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WH Won’t Comment on Prior Security Requests From Consulate

Did the Obama administration reject requests for increased security from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi prior to the 9/11/12 attack, as whistle blowers have reportedly claimed? The White House won’t say. Spokesman Jay Carney declined to comment when asked about the security request during a press briefing today:

White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on an assertion by the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that requests from diplomats in Libya for added security prior to the September 11, 2012 attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, were denied.

“I’m not going to get into a situation under review by the State Department and the FBI,” Carney said. …

The press secretary said that “from the moment our facility was attacked” the president has been focused on providing security to all diplomatic posts “and bringing the killers to justice.”

About the list of security issues, Carney said it was a “known fact that Libya is in transition” and that in the eastern part of Libya in particular there are militant groups and “a great number of armed individuals and militias.”

Yes–there are a great number of armed individuals and militias. That’s exactly why you would expect the State Department to approve requests from the consulate for additional security. As for the situation being “under review,” the FBI still hasn’t even made it to Benghazi, and the latest reports suggest that they might not get there for several more days:

Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel Aziz said the prosecutor general had so far given only verbal approval for a joint investigation.

“We are getting ready for the FBI team to go to Benghazi and meet with our team and start joint investigations together and also visit the site,” he said.

“The FBI team is now in Tripoli. There are others who will come maybe soon to join the team … Hopefully in the coming days we will reach an agreement as to how the (U.S.) team will work with the Libyan team … We are now in the context of (awaiting) written permission.”

Didn’t U.S. officials previously blame the holdup on “security fears”? Now Libyan officials say it’s because the U.S. hasn’t received permission yet (or, to be clear, they haven’t received “written” permission — just “verbal”). It’s hard to believe that’s the cause for delay. Why would it take so long for the Libyan government to approve this? And who cares if the permission was written or verbal? Something doesn’t add up here.



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