House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Sunday that “clearly there was a political decision” to avoid labeling the Benghazi attack as terrorism after a State Department official told his committee that “everybody” in Libya thought the violence there was an act of terror “from the get-go.”
Issa revealed the testimony on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” a symbolic choice because it was the Sunday show where Libyan President Mohammed al-Magarief said his government had “no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined” just days after the attack. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was interviewed immediately after al-Magarief, but repeated the claim she had made on other networks that initial intelligence suggested the violence had grown “spontaneously” out of protests in Egypt.
Issa said Sunday that Rice was not only wrong, but that she offended the Libyan leadership by suggesting a different narrative.
“You can’t insult a foreign leader in a greater way than what happened literally here,” Issa said.