GOP: Closing Embassies Was Right

Threat level was specific, serious

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 4, 2013 1:36 PM CDT

(Newser) – The State Department's move to close all embassies today in light of an al-Qaeda threat reverberated through the Sunday shows, with the decision garnering near-universal applause from both sides of the aisle. "We’ve learned from Benghazi, thank God, and the administration’s doing this right," said Lindsey Graham, as per Politico. “Shutting down of embassies makes sense." Further, he said, "The NSA program is proving its worth yet again. To members of the Congress who want to reform the NSA program, great. But if you want to gut it, you make us much less safe and you’re putting our nation at risk." Other reactions on the embassy closings:

  • House Homeland Security chair Mike McCaul: “The administration’s call to close the 21 embassies was a very smart call, particularly in light of what happened in Benghazi when warnings were not headed. I’m glad to see to see they are taking this very seriously.” They did so "because of the specificity, because of where it's coming from, the level of chatter, it seems to be a fairly large operation. It's giving the intelligence community quite a bit of pause."
  • Sen. Saxby Chambliss: "This is most serious threat I’ve seen in the last several years. But we’re hearing some kind of that same chatter that we heard pre-9/11 leading up to anecdotes like that, taken place by the terrorists."
  • Rep. Pete King: “This is a wake-up call. The assumption is that it’s most likely to happen in the Middle East at one of the embassies but there’s no guarantee at all. It could be Europe, the United States. It could be a series of combined attacks. We have to be ready for everything.”
  • Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden: “The announcement itself may also be designed to interrupt al-Qaeda planning, to put them off stride, to put them on the back foot, to let them know that we’re on at least to a portion of this plot line.”

And elsewhere on the Sunday dial, as per Politico:

  • Chuck Schumer on Vladimir Putin: “Putin’s behaving like a school yard bully. Unless you stand up to that bully, they ask for more and more and more. Always going out of his way, Mr. Putin is, to poke us in the eye with Iran and Syria, now with Snowden. I would urge the president not to go to the bilateral meeting next month. That would give Putin the kind of respect he doesn’t deserve."
  • Rudy Giuliani on A-Rod's Biogenesis scandal: “I’ve seen the other side of A-Rod, extremely kind to kids, very good teammate, I can’t evaluate this. I don’t exactly understand completely this Biogenesis situation. I don’t understand exactly what it is that they did wrong."
  • Rick Santorum on 2016: "I’m open to looking at a presidential race in 2016. But we got a little ways [to go]. We got elections in 2014."

Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Graham today applauded the State Department decision to shutter embassies over an al-Qaeda threat.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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