Published October 29, 2012
Top Republican lawmakers stepped up their demand Sunday for the Obama administration to provide more hard evidence about what happened during the fatal attacks on U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, including information gathered from drones flying overhead during the terror strikes.
In addition to requesting videos from the drones, the lawmakers also are asking the administration to reveal whether the unmanned craft had weapons and to declassify videos recorded inside the U.S. Consulate in Libya where Ambassador Christopher Stevens and State Department Official Sean Smith were killed.
The lawmakers hope such evidence will in part finally prove whether a mob indeed assembled before the strike. Hours later, two former Navy SEALs were killed during an attack on a nearby CIA annex.
“This administration is very good at touting and giving all the details like when they got Bin Laden,” Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But now we know that there were tapes, recordings inside the consulate during this fight.”
McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the FBI got the tapes and has classified them as top secret.
The senator said the administration has yet to fulfill his request to see the drone pictures, “but what I do know is that those in the surveillance records from inside and around the consulate will show that there was no demonstration.”
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall declined to discuss on “Fox News Sunday” whether the drones were armed.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Fox he joined McCain roughly two weeks ago in asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for additional evidence.
“We haven't heard anything,” he said. “We sent another letter yesterday.”
Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner told Fox, “what we ought not be doing is getting into some of these issues … about drone assets.”
He also declined to say whether the drones flying over Benghazi were armed.
“This member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is not going to make any comments on drones on the record, off the record or anywhere else,” he said.