Feinstein: We Knew Something Would Happen In Benghazi But Did Nothing
WALLACE: We're back now with Senators Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham.
Senator Graham, how important is it for Secretary of State Clinton to testify under oath before she leaves office about the Benghazi terror attack? And what do you think we still need to know about Benghazi?
GRAHAM: Absolutely essential that she'd testify. I want to know from the secretary of state's point of view, were you informed of the deteriorating security situation? Were all these cables coming out of Benghazi, did they ever get up to your level? And if they didn't, that's a problem. If they did, why didn't you act differently?
I think it's very important to know how the intelligence coming from Libya, how it was received in the State Department, so we can learn and correct any mistakes we need to make -- correct.
WALLACE: Some of your Republican colleagues say they are prepared to hold off the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state, until Secretary Clinton testifies as secretary, before she leaves office.
GRAHAM: That's going to happen. I've been told by Senator Kerry he wants that approach also. He needs to hear what she says so he can make comments about, I agree with her/I don't agree with her. It makes sense to have her go first.
WALLACE: Do you agree with that, Senator Feinstein, that she needs to testify first, as an -- and have you been assured she will testify, though it has been 3 1/2 months since Benghazi and she still has never really answered questions, about Benghazi, her role before, during, after the attack? Do you have reason to believe she'll testify as secretary?
FEINSTEIN: She has said she will and I believe she will. You know, she's had a very real accident and she's recovering from it, and, she will be back. I gather, her first day, of work may well be next week. So, I think that's good news.
Having said that, I think Benghazi is a real learning -- very hard learning example for us. Our part of it, the Intelligence Committee's part of it is the intelligence. And, I have gone through the intelligence and there were two full binders of intelligence and there was a great deal of intelligence that would indicate that something well could happen. It wasn't tactical, it didn't say, on September 11th you can expect x, y or z. But there was enough to know that there were problems in the area.
There were also attacks, prior attacks, British ambassador, the Red Cross, prior attack on the mission, et cetera. So, we had reason to believe that there was a problem there.
As Lindsey pointed out, the problem was, the right people apparently either didn't make the decision, or, didn't analyze the intelligence, because I think if you looked at the intelligence, you would have substantially beefed up the security in that particular mission, in Benghazi. And, it didn't happen, sufficiently. We lost four people, a bright ambassador.
Additionally, the mission didn't have those basic things, gas masks, fire extinguishers, appropriate cameras that could do what cameras can do today.
So, we have learned this. I think it's up to the State Department. It's up to us to provide the money -- here we go again -- and up to the State Department, to make the changes that are necessary.