National Security

McCain Rips State Department, New York Times Over Benghazi Report

McCain calls New York Times 'that ever-reliable surrogate of the Obama administration'

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) gave a stern statement on the floor Thursday about the newly released Senate Intelligence report on the Benghazi terrorist attack, sharply criticizing the New York Times' recent article for aligning with the Obama administration's "account of events" and the State Department's lack of preparedness.

"Our military is not postured and ready to respond to contingencies in a part of Libya where attacks against Westerners and Western interests had already occurred and where the threat of more attacks was growing," McCain said.

McCain called the New York Times "that ever-reliable surrogate of the Obama administration" and condemned them for passing along a "false narrative" that al Qaeda had no involvement. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) also rejected the article's conclusions.

"In that report, you will find numerous references by the intelligence community before the attack that make clear the nature of the al Qaeda threat in Benghazi," he said. "The claims that al Qaeda had not infiltrated Benghazi rest on the same rhetorical sleight of hand that holds that while groups may align themselves with al Qaeda, may seek and receive direction from al Qaeda, share similar terrorist goals as al Qaeda and may even call themselves part of al Qaeda, but if they are not sitting along the Pakistan-Afghan border, are not part of so-called core al Qaeda or al Qaeda senior leadership, then somehow they are not al Qaeda."

McCain concluded by talking about the fall of Fallujah to al Qaeda-linked forces and the need for the Obama administration to be more engaged in the mission of spreading freedom in the Middle East.