Via Foreign Policy’s The Cable:
Vice President Joseph Biden speaks only for himself and President Barack Obama, and neither man was aware that U.S. officials in Libya had asked the State Department for more security before the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, a top White House official told The Cable.
Biden has come under fire for saying at Thursday night’s debate, “We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there.”
The Cable asked Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications Ben Rhodes whether Biden was speaking for the entire Obama administration, including the State Department, which acknowledged receiving multiple requests for more Libya security in the months before the attacks. Rhodes said that Biden speaks only for himself and the president and neither of them knew about the requests at the time.
The State Department security officials who testified before House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s panel Wednesday never said they had made their requests to the president, Rhodes pointed out. That would be natural because the State Department is responsible for diplomatic security, not the White House, he said. Rhodes also pointed out that the officials were requesting more security in Tripoli, not Benghazi.
If this is actually true, than the question is, “why the hell not?” In all of the meeting President Obama had about Libya since the fall of Gaddafi until September 12, the topic of embassy and diplomatic mission security never came up? Not once?
I’d love to see what exactly the president and the State Department did to prepare their embassies overseas for the anniversary of 9/11. Because not being aware of what is going on in Libya is just unacceptable.