Gingrich: ‘Intelligence Community Was Not out of Touch’ on Libya Attack Like Administration Says

By Melanie Arter | October 1, 2012 | 1:50pm EDT

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

( – Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that he doesn’t believe the Obama administration’s claim that the intelligence community did not alert them prior to the attack in Libya, which claimed the lives of the U.S. ambassador and four others.

“So, I don’t know whether I feel more comfortable knowing that the administration was incompetent and lied to us or I feel more comfortable knowing that the intelligence community was so out of touch. My hunch is that the intelligence community was not out of touch,” Gingrich said.

“Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer asked Gingrich whether GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney should be making more of the fact that the administration has changed its tune about whether the Libya attack was terrorism.

“I want to ask you something on the foreign policy front, because the administration has basically changed its account of what happened in Libya where our U.S. ambassador was killed,” Schieffer said.

“They said, [United Nations Ambassador] Susan Rice said on this broadcast last Sunday after the president of Libya said this was the work of terrorists, she said, ‘No, this was because of a spontaneous demonstration that had to do with that film.’ Now, they have come around to saying, ‘Well, yes, it was a terrorist attack.’ Is Mitt Romney making enough of this? I haven’t heard too much from him on that,” Schieffer added.

“This administration in effect is now saying to us, ‘Oh, don’t blame the United Nations ambassador. Don’t blame the White House spokesman. Don’t blame the president, because our intelligence system failed so decisively,’” Gingrich said.

“Now, I don’t know which worries me more – the idea that the intelligence system took weeks to figure out the obvious - although we are told that in fact they had information the day before the attack, because the video that went out from al Qaeda asking that the ambassador- that someone be killed on 9/11 was a day earlier,” Gingrich added.

Gingrich said he believes the administration was not out of touch and that the Obama administration lied about not having intelligence suggesting a possible terrorist attack prior to the attack in Benghazi.

“The ambassador’s own diary apparently indicates that he was worried about being targeted for death. You have to ask yourself. They should be- Congress ought to be holding hearings right now,” he said.

“How could an ambassador be in Benghazi – the hotbed of anti-American sentiment in Libya? How could he be there on 9/11 with no security? I mean this whole, this entire incident makes no sense, and yes, I think Romney should be demanding the president tell the American people the truth,” Gingrich added.

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