Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports to promote his new book Worthy Fights.
During the interview, Panetta stated he knew “from the beginning” the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi were “a terrorist attack on our compound.”
However, when Panetta testified about Benghazi before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013, he told Senator Lindsey Graham, “I think the biggest problem that night, senator, was that nobody knew really what was going on there.”
Panetta would go on to say that he did characterize Benghazi as a terrorist attack in closed door session with the same Senate committee during a meeting on Syria 72 hours after the attack. But this was a full two days before then UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s infamous Sunday talk show appearance in which she falsely characterized the attacks as a spontaneous reaction to the Muhammad internet video.
I suppose better late than never. While Panetta’s disclosure only further damns the Obama Administration’s duplicity on Benghazi, Panetta hands still aren’t clean.
If Panetta knew that Benghazi was an act of terrorism “from the beginning” then he should have said so at the beginning. It could have saved the families of the four Americans who died a lot of grief.