On Monday, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham (R) threatened to hold up all presidential nominations until all survivors of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack in Libya are made available to Congress.
“Fourteen months later … the people who survived the attack in Benghazi have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes,” Graham told Fox News on Monday.
The comments come after a CBS 60 Minutes segment aired on Sunday, in which a security officer and former British soldier using the pseudonym “Morgan Jones” claims that he saw the black flags of al Qaeda flying openly in the Benghazi streets.
According to “Jones,” the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was carefully planned for months, and Benghazi personnel had warned White House officials about security issues months prior to the attack.
Graham — who in 2012 accused the White House of a cover-up related to the attack — says he is “tired of hearing from people on TV,” and wants to “get to the bottom of this.” He is now urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to form a joint committee and launch new investigations into the attacks.
The senator says he wants to know if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had known about requests for better security at the Benghazi compound months before the attack occurred. He also wants to know who told former UN Ambassador Susan Rice that protesters were responsible for the attack.
Graham has since vowed to block every appointment — including Janet Yellen for chair of the Federal Reserve and Jeh Johnson for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security — in the U.S. Senate until the survivors are made available to Congress.
The White House did not comment on the 60 Minutes report or Graham’s remarks, but last month press secretary Jay Carney accused Republicans of trying to turn the attack into a “partisan issue.”
Many other Democrats agree that Republicans are using the attack for political reasons, and especially as a weapon against Hillary Clinton if she decides to run in 2016.
Graham and the GOP, however, claim their motive has nothing to do with politics, but rather with “bringing justice” to those responsible for the attacks and the families of the victims.
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Copyright 2013 The National Memo