Olympia Snowe Pt. 2

  • Aired:  05/15/13
  •  | Views: 17,287

Former Republican Senator Olympia Snowe discusses Accountability Review Boards and offers thoughts on how to move forward after the Benghazi attack. (4:20)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

WELCOME BACK.

WE'RE HERE WITH SENATOR OLYMPIA

SNOWE.

BEFORE WE GET INTO A.R.B.,

BEFORE WE GET INTO A.R.B., YOU

WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT

THE ABILITY TO CHANGE.

>> THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.

THAT MEANS ALL OF US, EVERYONE

OF US, HAVE TO WEIGH IN AND MAKE

SURE YOUR VOICES ARE HEARD ON

CAPITOL HILL.

AND DEMAND BIPARTISANSHIP AND

THAT LAWMAKERS WORK ACROSS THE

LINE AND SUPPORT UNIVERSAL

BACKGROUND CHECKS.

IT'S UP TO EACH OF US.

YOU KNOW, THE LATE SENATOR

WARREN RUDDMAN ONCE SAID

POLITICS IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BE

LEFT TO THE POLITICIANS.

ABSOLUTELY.

>> Jon: LET'S TALK ABOUT, THIS

IS INTERESTING.

THERE'S SO MUCH GOING ON NOW

ABOUT THE A.R.B., ABOUT THE

INCIDENT IN BENGHAZI.

YOU ACTUALLY HELPED WRITE THE

LEGISLATION IN, WAS IT THE

'80s OR THE '90s?

>> '86

Jon: THERE HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE

ATTACKS, HUNDREDS OF ATTACKS IN

THE '80s.

YOU GUYS CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA

FOR THESE REVIEW BOARDS.

HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?

>> IT CAME ABOUT AS A RESULT OF

MORE THAN 200 ATTACKS ON

EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES AROUND

THE WORLD DURING THE 1980s AND

SPECIFICALLY, AS YOU KNOW, THE

HORRIFIC EVENT THAT OCCURRED IN

BEIRUT, OVER 283 MARINES WERE

KILLED.

SO AS A RESULT WE DECIDED TO

BEEF UP SECURITY AT OUR

EMBASSIES, BOTH PHYSICALLY IN

THE PERIMETERS BUT ALSO MAKING

SURE THAT WE HAD ALL THE

SECURITY MEASURES IN PLACE.

AND TO REBUILD

>> Jon: THOSE A.R.B.s HAD BEEN

EFFECTIVE IN CREATING ALL THIS.

WHEN YOU SEE THIS A.R.B. THAT

WAS DONE ON BENGHAZI AND HAVING

READ THROUGH IT, IT'S SCATHING

AGAINST THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

>> IT IS

Jon: BUT IT ALSO PROPOSES A

GOOD NUMBER OF CHANGES THAT

NEEDED TO BE MADE.

IT SEEMS LIKE THEY'RE NOT REALLY

THINKING ABOUT THOSE CHANGES

RIGHT NOW.

THEY'RE STILL...

>> YOU KNOW, THE ISSUE AND THE

REASON AND THE GENESIS OF THAT

LEGISLATION CREATING THE

ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD IS

TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE HELD

ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE WHAT HAD

HAPPENED IN THE PAST, IT WOULD

MAKE THESE, YOU KNOW,

INDISCRIMINATE DECISIONS ABOUT

SECURITY MEASURES AND THEN YOU

HAD MEN AND WOMEN ON THE FRONT

LINES WHO WERE KILLED SO WE

WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE

WAS STRICT ACCOUNTABILITY FOR

PEOPLE MAKING THOSE DECISIONS

AND THERE HAVE BEEN SECURITY

MEASURES IN PLACE AT THAT POST.

SNOP ONE OF THE THEORIES WAS YOU

WANT TO GET ACCOUNTABILITY DOWN

THE LINE BECAUSE THE SECRETARY

IS ALWAYS GOING TO COME OUT AND

GO, "I AM RESPONSIBLE."

THEN IT GETS PAPERED OVER.

THEY WANT TO GO IN TO THE WEEDS

WITH IT AND FIND OUT EXACTLY.

BUT HOW BAD ARE THE CHAIN OF

COMMAND AND COMMUNICATION ISSUES

WITHIN THESE DEPARTMENTS?

>> OBVIOUSLY BAD.

I MEAN BECAUSE TO HAVE BENGHAZI

VULNERABLE AND EXPOSED IN A

HIGH-THREAT ENVIRONMENT, THERE

WERE NUMEROUS INCIDENTS THAT HAD

ALREADY OCCURRED THAT SUMMER

AGAINST OTHER FOREIGN INTERESTS.

IN FACT, A BRITISH CONVOY WAS

ATTACKED.

THEY CLOSED THEIR POSTS THE VERY

NEXT DAY

>> Jon: THEY EVEN SAID WITHIN

THE A.R.B. BECAUSE THEY TRUSTED

THIS PARTICULAR DIPLOMAT SO

WELL, THEY MAYBE LEFT HIM MORE

VULNERABLE THAN SOMEONE ELSE

BECAUSE OF HOW HIGHLY THEY

REGARDED HIM.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

AT THE TIME WE WERE CONSIDERING

INTERVENTION IN LIBYA.

I RAISED THE SPECTER ABOUT HOW

WE WERE GOING TO PROVIDE

SECURITY BECAUSE IF WE'RE GOING

TO DEPEND ON THE MILITIAS WHICH

WERE UNRELIABLE, ILL EQUIPPED,

ILL TRAINED WHICH WAS THE CASE

THAT NIGHT AT THAT...

>> Jon: THE BLUE MOUNTAIN AND

FEBRUARY 17.

>> IT WAS TERRIBLE.

THERE WAS VIRTUALLY LITTLE

PERIMETER SECURITY.

THEY WERE OVERRUN

>> Jon: DO YOU HAVE HOPES

THEY'LL BE ABLE TO PUSH PAST THE

POLITICAL ANGLES OF THIS AND GET

TO THE MORE FOUNDATIONAL ASPECT

WHICH IS MAKING SURE THAT THOSE

TYPES OF ADMINISTRATIVE MISTAKES

NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

>> THAT'S WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN.

THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT NOT

TO HAVE A PROCESS THAT IS VIEWED

OR CONVEYED IN ANYWAY AS

POLITICAL, THAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

GETTING AND SEEKING THE TRUTH.

BIPARTISANSHIP SHOULD BE ABOUT

SEEKING THE TRUTH.

>> Jon: I'VE HEARD GOOD THINGS

ABOUT IT.

>> YOU HAVE?

Jon: I'VE NEVER SEEN IT WORK.

BUT I'VE HEARD GOOD THINGS ABOUT

IT.

IN MY HISTORY BOOKS.

FIGHTING FOR THE COMMON GROUND.

IT'S ON THE BOOK SHELVES NOW.

SENATOR OLYMPIA SNOWE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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