Obama’s Libya narrative has completely crumbled
In the aftermath of last month’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama Administration tried to do everything it could to avoid taking blame. They hoped that the anti-Islam video posted on YouTube would suffice as a reasonable scapegoat, as noted by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. But as more has come to light, it has been difficult for them to avoid accepting blame — not that they aren’t trying. Eli Lake has already shattered some of early narratives put forward by the White House, but more is coming out.
A couple of House Republicans are pointing out that the consulate in Benghazi has been the target of threats in the past and had requested more security prior to the attack:
Two House Republicans say they have been informed by whistleblowers that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and threatened 13 times before the incident last month that killed four Americans.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter on Tuesday that detailed the whistleblowers’ allegations.
“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” Issa and Chaffetz wrote. “It was clearly never, as Administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest.”
The congressmen said the consulate asked for more security to deal with the growing threat but was turned down by the administration.
“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”
Of course, rather than confirm or deny the report, the White House simply says “no comment.” Yeah, that’s not good enough. Look, I’m no fan of Mitt Romney’s overly hawkish foreign policy, but Obama Administration has been a dismal failure here and it’s one that could be potentially damaging — though whether or not Romney is winning to hit Obama hard on the subject in a debate remains to be seen.
It’s not even so much that extra security was denied, though that proved to be detrimental; but rather the “cover-up,” so to speak, that came as a result of the attack. We’re so close to an election that they wanted to avoid any perception of being weak on foreign policy or the issue of terrorism that they would have been quite happy if everyone bought the narrative that the anti-Islamic video and, depending on who you’re talking to, even our First Amendment rights had taken the blame — even if that meant essentially lying to the American public.