The nominations of John Brennan for CIA Director and Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense are being held up by Republicans in the Senate largely because of the unwillingness of the Obama administration to come clean on the what the President knew, when he knew it, and what he did during the seven hours that the Temporary Mission and the annex in Benghazi were under attack on September 11th and 12th last year.
AIM recently interviewed Retired Admiral James Lyons. He is the former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific fleet, and a man not afraid to tell it like it is. We need more men like Admiral Lyons to stand up to the lies, hypocrisy and political correctness that so dominates our national dialogue today.
The interview took place the day after outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony to Congress, which Adm. Lyons discussed in our interview. It was before outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey testified before Congress, which raised questions about how in-the-loop Obama was during the terrorist attack, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
I asked Adm. Lyons what he thought of Hillary Clinton’s question to the senators when she was feeling the heat from their questions. “What difference does it make?” she angrily asked, referring to how the men died. The questions asked of Sec. Clinton were trying to get an answer to why the administration had claimed for weeks that the attack was in response to an anti-Islamic video produced in the U.S., when records and testimony made it clear that it was a planned terrorist attack on the 11th anniversary of September 11, 2001, and the intelligence community knew it from the first day.
Adm. Lyons answer to “What difference does it make” was, “Richard Nixon found out what the difference is when you lie to the American public—and in his lie, it was only a bungled burglary attempt; nobody got killed. In this case, we had four Americans murdered. Furthermore, we knew, within a matter of hours, that this was a determined, preplanned terrorist attack. So you have to ask yourself, why perpetuate this lie for almost two weeks?”
During the interview, Adm. Lyons gave his views on what he thinks was going on in Libya at the time; on the “Arab Spring;” on sending F-16s and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egypt; on President Obama’s new national security team; and on the Law of the Seas Treaty, among other topics. Below are excerpts from the interview. You can listen to the entire interview or read the transcript here. You can read Admiral Lyons’ bio and learn more about his current activities here.
ROGER ARONOFF: You have been a persistent critic of how the [Obama] administration has handled the attack on our special mission compound in Benghazi. We’ve had a couple of reports, including the Accountability Review Board, and then, yesterday, we had Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton’s testimony. Do you feel we’ve gained a more clear picture of what really happened?
ADMIRAL LYONS: Not in the least: You’re still getting the smokescreen. I must say that, quote, “Independent” Accountability Review Board, from my perspective, was like having the Mafia investigate a crime scene.