Jeff Duncan: The Meat of the Syria Issue is Benghazi – Administrations Lack of Credibility and Accountability Video Transcript

South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan (R) gets to the meat of our problem today: Barack Obama has no credibility and accepts no accountability. Neither he nor Hillary Clinton have withdrawn the claim that the Benghazi attacks were prompted because of an anti-Islam video. They lied, our people died and we should never forget it. The lies surrounding Benghazi are so deep, neither the Executive branch nor the State Department (no matter who heads it or who has moved on) can be allowed to get a second chance to perpetrate such betrayal on this country. No great fan of Vladimir Putin here, but even he said this week he would consider supporting action against Syria if the U.N. has evidence that Assad was clearly behind the sarin gas attacks and cleared the way for action. So far, it is clear sarin gas was used, but not entirely clear who released it – and the question roils: why would Assad use the one weaponry that would give the world the right to take action, when he was winning his fight? The video and the major parts of the transcript are below (all emphasis is mine). Applause for Mr. Duncan please.

Jeff Duncan

Jeff Duncan

Another consideration, John Kerry “guaranteed” Senator Rand Paul that if we do nothing, Assad will use chemical weapons on his people again – “guaranteed it – using that word “guarantee.” Foolishness from a man who touts his war history below but leaves out the fact that he betrayed his fellow warriors who fought in Vietnam once he got home.

John Kerry during his Vietnam hearing/betrayal

John Kerry during his Vietnam hearing/betrayal

DUNCAN: I can’t discuss the possibility of U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war without also talking about Benghazi. The administration has a serious credibility issue with the American people (inaudible) surrounding the questions the terrorist attack in Benghazi almost a year ago.

When you factor in the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the AP and James Rosen issues, Fast and Furious and NSA spying program, the bottom line is, there is a need for accountability and trust-building from the administration…The administration has a credibility issue. In my opinion, Secretaries Kerry and Hagel, Benghazi is germane to the discussions of Syria because as you stated, Mr. Secretary, the world was and is watching for our response, but after almost a year of not bringing anyone to justice in Benghazi, they are watching our response.

Mr. Kerry, your predecessor asked “What difference does it make now?,” well this is the difference, Mr. Secretary. These issues call into question the accountability of this administration. It’s commitment to the personnel on the ground and the judgement that it uses when making these determinations. The American people deserve answers before we move forward talking about Military involvement in Syria.

Section 4 of your testimony today said this is about accountability. Sure it is. The American people deserve questions about Benghazi before we move forward with Military involvement in Syria’s civil war.

[Duncan holds up a photo of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who lost his life in Benghazi, saying the Woods family deserves answers, Americans deserve answers before sending another man or woman of the “caliber” of Tyrone Woods into harm’s way] …especially when there is no clear indication that there’s an imminent threat to the United States.

I don’t question that chemical weapons were used in Syria. I’ve looked at the classified briefings. I do ask that if so, where are the other signatory countries of the chemical weapons convention as you the U.S. beats the drums of war against this regime in Syria?

I have spoken to hundreds of constituents. This represents about 300 emails [holds up stack of papers] that my office has gotten, and not one member in my district in South Carolina say go to Syria and fight this regime. To a letter, they say ‘no,’ ‘do not go into Syria,’ ‘don’t get involved in their civil war.’ I spoke to 8th graders – about 150 eighth graders yesterday. They get it that we shouldn’t be drug into someone else’s civil war where there are no good guys.There are no good guys to get behind her3 and I can only envision an escalation of this current conflict, the same administration that was so quick to involve the U.S. in Syria now, is reluctant to use the same resources at its disposal in an attempt to rescue the 4 brave Americans that fought for their lives in Benghazi.

Mr. Kerry, you have never been one that has advocated for anything other than caution when involving U.S. forces in past conflicts. The same is true for the President and the Vice President. Is the power of the Executive Branch so intoxicating that you would abandon past caution in favor of pulling the trigger on a Military response so quickly?

The reason that I say that Benghazi is germane to our discussions on Syria is this, Secretary Kerry, have there been efforts on the part of the U.S. directly, or indirectly to provide weapons to the Syrian rebels, and that would also include facilitating the transfer of weapons from Libyan rebels to the Syrian rebels?

KERRY: Have there been…

DUNCAN: Put weapons in the hands of Syrian rebels and also transfer weapons from Libya to Syria?

Arrogance alert. Posturing alert. Important question not answered.

KERRY: Well, let me begin Congressman by challenging your proposition that I’ve never done anything except advocate caution, because I offered to volunteered to fight for my country and that wasn’t a cautious thing to do…

…and I am not going to sit here and be told by you that I don’t have a sense of what the judgement is with respect to this.

We’re talking about people being killed by gas and you want to go talk about Benghazi and Fast and Furious.

DUNCAN:I absolutely want to talk about it. Four Americans lost their lives. I have sympathy for the people in Syria and I do think there should be a worldwide response but we should act cautiously before we act unilaterally.

KERRY: We are acting cautiously. We are acting so cautiously that the president of the United States was accused of not acting because he wanted to have sufficient evidence and he wanted to build a case properly.

DUNCAN: It’s been 15 days.

KERRY: Congressman…[Kerry inserts point of privilege] This is important. I think this is important. I think it’s important whether or not we’re going into Syria in a way that the Congressman describes which I think most people in America don’t want us to do. We don’t want to do that. That’s why the President has said ‘No boots on the ground.’ This is not about getting into Syria’s civil war. This is about enforcing the principle that people shouldn’t be allowed to gas their citizens with impunity. And if we don’t vote to do this, Assad will interpret from you that he’s free to go and do this any day he wants to. That’s what this is about, not getting involved in Syria’s civil war.

Remember when Kerry first took office as Secretary of State he announced ‘we are moving on from Benghazi,’ or very similar words. He said it twice and indicated there were more “important” issues to get to. Over and done with if he can make it happen. Duncan isn’t letting it happen.

So let’s draw the proper distinction here Congressman. We don’t deserve to drag this into yet another Benghazi discussion when the real issue here is whether or not the Congress is going to stand up for international norms with respect to dictators that have only been broken twice until Assad, Hitler and Saddam Hussein. If we give license to someone to continue that, shame on us.

In the video, Kerry mentions that he supported American action in Grenada and Panama. Neither were dealing with Islam – huge difference, and 12 years after 9-11-01, 20 years after the first World Trade Center bombings and 30 years after the bombings of our Marine barracks in Beirut, we should understand that significant difference.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) Exchange with John Kerry on Syria (video)
 Linked by Dan Miller in Panama – thanks!

Linked at Nebraska Energy Observer – thanks NEO!

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  • CarlaJD

    I am proud my State of South Carolina is Represented by Mr. Duncan. His ability to address the facts of the Syrian issue should be awakening for the citizens of the USA..

    For days, we have seen a POTUS & Secretary of State making matters so much worse because of EGOs and failings of leadership.

    Does the Syrian issue open other cans of worms where internal strife within other nations may be though of as an invitation for US to bully itself into civil issues?

    The fact that thousands of people die at the hands of horrible leaders is terrible, but if the US runs willy nilly to their rescue and forfeits the USA to save itself.. who will truly suffer…. The Citizens of the United States will. We cannot be the savior to all without first saving our self.

  • Congrats to the Congressman from SC — and no surprise whatsoever that Kerry refused to answer regarding the illegal, unauthorized transfer of weapons to the thugs fighting on the opposition side. Americans died in that stupid, senseless operation and nobody will take responsibility. This is what happens when government is no longer accountable to the people.

  • Pingback: Syria, Iran, Islam, President Obama and the United States | danmillerinpanama()

  • Commie Kerry made a conscious decision to serve his country when he determined that he could make political hay out of military service. When Commie Kerry returned from his “tour” in Vietnam, which consisted of only FOUR months, and medals that he didn’t earn, including a Purple Heart for having shot himself with an M-79 Grenade Launcher (which is, to say the least, an interesting feat), Commie Kerry denounced his country and his fellow veterans. I am one of these … so I think it is time that someone “on the hill” challenge Commie Kerry about his supposed war record.

    One more point, please. Why is RINO McCain and Graham joining with Communists Obama and Kerry to support Syrian rebels who murder Christians, murder unarmed soldiers, and cut of the heads of people for the camera while they are still alive? I find this very, very perplexing. My conclusion is that this Administration prefers that we stop thinking about Benghazi, Fast & Furious, IRS, NSA, and Voter Suppression by the New Black Panther Party.

    • Mustang, I just posted on Allahu Akbar McCain and his moderate friend, Salim Idris, the head of the Free Syrian Army – who says Israel is his enemy. I am as perplexed as you are, but remember that McCain and Kerry have always been fast friends. Beyond odd considering McCain’s POW status in Vietnam. No answers for Graham other than he follows McCain.

      I too believe this is a distraction, but WOW, what a way to distract. Maybe this is the only thing big enough to distract, but Duncan didn’t let that happen today.

  • Lee Thomas

    A POST in the Daily KOS…………

    he accomplished more than any president in recent history and no
    President could be worse than Bush. I agree all the sudden republican
    doves are just Obama haters.

    I think Obama should have just done what he wanted to and bypassed
    congress. Syria will continue to kill their people and if they use
    chemical weapons again Obama can just say i told you so.

    End of quote:

    Just remember these are the guys that are anti-war….called Bush a COWBOY…..attacked everything BUSH did as a NAZI police state and yet…..this President…..”Remember hes the smartest man in the room” continues to use Bush’s policies and practices and tactics.

    This is a party and a movement (Progressives) who vehemently opposed wars….Obama has Bombed Libya and now wants to bomb Syria….This is a movement who believes that Dovish apologetic foreign policy works more then the COWBOY “BOMBBOMB>BOMB IRAN” policy of the GOP and Bush.

    Yet here is the Same president critical of Bush and a movement calling Bush/Cheney Nazis and Hitler and Gerbels………DOING THE SAME THING and saying….he should just DO IT and FORGET congress…..forget the people….just do it…………..

    So the PROGRESSIVES new policy is “BOMB>BOMB>BOMB>BOMB>>>BOMB A MUSLIM LAND”………

    And still pointing to BUSH as Mine Fuhrer and deluding themselves into believing that their actions are more noble and grander then those of Bush/Cheney.

    • Lee Thomas, it’s convenient for Democrats to forget that Democrats voted to go to war in Iraq. They didn’t vote to blame Republicans if no WMD were found, but that’s what they did and the Bush administration did not forcibly demonstrate that the claim was valid and the weapons were likely spirited out of the country. At the time, Russia was suspected to have move the chemical weapons into Syria. We ignored it. Due to Democrat behavior, Bush did not act in a warrior-like fashion to win. Our troops did when they were allowed to do so, but not the administration.

      After 9/11/01 this country was in shock, but we weren’t hardened enough to realize who these people are and that the only way to go to war, was to go to war to finish the job. Had we done that, yes there would have been collateral damage but I believe fewer Americans would died, and in the end fewer Iraqis and Afghanis. We should have hit hard – hard and left them to sort it out.

      The Daily KOS comes up with some good one – known as creative writing:-) Thanks for sharing.

      • Lee Thomas

        The worst thing that ever happened to this country is a MSM which simply walks in lock step with a party that is essentially controlled now by Progressive communists. If one is to look at the Columbia School of Journalism you can find a myriad of Socialists and avowed Communists running that program.

        Whatever a democratic president wants to do…..he is not called out for it…in fact he finds tepid support from the MSM and its appalling….that the press which was once the defender of freedom is now the defender of the LEFT.

        What is truly a head scratcher is the fact that the GOP is wanting to go along with this hair brained scheme and how smoothly the left and the Democrats and the press has put the ball in congresses court and more specifically into the hands of the GOP…..so when it all goes wrong……..it will be made out to be the Right and the GOPS fault and once again “The smartest man in the room” is protected. How the GOP fails to see this just shows how totally they fail to see the grander scheme of what is happening in politics as they cash their checks and campaign for the next cash cow election.