House: Administration denied 'repeated requests' for extra security in Benghazi
In a letter sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said that repeated requests for additional security in Libya were denied, despite numerous attacks against the consulate.
“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” Rep. Issa wrote.
“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi,” they added.
“The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”
The letter spells out 13 separate attacks on or near the compound between April and September. The consulate was attacked and burned on September 11, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
"Put together," the letter says, "these events indicated a clear pattern of security threats that could only be reasonably interpreted to justify increased security for U.S. personnel and facilities in Benghazi."
According to the Associated Press, Rep. Chaffetz said there were over 50 incidents.
"Two of them involved explosive devices: a June 6 blast that blew a hole in the security perimeter. The explosion was described to the committee as 'big enough for forty men to go through'; and an April 6 incident where two Libyans who were fired by a security contractor threw a small explosive device over the consulate fence," the AP reported.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refused to answer questions on requests for extra security, but said that Clinton received the letter on Tuesday and will reply the same day. The AP said that she "insisted that the department intends to cooperate fully with Congress."
"We share the same goal," she told reporters. "We want to get to the bottom of precisely what happened and learn any lessons that we need to learn from it. We're taking this very, very seriously."
A post at Townhall says that Ambassador Stevens was also concerned about security and made note of it in the journal a CNN crew found in the burned consulate.
"CNN says Stevens wrote about his fears of constant threats -- threats, incidentally, that the Obama administration has downplayed or flat-out denied," Guy Benson wrote.
ABC News reported that White house Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to discuss the issue.
“I’m not going to get into a situation under review by the State Department and the FBI,” he said.
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey minced no words in his criticism of the administration:
The White House and State Department were asleep at the switch before the 9/11 anniversary attack, and they’ve been lying ever since about the circumstances behind it, too.