This just in from our senior U.S. senator:
Graham on Benghazi
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Benghazi.
“I’m pleased to hear that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers is going to follow up on what appears to be major inconsistencies in former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell’s testimony. However, before calling him to testify, I strongly encourage the House and Senate leadership to establish a joint select committee to investigate this matter.
“For too long we have had various House and Senate committees, along with the State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB), investigating the small pieces of Benghazi within their jurisdictions. These are sometimes disjointed and do not always allow for a full and thorough investigation.
“A joint select committee is the best means to ensure Benghazi is fully investigated and all questions are answered once and for all. The American people, and most importantly, the families of the four Americans who died in the attack, deserve nothing less.
“As for Mr. Morell, he has publicly stated he welcomes the opportunity to testify in an open hearing. To ensure proper accountability, I believe we need to declassify his previous testimony and release all communications – written, recorded, audio, and video — involving Mr. Morell’s discussions about the talking points and the role he played in this entire episode.
“Mr. Morell, in a written statement, as well as Susan Rice in her appearance last week on television, both indicated the Administration provided the best evidence available to the public on September 16, 2012. It’s now time to declassify all the communications regarding the attack on our compounds in Benghazi so we can properly account for these statements.
“Finally, I strongly believe it will be impossible to close the books on what happened in Benghazi unless Susan Rice is called to testify before Congress about the role she played. Although she has appeared on television shows, she has never been required to appear before Congress to answer questions about Benghazi.
“The President has said on numerous occasions that as more information is made available he would share it with the public. This statement has not borne fruit.
“It’s past time we clear the air on Benghazi by declassifying all relevant information and having all witnesses testify. We have learned much over the past 17 months about Benghazi that justifies recalling Mr. Morell, General Petraeus, former Secretary of State Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice and others before a joint select committee of Congress.”
It seems safe to say that Sen. Graham has reached the Ahab stage in his quest for… something… on this topic.
That said, sure, make the hearings joint, so senators can participate. I’m a little concerned about his blanket demand for declassification — maybe there are some aspects of this that need to remain classified, and I would think Graham of all people would appreciate that.
But, you know, put Susan Rice in the hot seat. Let’s have the hearings. And let chips fall where they may. Take whatever lessons are learned and apply them to prevent future security disasters such as this. And then let’s talk about other stuff.