"Face the Nation" transcripts November 18, 2012: Sens. McCain, Durbin, Snowe
ORR: You know, the people I talk to at CIA and other places around town knew pretty early on that there were elements of Islamic radical groups involved in the attack. Specifically this group in Libya Ansar al Sharia and some tentacles reaching out to al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb. So early on, they knew there were some loose association if nothing else, of people who participated in this attack on the consulate. When the information got over to the White House, al Qaeda became extremists, and when Susan Rice went on television, went on this program to talk about what she knew, she took perhaps the most benign interpretation of the information in front of her. But to be clear, this happened in the political season when everything is politicalized and put through the prism. And I think it's -- we knew what we knew at the beginning and that really hasn't changed.
SCHIEFFER: Well, do we think that they changed this around for political reasons, Tom?
RICKS: I think the phrase "in the political season" is the most importance phrase. It really strikes me that no one can tell me how many security contractors were killed in the Iraq war. And I've looked into this, working on my books on the Iraq War. Everybody seems to tell you about the four people in Benghazi. So I'm a little bit suspicious of the motive in talking about Benghazi so much when nobody's paying attention to this stuff for years.
IGNATIUS: I would just make one point, the dirty little secret here is that our intelligence analysts don't know even now how all these factors came together outside the consulate on the night of September 11 so that the consulate was overrun. And that was the-- one of the problems in the days immediately after. They did have intelligence that people linked with al Qaeda were in that crowd. But in terms of pre-planning, of directives from al Qaeda in the Maghreb, or other senior al Qaeda leadership to those people to do something, they don't have that. They had very quickly intelligence that people in that group that attacked the consulate were watching what happened in Cairo live on TV. And they had surveillance of them talking about it, and then they go to the consulate to attack. So they were trying to figure out what's the mix of that spontaneous driver and the fact that we know there's part of organized terrorist groups. And, you know, there is a fog of intelligence analysis and that's a part of what you're seeing here.
SCHIEFFER: Well, what I am having trouble with, is anyone -- no one should be more informed or what the situation is in the country than the ambassador. He should have access to all the intelligence and ambassadors do. Why would the ambassador go to Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11-- obviously, that was a date to be considered in any kind of moment -- why did he go, Margaret?
BRENNAN: He was supposed to be there to open a cultural center there in Benghazi that's why he was officially there. We may not get some of the answers to these questions until Secretary Clinton goes to the Hill with the probe that the State Department did in her hand. Sources tell us that probably won't be until the end of December. A lot of that information is going to be about the questions that the State Department has asked themselves. It won't necessarily get us inside the White House. It won't necessarily get us inside the CIA and some of their decision making, but it will lay out what happened, when the requests were made for security, and why, perhaps, they weren't fulfilled in the way that some have said in hindsight they should have been. SCHIEFFER: Bob, I want to go back to you with all these investigations going on. Do you see any prosecutions coming here?
ORR: There's going to be a lot of political pressure, I think, on the FBI at the end of the day to produce something, that's just my opinion. But you have the CIA director stepping down. You have General John Allen who is nominated to be the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe now under a cloud of suspicion. At the end of the day, it's hard to imagine you dust your hands off and say, "well, that was messy." I think there is going to be at least some internal and probably internal and probably external pressure in the FBI to pursue a case, and most likely against Paula Broadwell, I think. The one thing that might be prosecutable that we know about was her handling of classified information. She had clearance to have access to the classified information. What she didn't have, and what people with clearances don't have, is permission to take that information outside of the secure realm. They found it in her home. They found it in her files. And we need make a point-- she's been cooperative with investigators about this. And it really would be a relative smack on the hands, I think, to prosecute that charge but nevertheless it might produce something at the end of the day.
SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, and that's something that is not taken lightly in security circles. Who was it John Deutche...
ORR: Former CIA director who was fired for...
SCHIEFFER: ...director who was fired because he took classified information home with him.
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