Sunday November 18, 2012 | 03:00 PM

WASHINGTON – Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe on Sunday continued to question how the Obama administration publicly handled the September attacks on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya.

Appearing on the CBS Sunday morning news program “Face the Nation,” Snowe said it was “unacceptable in today’s environment” that it took the administration’s top intelligence officials 17 days to issue a statement saying that the Benghazi attacks were deliberate and well-organized. Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed in the attacks by militant groups.

Snowe, a Republican, also said she wants additional answers about why security wasn’t stronger at the U.S. consulate given the “abundance of threat reports” in the region. Although lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voice strong concerns about the administration's handling of the Benghazi incident, the criticism has been loudest from Republicans.

“Essentially, there was very minimal security,” Snowe told host Bob Schieffer. “The physical barriers weren’t sufficient. The attackers, the mob overran the complex. The militia we were depending on dispersed and did not provide any defense. And we had very few personnel in the most high-threat environment possible.”

Snowe serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has conducted several closed-door hearings on the Benghazi attacks and plans at least three more. Snowe’s Maine colleague, Republican Sen. Susan Collins, is ranking minority member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is also investigating the attacks.

Schieffer also asked Snowe about her decision to retire due to the hyper-partisanship in Washington, calling it “a marker in time when a member of the Senate would say, ‘This is no longer the place that one can accomplish anything.'”

“The essence of public service is to solve problems and we have lost that central purpose. And we have to return to it,” Snowe said.


About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.