Published Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 | 11:03 a.m.
Updated Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 | 11:23 a.m.
U.S. Sen. John McCain today accused the Obama administration of not telling Americans the truth in the wake of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi earlier this month.
The attack, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, was initially described as simply the result of angry demonstration against an anti-Muslim YouTube video.
The Obama administration, however, is now describing it as a “terrorist attack,” as details emerged indicating the attack may not have been completely spontaneous.
In an interview for To the Point, McCain unleashed on the Obama administration for its initial characterization of the attack.
“They obviously didn’t tell the American people the truth,” McCain said. “The Secretary of State and our U.N. ambassador went on national television saying that it was a quote spontaneous attack. That was an insult the intelligence of every veteran in America and anybody who knows anything about warfare. You don’t come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy weapons, mortars and rocket propelled grenades.”
McCain also blamed the administration for the conditions leading up to the attack, saying he holds the Obama administration responsible.
“What they wanted to do was divert attention from the fact that al-Qaida is still doing very well despite the fact bin Laden has been taken out,” McCain said. “It’s disgraceful what they are saying and the fact is this was a terrorist attack, which they finally admitted.
“There are serious questions about security around the consulate in Benghazi and the actions that took place in this crisis. It is a disaster and they are responsible for it.”
McCain’s full interview will air at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on Channel 3.
The Obama administration has launched an investigation into the attacks.
In testimony on Capitol Hill earlier this week, Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, described it as an "opportunistic attack" that "evolved and escalated" over several hours.
"What we don't have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack," Olsen said. "Again, we're still developing facts and still looking for any indications of substantial advanced planning; we just haven't seen that at this point."