That's right Lindsey.... block everything if you like. It's not like anything has been accomplished with republican help since Obama has been president. Can't wait to see you all fail in 2014.

    October 29, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Hogan's Goat

    "My God, how are we EVER going to get ANYTHING done with America so polarized like this?" Let them act out until they are only a small group? I know it's better to have two strong parties, but if they are going to be the whack job party, let them fail and take aback seat for a few decades.

    October 29, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. kdd

    For some reason, a prior administration must be brought up to deflect any current event. Ok, so let's talk about it. The Beirut Barracks Suicide Bombings occurred in October 23, 1983 during the Lebanese Civil War. Two truck bombs struck two buildings within 10 minutes killing 299 American and French servicemen. The question in 1983 was – should we retaliate against Iran. Retaliation was the issue then. Rescue is the issue now. In Benghazi there was an attack that could have been responded to before more people died. If survivors were allowed to speak freely, we could put this to rest. That's the silent minority that needs a voice.

    October 29, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Centerlink

    Great – and while we're at it, let's finally have a REAL under-oath investigation of 9/11 and the lead up to the Iraq war.

    Would be great to get to the bottom of something that has now cost the nation over 7,000 dead, 300,000 injured, and left us over $3 trillion more in debt.

    October 29, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. David

    Lindsay Graham... an irrelevant nincompoop.... retired on the job...

    October 29, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Bubba Jackson in Texas

    Lindsey Graham

    Another reason I don't vote for Republicans.

    October 29, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Michelle

    They act like spoiled children. I am going to hold my breathe until you do what I want. Go ahead GOP keep holding your breathe, eventually you will suffocate yourselves.

    October 29, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. kevin

    It's time for the rest of this nation to invade and destroy these little teabilly havens like S.C andGa.

    October 29, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Jeff

    This witch hunt about Benghazi has got to stop. Why didn't you scream this loud during the Bush Administration and all the embassy attacks that occurred on their watch? Have you forgotten about those? Here let me remind you:

    2002 U.S. Embassy Karachi, Pakistan: 10 killed, 51 injured
    2004 U. S. Embassy bombed in Uzbekistan: 2 killed, several injured.
    2004 U.S. Consulate Saudi Arabia: 8 killed
    2006 US. Embassy Syria: 1 killed, several injured
    2007 U.S. Embassy -Athens: building bombed with an anti-tank grenade...fortunately no one was in the building at the time.
    2008-U.S. Embassy – Serbia: 1 dead; Embassy set on fire
    2008- U. S. Embassy- Yemen- bombed 10 killed

    Sen Graham and all Republicans need to remember the old adage Don't throw stones in a glass house.

    October 29, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Jimmy

    Texas Anne wrote:
    "Hasn't that been the GOP/TEA's modus operandi since the day Obama was elected?"

    Anne hasn't anyone told you the TEA party was elected in 2010 not 2008?
    They were elected in response to Obama's radical left wing agenda.
    I blame Obama for the TEA party he started this fight and polarization along with Nancy and Harry.

    October 29, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Dick Biff

    I live in South Carolina and I wouldn't vote for him for dog catcher. He is a total idiot. He is worthless. Hes a good example of a bad example! I wish he and McCain would go on a fact finding trip to Mars with one way tickets. I know what you're thinking, what did Mars ever do to us. They cancelled all the flights to Pluto, sorry Mars.

    October 29, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    Government by thuggery. Give me what I want or I'm not going to do my job.

    October 29, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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