Rumsfeld: Feels Like White House Is Hiding Something
After examining the series of events that transpired in Libya, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told Larry Kudlow he thinks the White House has yet to come clean.
Although Rumsfeld was reluctant to come out and say anything terribly scathing, when Larry Kudlow asked Rumsfeld point blank 'do you believe it was a cover-up?' Rumsfeld candidly replied 'I do.'
Rumsfeld has joined a growing chorus of skeptics who believe that the White House purposely downplayed the terror attack at the consulate, in an attempt to cover-up an al-Qaeda comeback. Read More: White House Benghazi Blunder Grows Even Worse
Instead, for weeks, the administration said that the violence was due to an angry protest that spiraled out of control.
"I expect the investigations underway will show the world precisely what happened," added Rumsfeld on The Kudlow Report.
And what they show may be disturbing. It's possible the lives could have been saved.
So says, Bing West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Reagan Administration.
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"Fighter jets (stationed in Italy) could have been at Benghazi in an hour; the commandos inside three hours…. but no forces were dispatched."
West goes on to suggest that the decision not to send aircraft, in fact, may have been because the White House knew the attack was not a mob demonstration gone bad.
"If the attackers were a mob," said West, "then an F18 in afterburner, roaring like a lion, would unnerve them. This procedure was applied often in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."
Rumsfeld, Larry Kudlow and other skeptics are irate.
"The important question – is why didn't (the White House) provide the appropriate security forces needed to protect the embassy and the people on the ground," said Rumsfeld.
Last week, documents released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform showed Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack, warned the administration for months that the region was becoming a dangerous vortex for jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda.
Those same documents also suggested Stevens was concerned the consulate didn't have enough security.
"We need to know exactly what happened," said Rumsfeld.
"The American people deserve to know exactly what happened," added Larry Kudlow.
The White House has, in the past, denied any intentional cover-up and counters that it has been completely transparent – providing its best intelligence on the attack, and then refining it as more information came to light.
The FBI is still investigating the attack. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also has named a State Department review panel to look into the security arrangements in Libya.
On September 11, 2012 Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and the other Americans were killed after Islamist gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate and a safe house refuge in Benghazi.
"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.