WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz Tuesday said that while significant allegations of government misrepresentations merit investigation, withholding operational details surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden would be appropriate if that furthered national security.
Journalist Seymour Hersh set off a firestorm Sunday when he published a story accusing the Obama administration of lying to the American public about a host of details surrounding the death of bin Laden in 2011. Some other media outlets and the administration have questioned parts of or that full story.
But Cruz, who is no defender of the White House, said national security concerns could make hiding details appropriate.
"There are obvious national security concerns, where the operational details shouldn't be in the public domain," the Texas Republican told BuzzFeed News, adding that it's too soon to call for congressional hearings.
"At this point I think we need to understand what the basis is for the reports. I think it is premature to have an assessment. Certainly, all of us celebrate and are grateful that the United States was able to kill Osama Bin Laden. And that was far too long in coming," Cruz said.
But he did caution that, "anytime you have an allegation of significant misrepresentations there should be an effort to ascertain the truth."
Although Republicans continue to question details surrounding the September 2012 attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, Cruz argued there are key differences in the two situations, including questions about political motivations.
"There is a difference between those two contexts. With regard to Benghazi, there are serious concerns that the administration has deliberately obfuscated and misrepresented the facts for political benefit, to prevent accountability for the wrongful murder of four Americans including the first U.S. ambassador killed in duty since the Jimmy Carter administration," Cruz said.
John Stanton is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New Orleans. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
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