Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform commenced hearings to examine what went wrong when the American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three others were killed in Benghazi last month.
During the televised hearing, it became immediately clear that in the weeks and months prior to the assault, U.S. security in the region was scaled back, and there were severe intelligence lapses. Former security officials stated that they appealed to the State Department for more men on the ground, but their requests were never acted on and now four men are dead.
Eric Nordstrom, the State Department’s regional security officer in Libya, detailed his worries regarding the Obama administration’s scaling back of American security agents and replacing them with Libyan staff. He testified that he believed this process was moving way too quickly, which in turn left the embassy vulnerable to attack.
The White House claimed that its intelligence was inaccurate, yet the hearings proved that despite repeated requests and proven intelligence, there was not enough security in Benghazi. Why would the White House allow this to happen? Now, weeks before the election, is the White House trying to cover up the lapses in security to minimize the political fallout?
Mitt Romney pointed out that President Obama and his administration completely failed to protect diplomatic personnel, and the administration ignored telltale signs that Al Qaeda affiliates were preparing an attack in North Africa around the anniversary of Sept. 11.
Before his death, Stevens told the State Department that Libya “remains unpredictable, volatile and violent.” Still, during the hearing, Charlene Lamb, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for international programs, stated that there was “no justification” for sending additional security.
What nonsense! Lamb made these statements despite repeated requests by Stevens for more security and after the attack. Lamb is nothing more than an incompetent political hack trying desperately to cover up our government’s failure to provide adequate security to our men and women overseas.