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One of the hallmarks of the Obama administration has been it's proclivity to attempt to blame everything on others. The administration's 'The Buck Stops There' mentality was on display yet again in the vice presidential debate. Here's VP Joe Biden trying to blame Republicans for the lack of security at the embassy in Benghazi, Libya:
"Number one, the — this lecture on embassy security — the congressman [Republican Paul Ryan] here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for, number one. So much for the embassy security piece."
The implication is that, alas, the Obama administration WOULD have granted the repeated requests for more security at Benghazi, but those mean old Republicans cut the budget. I've heard many other Democrats attempting to cash in on this talking point over the past few days, such as Obama insider David Axelrod, who said:
‘What do we need to do in the future to guard against this kind of a situation?’ One thing we shouldn’t do...is what Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress have suggested, which is to cut back on funding for the security of these facilities.”
There's a huge problem with this shameless talking point. It is, as Biden would say, a bunch of malarkey, for the following reasons.
1) Funding for embassy security has increased greatly over the past several years.
From the above, State Dept. figures show that spending on embassy security has nearly doubled since 2007. So much for budget cuts.
2) Funding was not the issue regarding Benghazi security.
During last week's congressional hearings on the Benghazi attack, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb specifically rejected the idea that budget cuts had anything to do with the Obama administration rejecting requests for more security:
“It has been suggested that budget cuts are responsible for a lack of security in Benghazi, and I’d like to ask Miss Lamb,” said Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R., California). “You made this decision personally. Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which lead you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?”
“No, sir,” said [Charlene] Lamb.
Thus, we have yet another example of the BIG LIE coming from the White House about the Benghazi terrorist attack that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens.
Despite numerous incidients in Benghazi prior to the terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11, including two prior bomings of the U.S. consulate, the Obama administration claims it had no intelligence of a specific threat to the embassy, and the State Dept. denied repeated requests for additional Benghazi embassy security, even though after July when the British consulate closed, the U.S. embassy was the only western target left in Benghazi. The attack was entirely predicatble, and U.S. embassy personnel there knew it. Here's more testiimony from the congressional hearings:
The former regional security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, recalled talking to a regional director and asking for twelve security agents.
“His response to that was, ‘You are asking for the sun, moon and the stars.’ And my response to him – his name was Jim – ‘Jim, you know what makes most frustrating about this assignment? It is not the hardships, it is not the gunfire, it is not the threats. It is dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me. And I added (sic) it by saying, ‘For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building.’”
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood, the commander of a Security Support Team (SST) sent home in August – against his wishes and, he says, the wishes of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens – said “we were fighting a losing battle. We couldn’t even keep what we had.”
Wood said that when he heard of the attack on the Benghazi post on September 11, it was “instantly recognizable” that it had been a terrorist attack. Why?
“Mainly because of my prior knowledge there,” Wood said. “I almost expected the attack to come. We were the last flag flying. It was a matter of time.”
The Obama administration has been deceptive about the Benghazi attack the entire time. FIrst, they blamed it on a spontaneous protest over a anti-Mohammed youtube trailer when there was no protest, only a planned terrorist attack. The White House stuck to the phony narrative long after they knew it wasn't true. Now they are trying to blame it on Republican budget cuts that were a non-factor. Obama's Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter even went so far as to say, "the entire reason this has become the political topic it is, is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan". Good lord. What is wrong with these people ? This was a serious national security failure, one that was entirely foreseeable, one that our embassy personnel saw coming. Our Ambassador and other Americans were murdered, and it seems the only thing the Obama administration is interested in is throwing sand in America's eyes until after the election. This behavior is shameful, and should not be tolerated.