Obama, Biden Didn't Know About Libya Security Requests, Spokesmen Say

By:  Jack Kenny
10/16/2012
       
Obama, Biden Didn't Know About Libya Security Requests, Spokesmen Say

In what might be called "Benghazigate," the controversy has continued over what the president and vice president knew, and when they knew, about requests for increased security at diplomatic posts in Libya, prior to the September 11 armed attack on the consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

In what might be called "Benghazigate," the controversy has continued over what the president and vice president knew, and when they knew, about requests for increased security at diplomatic posts in Libya, prior to the September 11 armed attack on the consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

ForeignPolicy.com reported October 14 that the White House has denied any knowledge of repeated requests made to the State Department for more security in Libya. Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications Ben Rhodes said Vice President Joe Biden was speaking only for himself and President Obama, and not of the administration more generally, when he said in the October 11 vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan, "We weren't told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there." Biden's remarks came under fire from Republicans, who pointed to a well publicized House committee hearing just one day earlier in which officials charged with responsibility for diplomatic security testified that their requests for more agents had been denied by the State Department.

"All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources," Eric Nordstrom, the top regional security officer in Libya over the past summer, testified at an October 10 hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Nordstrom said that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb told him not to request a Site Security Team extension. "I was told that because there would be too much political cost," Nordstrom said. "We went ahead and requested it, anyway,"

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Photo of President Obama and Vice President Biden: AP Images

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