The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Biden: If Only Our Diplomats Had Asked for More Security!


Besides the laughing, grinning, interrupting, and so on, this may be one of the more consequential Biden statements of the night:

“Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again.”

That remark is remarkably incongruous with everything we know about communications from diplomatic staff in Libya, as well as this report from CBS News this morning:

The regional security office for the U.S. Embassy in Libya compiled a running list of 230 security incidents through July 2012 in a memo that ultimately concluded that “the risk of U.S. Mission personnel, private U.S. citizens, or businesspersons encountering an isolating event as a result of militia or political violence is HIGH.”

The document, obtained by CBS News, is the latest piece of evidence suggesting security in the country was tenuous ahead of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

Since the attack, there have been increasing questions about whether the State Department did enough to safeguard its diplomatic personnel in Libya, with some security officers for the mission claiming that repeated requests for additional security were ignored by officials in Washington.

In an email to congressional investigators dated Oct. 1, Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom said he sent similar lists of security incidents to superiors as a “significant part of (diplomatic post’s) and my argument for maintaining” Diplomatic Security and Defense Department assets in Libya through October because the Libyan government “was overwhelmed and could not guarantee our protection.”

Tags: Joe Biden , Libya


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