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Fri Oct 12, 2012, 12:54 PM

White House: Obama, Biden Weren’t Told About Libya Security Requests

Source: TPM

Joe Biden turned heads in the foreign policy community in Thursday's debate when, asked about security failures that led to the Libya attack, he replied "We weren't told they wanted more security." Security officials testified to Congress this week that they had requested a stay for some security officers but were denied by the State Department.

Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications Ben Rhodes told Foreign Policy that Biden was referring specifically to he and President Obama alone:

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.


Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/white-house-obama-biden-werent-told-about-libya

34 replies, 5744 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply White House: Obama, Biden Weren’t Told About Libya Security Requests (Original post)
DonViejo Oct 2012 OP
hedgehog Oct 2012 #1
patrice Oct 2012 #2
budkin Oct 2012 #3
Rustycup Oct 2012 #4
former9thward Oct 2012 #34
defacto7 Oct 2012 #5
Historic NY Oct 2012 #6
dixiegrrrrl Oct 2012 #8
AngryAmish Oct 2012 #12
marshall Oct 2012 #21
hrmjustin Oct 2012 #27
ejbr Oct 2012 #7
Cosmocat Oct 2012 #9
Historic NY Oct 2012 #13
CTyankee Oct 2012 #25
former9thward Oct 2012 #32
amandabeech Oct 2012 #10
CoffeeCat Oct 2012 #15
former9thward Oct 2012 #33
leveymg Oct 2012 #11
CoffeeCat Oct 2012 #14
cynzke Oct 2012 #20
joe_sixpack Oct 2012 #30
pinto Oct 2012 #16
winstars Oct 2012 #17
pinto Oct 2012 #19
underpants Oct 2012 #22
flamingdem Oct 2012 #31
AtomicKitten Oct 2012 #18
dchill Oct 2012 #26
Buddaman Oct 2012 #23
Igel Oct 2012 #24
ffr Oct 2012 #28
madrchsod Oct 2012 #29

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 12:56 PM

1. k&r

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:02 PM

2. K&R

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:05 PM

3. LIES!!!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:05 PM

4. Well Obama can use this in his

next debate to educate the public on sercurity requests. Mountains out of mole hills.

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Response to Rustycup (Reply #4)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 09:25 PM

34. The murder of an ambassador and three others is not a "mole hill".

Maybe you should go take their place and see what you say then.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:08 PM

5. K&R

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:08 PM

6. Interesting...

they wanted security for the embassy which was hardened & had been sacked before.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:22 PM

8. And apparently did not get more security...

Wonder who will be taken to the woodshed?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 02:29 PM

12. Hillary

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 09:53 PM

21. Ultimately this is on her doorstep

Her watch, her duty.

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Response to marshall (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 05:53 PM

27. i hope she doesn't get the blame. I think they will go below her.

I think the people will see pass this.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:18 PM

7. Someone needs to send this to Elliott Spitzer...

he was concerned that Biden was caught off guard. Now we know why.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:52 PM

9. For the ever loving son of god

can we get the nitwit media to understand ONE thing about this.

Embassy vs CONSULATE

Biden noted this during the debate.

Ryan, being the nitwit he is, said they should have had "more' marines at the consolute in benghazi.

Well, no, cause Marines are not at consulates.

Embassies are the main diplomatic facilities in foreign countries.

Consulates are offices in other cities in the country.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 02:41 PM

13. Apparently they don't seem to think local security was security...

it was attacked didn't matter if you had a squad or 2 marines....the office wasn't designed for such. In many countries its just a skelton force or locals.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 05:45 PM

25. I doubt if Ryan has ever really traveled abroad w/o staff, etc. He would have known this.

I learned this years ago when I had my passport stolen in Turin, Italy. I had to take a train to Milan, where there was a U.S. consulate, to obtain an emergency passport so I could get out of the country. It was, of course, closer than the embassy in Rome.

Ever since then I have said to people "If you are going to have your passport stolen, have it stolen in a world capital so you don't have to travel to get to it or a consulate."

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 09:20 PM

32. Marines are responsible to protect diplomatic personnel wherever they are at.

Some of that job has been contracted out to former military. They needed more protection and did not get it.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:57 PM

10. So. Hillary will be taking the fall for this.

If true, I wonder how Bill feels about it.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 02:54 PM

15. and isn't it worth nothing...

...that the Republican budget included specific cuts for embassy security?

If the answer, from the Obama State Department was "no" to more security--was it due to budget cuts? Was the "no" because a budget could not even be passed--due to Republican obstructionism?

I think these are important questions.

A "no" doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't think that augmenting security wasn't important or necessary. Maybe previous Republican cuts for security, or Republican stonewalling on passing anything--played a hand.

I don't know the answers. I'm just asking the questions.

And I'm sick to death of right-wing hate media painting Obama as a liar and a cover-up artist on this--when there is absolutely no evidence of that, nor is there a plausible explanation for why he would do such a thing.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 09:22 PM

33. The U.S. is operating on a continuing resolution.

And has been for about 3 years now. No actual cuts have been made anywhere.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 01:58 PM

11. A security officer's request made at that level would not be sent up to the WH

Requests from officers in the field weren't communicated to the White House and the decision was made as a State Dept. policy matter at Foggy Bottom. See, http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/11/biden_contradicts_state_department_on_benghazi_security

It's not surprising that a DOS policy decision was made to not treat Libya as a continuing high-risk post. As the report states, Nordstrum may well be accurate when he claims he was told "there would be too much political cost" to such an action.

But, ultimately, the Ambassador gets as much protection as he requests, and Stevens was on-board with policy because he was personally deeply invested in making regime change in Libya a success.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 02:50 PM

14. I tried to follow the Libya situation...

...from the get-go, but it was horrendously confusing and the right-wing noise machine started up from the very beginning and have continued to lie and engage in hysterics--that it is impossible to even get a reading on what happened.

I am sick to death of this.

The Republicans are trying to hang this on Obama, and say that he covered up that this was a terrorist attack. To what end? That doesn't even make sense. What broader statement are they trying to hang on their bizarre assertions?

I will admit, there is a lot that I don't understand. Obama has not been front and center and clearing this up. He has said that there is an ongoing investigation and the facts will be revealed as the investigation progresses. However...I am a bit foggy about all of this.

It feels like the Obama Administration is being more cautious because they know they're in an election season. They know that anything they say could be distorted or used to harm. Look at those bastards with their hearings--insinuating that the White House screwed up.

This entire situation really reeks, and watching the Republicans turn this into a political fiasco really leaves me wondering about what parts of this very awful situation were orchestrated drama and which parts are authentic? I hate to say it, but I don't trust the Republicans at all, and I consider them capable of anything. They're not being respectful or nor do they appear to be wanting to solve the problem. They seem to be solely hell bent on making this administration look bad very close to the election. I feel theatrics at play here--I'm just not sure when the theatrics began.

The Obama Administration is awaiting investigation results, so they don't report finalities--because those aren't in yet. At the very least--Republicans are filling in the blanks with their bizarre, unhinged conspiracy theories. At worst...well, you fill in the blanks.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 04:39 PM

20. Classified Information

From stories I've read, the CIA was housing operatives at the Bengazi consulate and immediately following the attack the CIA and other security forces began an investigation. This was classified information that was leaked this week by Darrell Issa's committee during hearings. They even showed a classified satellite photo of the compound on C-Span. So it seems the CIA was part of the equasion and maybe the Obama Adminstration wasn't free to discuss undercover/classified operations.

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Response to cynzke (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 07:18 PM

30. Interesting. If CIA was on the ground, how did the protest story spread?

I'm still not sure how the story of a protest was quickly and repeatedly tied to this incident, even for several days after it occurred. Surely there had to have been quick and reliable intel that this was not the case. Has it been documented who or what was the first entity to link this incident to a "protest" that never actually happened?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:07 PM

16. A key point from the cited TPM piece -

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.

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Response to pinto (Reply #16)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:13 PM

17. Probably won't hear this important point too much on the MSM!!! n/t

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Response to winstars (Reply #17)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:37 PM

19. Nope. Details are tough for them these days.

Go figure.

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Response to pinto (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 08:43 AM

22. RW radio is absoulute rabid with this story

as usual there is a key part of the equation missing from their (new favorite word) "narrative".

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Response to underpants (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 08:14 PM

31. So was CNN but they slowed down today nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 03:16 PM

18. And Ryan voted to defund security at our embassies by $500 million.

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Response to AtomicKitten (Reply #18)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 05:48 PM

26. So did Issa...

And just about every other rep whose name ends with (R).

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 09:19 AM

23. ryan keeps bringing up Libya

and blaming it on the Dems, seems to me there should be a reminder of who was running the show when 911 happened

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Response to Buddaman (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 11:44 AM

24. Yup.

The problem is that aside issues of scale, they're not all that different.

There was a threat issued before 9/11/2012. It was non-specific--beef up all the embassies and consulates and installations or none of them. "We'll attack you" isn't very helpful. Rather like having a police force get a bomb threat: "A bomb will go off in Baltimore today." Inner Harbor? Shot tower? Museum? City hall? Johns Hopkins? Perhaps one of the docks? Office buildings?

Hard to deal with non-specific threats. They're only good for bludgeoning somebody after the fact.

The actual details of security were left to underlings. Presidents can't be responsible for making every decision by every political subordinate, otherwise all those secretaries and officials would have the job category "administrative aide."

The problem is for one 9/11 it's easy to recognize this is the case and defend the guy who didn't micromanage every single detail of his administration. In the other it's really necessary to say that the president really is in charge of either making every decision (or monitoring them); OR responsible for any bad decision. Whether you think the "9/11" is about * or Obama depends upon whether you're (D) or (R). Mostly.

Take Fast and Furious and its predecessors. * had a similar program. It was shut down. As president, he's responsible for it. Doesn't matter if he was told about it or not, the buck stops with him and only a weak coward would try to blame a subrodinate for crappy leadership. Obama as a similar program. All that matters is that he and Holder weren't personally informed about it. The buck stops several rungs down. Only a weak and cowardly partisan would try to blame a president for failing to know every detail in his administration.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 05:54 PM

28. MSM to public: left that detail out. Whoops!

"...the State Department is responsible for diplomatic security, not the White House never said they had made their requests to the president."

Not too many would know the President isn't responsible for every nuance of every specific thing going on in the world.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 06:14 PM

29. it was a cia base so the cia was responsible for the protection

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