President Barack Obama said plainly on Sept. 12 that the attack on America’s embassy in Libya was an act of terrorism, but he refrained from using that word again for about two weeks while the investigation was ongoing — a gap that’s got many Republicans absolutely obsessed.
Appearing Monday on the conservative Fox News Channel, King had a wholly new line of attack, insisting that the evidence he requested is now part of a conspiracy to protect the president.
“I think they’re hiding behind the term intelligence community,” he said. “To me shows the president did not look into what happened, did not inquire what happened, was willing to look at something face value. Why was the report at face value whether there was so much evidence in there showing it was terrorist attack. It cries out for explanation and investigation.”
King, who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, went on to demand that the CIA name the authors of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. “Who are the individuals or the ones the president claim gave him this information?” he fumed. “And did the president steer them in that direction? Was this is mind set by the administration that said Libya was great victory and Al-Qaeda was on the ropes and no longer a threat to us?”
A similar letter sent Friday by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) demanded a “full and immediate account” of the attack, including any potential foreknowledge or warnings that something may be on the horizon. Issa, however, was said to have accidentally endangered numerous lives after he published the names of Libyans working with the U.S. in a set of formerly secret State Department documents he released last week.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was quick to use violence abroad on Sept. 11 to accuse President Obama of “sympathizing” with terrorists, even before it was known that a U.S. ambassador had been killed. Despite the backlash to his criticism, Romney’s stuck to his rhetoric on Libya and many Republicans have finally joined him, laying into the president over whether or not the attack was classified as terrorism.
Watch this video from Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, broadcast Oct. 22, 2012.
Raw Story Senior Editor David Edwards contributed to this report.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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