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October 16th, 2012
11:50 AM ET

Rep. Israel: Libya cover up charges 'ludicrous'

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) addresses allegations by fmr. New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani of a cover up in U.S. Consulate attack in Libya.

"With all due respect to Mayor Giuliani, when he makes accusations about this administration and a cover-up for not keeping the Benghazi facility safe, you know, I would never say this but some could suggest that when he was the mayor of New York, why wasn't he better prepared to deal with 9/11? It's just ludicrous. It's ludicrous. You've got to – you have certain information, you do the best you can with that information," Rep Israel says.

"But again, on the ultimate question that the American think about, which is, "Is al Qaeda stronger or weaker? Is Osama bin Laden dead or alive? Is the war in Iraq continuing to be waged or is it over? Are our troops coming home to Long Island from Afghanistan or will they be there for another 10 years fighting another country's battles?" On those questions, this president has performed," Rep. Israel adds.

Transcript available after the jump.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

O'BRIEN: Thank you. Libya is going to be a topic tonight, I'm absolutely certain. Here is what Secretary Clinton told Elise Labott about Libya. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I take responsibility. I'm in charge of the State Department, 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president certainly wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs, and make a considered decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: So she's saying, ultimately, the responsibility rests with me. But none of that really confronts all the kerfuffle around this videotape and claiming there was an argument, a protest, over this movie that we now know did not exist. And we know on September 16, Susan Rice on "Meet the Press" said, "Initially our assessment," et cetera, et cetera, "was prompted, of course, by the video."

On September 18, it was Jay Carney who said, "Our belief based on the information we had was the video that caused unrest in Cairo precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi."

So they're talking about video. They're wrong. They're ultimately wrong. Secretary Clinton, is she ultimately responsible for that?

ISRAEL: Look, there's got to be accountability and there's got to be transparency and Secretary of State Clinton said that she is ultimately responsible. But, Soledad, at the end of the day, national security and foreign policy is about who is keeping us safe? This debate tonight is about 30 or 40 miles away from Ground Zero. Long Islanders understood what happened on 9/11 and this was the president who made the tough decisions to eliminate to Osama bin Laden. This was the president who got us out of Iraq, who is winding down the war in Afghanistan and letting Afghanistan forces, Afghanistan's army and police, take over a war that we have been fighting for over 10 years.

So on the fundamental national security and foreign policy questions facing our country, this is a president who has done an extraordinarily good job keeping us safe, putting additional forces in Afghanistan when they were needed, taking them out, and killing Osama bin Laden and more al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists than George Bush did in his 8 years.

O'BRIEN: But isn't a fundamental foreign policy question one that Mayor Giuliani posed to us yesterday, where he said it's a cover-up. And isn't a fundamental foreign policy is, "Is it a cover-up?" Or is it incompetence that it took so long to figure out. We're now a month out and still haven't sort of – just getting the basic facts of what happened.

ISRAEL: I think it's fair to say that you have certain information on Tuesday, you have more information on Wednesday, more information on Thursday. By the way, with all due respect to Mayor Giuliani, when he makes accusations about this administration and a cover-up for not keeping the Benghazi facility safe, you know, I would never say this but some could suggest that when he was the mayor of New York, why wasn't he better prepared to deal with 9/11? It's just ludicrous. It's ludicrous. You've got to – you have certain information, you do the best you can with that information.

But again, on the ultimate question that the American think about, which is, "Is al Qaeda stronger or weaker? Is Osama bin Laden dead or alive? Is the war in Iraq continuing to be waged or is it over? Are our troops coming home to Long Island from Afghanistan or will they be there for another 10 years fighting another country's battles?" On those questions, this president has performed.

O'BRIEN: I like the way you said, "I would never say this," and then quoted people who you think might say that. Jump in, Ron.

BROWNSTEIN: I want to ask – Congressman, Ron Brownstein from "The National Journal". There were many blank spots in that first debate but maybe the biggest one was President Obama not really telling us very much about what he would do in a second term. You're trying to elect a Democratic Congress. If the voters do give you the majority in the House and the president is reelected, what can they expect, if anything, from Democrats to try to get the economy recovering faster than it has over the last few years?

ISRAEL: Well, Ron, it's so appropriate that this debate is held on Long Island – or as we say, Long Island – because it is the home to the middle class voter, the home to the swing voter, the home to the defiantly independent voter. And tonight is very important. The central question is what do you do to rebuild a middle class that has, as Vice President Biden said in his debate, been knocked back on its heels by Republican policies that put us in this position?

And I think it's important for the president to remind voters that he and Democrats in Congress want to quit giving tax breaks to big corporations to ship jobs overseas and start providing bigger tax incentives for small businesses to open up on Hempstead Turnpike near Hofstra University, or on Main Street in Huntington. He has to remind the American people that he thinks we should give the middle class more help to send a kid to college. Mitt Romney thinks that we have to give millionaires more help, and big oil companies more help. And the president has to remind the American people that we believe that if you're 25 or 35, paying into Medicare, or 55 or 65, it should not be turned into a voucher. Mitt Romney and the Republicans believe it should.

So those are three critically important middle class principles that the president has to enunciate tonight. And in that debate, Mitt Romney is on defense trying to explain to the American people why his policies, which we tried and failed the middle class, will succeed for them again. And the president is on offense on his relentless advocacy for the middle class.

O'BRIEN: It will be interesting to hear it actually goes when this debate takes place tonight. Congressman Steve Israel from Long Island, nice to see you, sir. Thank you for talking with us.

ISAREL: Thanks.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Mark

    Why haven't you posted my comments, CNN??? I commented about specifically this story clearly shows Soledad's left leaning bias to look for anything that could have possibly been interpreted in Obama's favor multiple times in a respectful way on multiple stories, but none of the comments have made it through moderation even though there was no insulting or inappropriate language. Guess this confirms CNN's bias extends to comment "moderators" as well...

    October 30, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jOANN

    wHY IS CNN SELLING THE AMERICANS AND THE COUNTRY DOWN THE RIVER. I GUESS IT MAKES GOOD NEW RIGHT. yOU ARE DISCUSSING.

    October 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jeigh

    Too bad Israel isn't more of a man than a second-hand politician. It was Giuliani's job to clean up NYC by running the tramps off the grates and getting rid of the porn industry in Times Square. After years of democratic rule it was time for someone like him to come along and get the city back on track. When New Yorkers stop electing people like Israel, Clinton and Schumer the city may once again become one that more people will want to live in.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ken MacKenzie, Plaintiff Pro Se, U.S. Supreme Ct. 08-9595

    13 Oct 2009
    Ken MacKenzie, Plaintiff Pro Se, U.S. Supreme Ct. 08-9595, Web: kristianmenchaca.com/publisher.php ;or: christianmenchaca.com/publisher.php

    Ladies & Gentlemen:

    It is most urgent and appropriate to cite that the identities several Terrorists who murdered U.S. Ambassador
    Christopher Stevens and several U.S. Defense Contractors and two U.S. Navy Seals were previously photo-identified in the U.S. Satellite and Drone data bases over Iraq and libya, but concealed from the several U.S. Crime data bases by the U.S. justice , US State, and US DoD.
    Thereby, criminally compromising the lives of Ambassador Stevens and other Victims of the Terrorist attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
    PREFACE: Incidentally, it is of interest to note: Charlene R. Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs at the U.S. Department of State did not mention (therefore, concealed by “ommission”) on October 10, 2012 in Washington, DC , that a U.S. Intelligence Satellite was taking photos of U.S. Ambassador Chritopher Stevens every five seconds while he was attacked by al Queda at U.S. Consulate, Benghazi, Libya, U.S. DoD, Satellite photograph Grid coordinates 32 07 N 20 04 E. U.S. Intelligence photo Satellites were recording a photo every five seconds, before, during, and after the murder of U.S. Ambassador Stevens.
    Two former Navy SEALs who were among four Americans killed last week in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, died after rushing to the aid of their colleagues, according to sources familiar with the incident.
    Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were in Benghazi as part of a security contractor force.
    On September 11, they were ensconced in the safety of an annex location in another part of the city when they got word that the main consulate building was under fire and the diplomats there – with an armed force of only nine people – were overwhelmed by the deteriorating situation.
    Doherty and Woods, along with other security personnel, left the secure annex and made their way to the chaotic scene, rounding up the consulate staff who were under attack and guiding them back to the second safe building. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19605322
    Deputy Charlene R. Lamb did not mention (therefore, …she “concealed by ommission”) these easily recovered U.S. Intelligence Satellite photos that could be matched against the U.S. Sinjar photos held at U.S. MA, West Point and in the the other KH 11 & KH 12 Satellite photo data bases over Iraq and Libya.
    Was Deputy Assistant Secretary Lamb or her counterpart also likely involved in the concealment of Satellite & Drone photo evidence at Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Stevens paid with his life as a result of said concealments.
    : SEE: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/state-department-official-refuses-to-classify-libya-attackers-as-terrorists/# ;;
    SEE:: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/10/what-we-know-about-the-libya-attack/?hpt=wo_c2
    REGARDING: TRIAL HEADED BY JUDGE MUNTHER RAOUF HAADI IN THE CENTRAL, CRIMINAL COURT OF IRAQ with guilty verdict issued against the Terrorist Insurgent , (1), Ibrahim Al-Qaraghuli, during 18 October 2008 for torture murders of PFC Kristian Menchaca & PFC Thomas Tucker.
    … U.S. Col. Rafael Lara and the U.S. Task Force Lara headed and U.S. ATTORNEY GNL. HOLDER & Secretary of State Clinton operated CRIMINAL “EVIDENCE COVER-UP” of (1) Satellite photographs and (2) CIA photos of CIA operated and paid enlistment of Sunni Muslims into the U.S. Created “Awakening” movement : : U.S. CIA AGENT PAID “IRAQI ‘AWAKENING’ AGENTS” TORTURE MURDERED CAPTURED US SOLDIERS, PFC KRISTIAN MENCHACA & PFC THOMAS TUCKER, 2006, IN SATELLITE PHOTOS. The identification of the U.S. paid “Iraqi ‘Awakening’ Agents” in said Satellite Photos can be made by comparing CIA photo Records of its own data base of CIA operated and CIA paid enlistment of Sunni Muslims into the U.S. Created“Awakening” movement. SEE:http://www.israelmilitary.net/showthread.php?t=16167
    …This astounding condition was concealed prior to and during trial of (1), Ibrahim Al-Qaraghuli & (2) Kazim Al-Zowba’i & (3) Walid Al-Kartani headed by Judge Munther Raouf Haadi in The Central, Criminal Court of Iraq with guilty verdict issued against the Terrorist Insurgent , (1), Ibrahim Al-Qaraghuli, during 18 October 2008. (2) Kazim Al-Zowba’i & (3) Walid Al-Kartani were released as Iraq had no science available to process DNA collected against (2) Kazim Al-Zowba’i & (3) Walid Al-Kartani.
    …The U.S. Task Force headed by U.S. Col Rafael Lara representing the United States and advised with oversight involvement by U.S. Attorney General Erik Holder did not make evidence available that would show that (1), Ibrahim Al-Qaraghuli & (2) Kazim Al-Zowba’i & (3) Walid Al-Kartani were members of “U.S.-CIA-paid-Iraqi-’Awakening’-Agent-Terrorists” of al Queda / al Shura . SEE:http://www.israelmilitary.net/showthread.php?t=16167
    ..SEE:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/29/world/middleeast/29iraq.html?pagewanted=print
    …Moreover,“U.S.-CIA-paid-Iraqi-’Awakening’ -Agent-Terrorists” of al Queda / al Shura were Satellite photographed as torturing to death U.S.A. PFC Kristian Menchaca & U.S.A. PFC Thomas Tucker “AND” this evidence, in a corrupt effort at concealment, was not presented by U.S. Col. Rafael Lara and the U.S. Task Force he headed and U.S. ATTORNEY GNL. HOLDER & Secretary of State Clinton to Judge Munther Raouf Haadi in The Central, Criminal Court of Iraq on or before 18 Oct 2008 when he issued what amounts to a “U.S.-GOVERNMENT-CONCEALED-EVIDENCE-’TAINTED’-VERDICT.”
    Charlene R. Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs at the U.S. Department of State, testifies on Capitol Hill as a diagram of the U.S. compound in Benghazi is displayed behind her on October 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. The hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee focused on the security situation in Benghazi leading up to the September 11 attack that resulted in the assassination of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens. (Credit: Getty Images)
    During Wednesday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) questioned Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs Charlene Lamb about her apparent refusal to call the people who attacked the U.S. Consulate in Libya and killed four Americans “terrorists.”
    “You Miss Lamb…have described these attackers in a number of ways but you don’t mention terrorist at all. Why is that? I mean the compound had been attacked once before and breached,” Burton said. “And these people had all these weapons; projectiles, grenades, all kinds of weapons. Why would you call this anything other than a terrorist attack? And why do you call them attackers?”
    “I have just presented the facts as they have come across. I am not making any judgements on my own and I am leaving that to others,” Lamb replied, completely avoiding the question.
    Sincerely,
    Kenneth MacKenzie

    October 18, 2012 at 5:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. tj

    This is just a pathetic attempt to cover for the President by grasping for alternative meanings in a vague Nostradamus like reference to terror in his speech and it should be seen for what it is. If I was President and really believed it was a terrorist attack, why would I allow a different narrative to continue to be told by those that report to me? Would I then repeatedly condemn the crazy movie that was the foundation for the alternative narrative instead of correcting the false narrative? O'Brien and the President insult the intelligence of viewers to think anyone would be gullible enough to believe that the President really believed it was a terrorist attack the day after this tragedy. O'Brien shows her bias quite clearly in this reporting by grasping for alternative conclusions by ignoring the facts in whole and it hurts CNN's reputation for unbiased reporting.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Benghazi Lies Will Sink Obama

    Lies have become the norm for the crooked chicago community organizer.
    Time for a change.

    October 18, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. PSM

    Perhaps ths is a perfect example of why most Americans distrust politicians and more and more are turning off media. This above video is a spin, ignoring the facts, and trying to change this issue....never answering the question. Take responsibility, take ownership, be honest, and the truth will set you free.

    Rudy's facts were correct. At least in a newspaper they have editorial corrections if there are corrections to be made. Where is CNN on defending the facts as presented by Rudy? Has anyone at CNN actually listened to the President's remarks both at the White House and in front of the UN several weeks later.....pretty clear to me.

    October 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. SAILOR

    It seems that when the Security Officer gave his testimony, and stated that there were repeated requests for security...that there were prior attacks within short timeframes in Libya....that the beaurocratic circle-jerk required to get reinforcements made him feel that the "Taliban" was INSIDE his own State Department...what the heck is Israel and Soledad thinking? Firstly, though Rep. Israel has been a great advocate for vets...he has absolutely ZERO military experience. Neither, I'm sure, does Soledad. I'm honestly sick and tired of politicians and members of the media making remarks about national security when they've never served. Soledad is a sad sad joke of a journalist. Idiot is the word that comes to mind. Rep. Israel should think before he speaks about 9/11...there's ZERO comparison. Soledad should be fired.

    October 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. pam Dihmes

    That is what we saw in the last two weeks was a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the government had nothing to this video. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them. There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.” =Pres Obama

    October 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jim

    COVER UP. Rudy Giuliani called Soledad O'Brien out. Cannot believe CNN calls this unbiased reporting. Gone are the days of Bernard Shaw.

    You have got to be kidding that Obama and Biden were clueless. Let's have some fair reporting please. Credibility is decreasing.

    October 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jay

    How can Rep Israel make ANY type of comparison between the 9/11 attacks and the US Embassy (A government protected facility have you) in Libya? Oh, I see how,....ignorance and idiocy. Think before you speak.

    October 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RCARON

    The issue should not be...who is to blame for the attack, but rather why were we forcefed this BS about a video and "spontaneous protests" for over a week. Somethimes I think politicians (on both sides) think we are ALL stupid, mindless voters.

    The answer......term limits for all of them.

    October 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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