Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized the Obama administration on Tuesday for its handling of the September 11, 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, calling it ‘a failure of leadership.’ Cheney said U.S. leaders should have been better prepared for violence on the anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

‘They should have been ready before anything ever happened,’ Cheney told MailOnline exclusively during a party in Georgetown celebrating the launch of a new book by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

‘I mean, it’s North Africa – Libya, where they’ve already had major problems,’ Cheney said. ‘You know that al-Qaeda is operating there, and you have some of the other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups there like Ansar al-Sharia and others.’

Ansar al-Sharia, a militant terror group that aims to enforce Shariah law across Libya, was fingered almost immediately by U.S. intelligence as an organization that ‘claimed credit’ for the Benghazi attack, according to a 43-page interim report on the Benghazi fiasco issued by Republican leaders of five House committees.

Cheney said that the George W, Bush administration made a point of ramping up security at military bases, diplomatic outposts and other American facilities worldwide each year on September 11.

When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary,’ he recalled. ‘We always anticipated they were coming for us, especially in that part of the world.’

‘I cannot understand why they weren’t ready to go,’ the former two-term vice president said of the Obama administration.

‘You’ve got units in the Defense Department that are superb. They practice for this contingency. And they didn’t have anybody in the area.’

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