News / USA

US Lawmakers Receive Classified Briefing on Attacks in Libya,Egypt

A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012.A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012.
x
A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012.
A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012.
Cindy Saine
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Director of National Security James Clapper, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter held classified briefings for all of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday regarding the recent violent attacks on U.S. embassies and facilities in Libya, Egypt and other countries.

Top Obama administration officials headed to Capitol Hill at a time when some conservative lawmakers are calling on the administration to reevaluate its annual foreign aid to Libya, Egypt, Pakistan and other countries where there have been violent anti-American protests.  The intelligence briefing came as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”

Lawmakers emerging from the classified briefing said they could not comment on what they had just heard, and make comments based on information they already generally know.

California Republican Howard "Buck" McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said it seems the violence in Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans, was a planned terrorist attack.

"Al-Qaida is the name that has been used, and I think that is probably what we are going to find out," he said.

Some Republican lawmakers criticized the Obama administration for changing its account of how the events unfolded at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.  Some Democratic lawmakers said the facts are still emerging and that the FBI is investigating the attack.

Democratic Representative Adam Smith of Washington: "They are still piecing [it all] together.  They are obviously still trying to figure out who perpetrated the attack, how to capture them, how to find those people, and how to prevent future attacks -- and that is evolving," Smith said.

Before the briefing, Secretary of State Clinton said the United States faces very real challenges in the new democracies of the Middle East.  But she made a case for continued strong U.S. involvement in the region.

"But as I said last week, the vast majority of the people in these countries did not throw off the tyranny of a dictator to trade it for the tyranny of a mob.  And we are concerned first and foremost with our own people and facilities.  But we are also concerned about the internal security in these countries," Clinton said.

Some lawmakers stressed that that leaders of countries such as Egypt should realize that American assistance is not an entitlement, and that U.S. citizens and property must be protected.

"We should expect more from leaders in the region.  We should expect [Egyptian President Mohammed] Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and others to stand up to people and say, 'Look, we understand that you are upset about this video, but you do not have the right to burn down an embassy.  And by the way, in America, the government does not control these videos, anyone can make a YouTube video; they are in a free society," said Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida:

Lawmakers of both major political parties have expressed outrage that it took Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi about 24 hours to criticize a protest at the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland said he was disappointed in Egypt's new leader, but he urged members of Congress not to cut foreign aid to Egypt.

"The thing about aid is you better watch what you are doing.  We can use the aid as leverage to work with them.  But the bottom line is we do not want to create another Iran.  If we just walk away, and as some people say take all of our money [with us], and we lose influence in Egypt.  Then, I guarantee you, Russia, China and Iran will be in there so quick," Ruppersberger said.

Nearly all members of the House and many members of the Senate are expected to return to their home states this week to campaign ahead of the general elections, so it unlikely that action will be taken on foreign aid before November 6.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lose Influence
September 21, 2012 11:00 PM
Incredible to see the above comment about " We lose influence"
Is this what it is all about, peoples lives at the expense of influence. Come further South in Africa, Mr Dutch Ruppersberger, speak to people who have lost family in a country
called Zimbabwe - the real meaning of life will be very clear.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs