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News Clash

We’re Not Buying: Benghazi Debacle Hurts Obama’s Push For Syria Strikes

The Obama administration’s effort Sunday to win support for a punitive  military strike on Syria is facing opposition and criticism in part because of  its handling of the fatal Benghazi terror attacks, which occurred one year ago  Wednesday.

 Federal prosecutors last month filed the first criminal charges related to  the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, in which  four Americans were killed.
The sealed charges are against Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattalah.  Though he has given interviews with several major news outlets, Khattalah has  not been taken into custody. And others seen with Khattalah in videos from the  outpost’s security cameras also have not been found by authorities.

“We’ve been very clear that we will hold those people who carried out this  dastardly, heinous attack against our people to account,” White House Chief of  Staff Denis McDonough told “Fox News Sunday.” “You know what the United States  does? We track every lead until we …can accomplish what we say we will  do.”

Other issues related to the 2012 attack in which U.S. Ambassador Chris  Stevens and three other Americans were killed included whether the  administration was up-front with Americans about intelligence reports. Officials  said at first that the attacks appeared to be in response to an anti-Islamic  video, then acknowledged they were terror related.

“When it happened, [President Obama] promised to hunt down the wrong-doers,”  Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Yet a few months  later, the issue has disappeared. You don’t hear the president mention Benghazi.  Now it’s a phony scandal. We ought to be defending U.S. national security and  going after radical Islamic terrorists.”

Now administration officials are trying to convince Americans and Capitol  Hill lawmakers that Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered an Aug. 21 attack on  his own people and his forces used the deadly nerve gas sarin. Nearly 1,500 of  Assad’s own people were killed in the attack.

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