Martin Bashir | October 15, 2012
>>> as we approach tomorrow night's debate, conservatives have chosen to shamelessly exploit a vicious and sustained attack that led to the deaths of four americans in libya, including one highly esteemed ambassador. and the word they're using to prosecute their case is one that they know only too well "cover-up."
>> has there been a cover-up by the white house ?
>> without a doubt there has been.
>> so what they're trying to do is cover up this scandal as much as possible.
>> it looks like to me like it's going to get messier and messier, and, in fact, it looks like, you know, the administration has involved in a cover-up.
>> joining us now from his home district in baltimore is democratic congressman elijah cummings , the ranking member of the house committee investigating the events in benghazi. good afternoon, sir.
>> good afternoon, martin.
>> this exploitation of events in benghazi has been condemned by those who matter most, the parents who have pleaded for this not to be used for political purposes. yet what do we find but it's the first thing out of paul ryan 's mouth during the vice presidential debate last week. congressman, your reaction to that?
>> well, the fact is, first of all, these public servants, this is just a horrible tragedy, and we have to bring their killers to justice, but paul ryan and the republicans are making this out to be -- treating it like a political football , and that's so very, very unfortunate, and i understand the father of the ambassador saying, look, i'm in the process of grieving. he said the state department is providing me with the kinds of answers that i want. let the investigation go forward, but don't make it a political football . even john mccain 's former national security adviser wrote a wonderful article last thursday where he says, the republicans are about the business of creating a gotcha contest, and he said we need to get away from that because it does nobody any good.
>> now, mr. ryan was prepped for his debate by senior foreign policy adviser dan senor who worked for president bush from the invasion of iraq in 2003 . does it not sound a little rich to you that this man attacks the current administration for communication failures when he's the same individual who sold the country bogus claims about weapons of mass destruction and was known to lie about conditions in iraq in order to support the re-election of george bush ?
>> it is astounding that one would have the nerve to even utter the words conspiracy and, you know, the types of things that these republicans are trying to do, but this is what they do, martin. we saw another contradiction here where we had mr. isa talking about and criticizing the president and saying we needed to have more security, and he himself voted in 2009 to get rid of 300 embassy security positions, and over the last two budgets the republican congress has cut some $500 billion from the request of the president for embassy security and for facilities. and so, you know, i've called on chairman isa to the join me, and i also have called on now mr. romney and mr. ryan to join me in pushing for a supplemental appropriation for our embassies, but, by the way, you know, the ryan and romney budget, martin, would cut -- would drastically cut embassy security money not only the next year and the year after that but for the next ten years. i'm talking about billions of dollars.
>> right. and so add further fuel to this fire of hypocrisy, we now have dick cheney complain about a cover-up at the white house . i mean, as i said to one of my colleagues earlier today, excuse me while i throw up.
>> yeah. we've got -- we have so much to do, and i don't think -- and the claim they are about the business of doing an investigation, martin, it is ridiculous what they have done. so far we have -- our committee has had no secure type briefing, classified briefing. we have not interviewed one single person who was in the country of libya on the day of this event, but yet and still mr. isa and others have come to these conclusions about which they are trying to make this a political football , but i will not let that happen. back in 1998 , martin, i stood in an airplane hangar with president clinton as 12 bodies came back from nairobi. there were three members of our diplomatic corps , two members of the cia, and one marine who had been killed, and i'm telling you, i will not and i'm sure that our democratic colleagues and i would hope our republican colleagues would join us, we will not stand by and not try to decrease the risk for these wonderful m.a.s.hamericans who put their lives on the line every day for us to bring peace into the world.
>> indeed. congressman, a final question to you. does this not remind you of their pursue of the attorney general and the witch hunt they launched against him?
>> no doubt about it. again, our committee has been one where they create the headlines and the neck thing you know the republicans then they're out trying to search for the facts. martin, the interesting thing, most of the time the facts simply are not there. you cannot manufacture facts.
>> some people apparently can. congressman elijah cummings , thank you so