On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s administration’s response to the attack on the Boston Marathon on CNN. He said that the administration presided over the failure of the nation’s various security agencies to share information which may have prevented the attack. Graham said that the Obama administration “oversold” the impact that the death of Osama bin Laden would have on the capabilities of Islamic terror networks.
“I think it’s system failure,” Graham said of the Boston attack. He said that Obama deserves much credit for the 2011 raid that resulted in the death of bin Laden, but he claimed that the administration became complacent about the threat of Islamic terrorism after that success.
“The Russian intelligence services contacted the FBI and the CIA saying you’ve got a radical Islamist in your midst,” Graham said. “When he leaves to go to Russia and Dagestan, the Department of Homeland Security picks up his leaving and returning, but they don’t share it with the FBI and the CIA. That’s a system failure.”
Graham said that Tsarnaev left an electronic trail declaring his animosity towards the U.S., further suggesting that an attack was imminent.
“Bin Laden may be dead, and I’m glad he is, but radical Islam is not,” Graham said. “In our own back yard, the threat is growing. Frankly, the administration has oversold the demise of bin Laden.”
Graham criticized Vice President Joe Biden for calling the Tsarnaev brothers “knockoff Jihadists,” saying that this minimized the threat that the U.S. faced.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked what Graham would say to critics who will accuse him of politicizing the Boston attacks. Graham replied that he was critical of the Bush administration when it became clear that they were making mistakes in the prosecution of the war on terror.
“I am now saying to my fellow citizens, 11 years after 9/11 clearly our system is not working,” Graham concluded.
Watch the segment below via CNN:
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