GOP: White House Ignored Safety Warnings In Libya
AP - WASHINGTON - Despite two explosions and dozens of other security threats, U.S. officials in Washington turned down repeated pleas from American diplomats in Libya to increase security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi where the U.S. ambassador was killed, Republican leaders of a House committee said Tuesday.
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chairman Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said their information came from "individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya."
Issa, R-Calif., and Chaffetz, R-Utah, said the attack three weeks ago in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months before the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S.
The letter listed 13 incidents, but Chaffetz said in an interview there were more than 50. 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 40 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.
"A number of people felt helpless in pushing back" against the decision not to increase security and "were pleading with them to reconsider," Chaffetz said. He added that frustrated whistle-blowers were so upset with the decision that they were anxious to speak with the committee.
The lawmakers said they plan a hearing on Oct. 10. They asked Clinton whether the State Department was aware of the previous incidents, and whether the level of security that was provided to the U.S. mission met the security threat, and how the department responded to requests for more protection.
The State Department has declined to answer questions about whether extra security was sought by officials in Benghazi ahead of the attack.
Clinton responded in a letter to Issa on Tuesday that she has established an accountability review board that will determine "whether our security systems and procedures in Benghazi were adequate, whether those systems and procedures were properly implemented, and any lessons learned that may be relevant to our work around the world."
She asked the committee to withhold any final conclusions about the Benghazi attack until the committee can review the findings of the board. The panel is led by retired State Department official Thomas Pickering and includes retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Clinton also pledged to address the specific questions raised in the committee's letter in addition to document requests.
Referring to the Benghazi attack, the letter said, "It was clearly never, as administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest."
In the days immediately after the attack, the Obama administration said it believed it was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video circulating on the Internet. Since then, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and White House press secretary Jay Carney have called the incident a terrorist attack. President Barack Obama has not used those precise words, though he has referred to the attack in the context of "acts of terror."
Republicans have lashed out at Obama and senior administration officials over their evolving description of the deadly Sept. 11 attack, a late campaign-season broadside.
5 Oct 2012
post a comment
Send A Tip
Breitbart Video Picks
Sign up for our
From Our Partners
Fox News Politics
Labor unions turn on ObamaCare, fear losing coverage
24 May 2013, 2:11 AM PDT
IRS official on leave refused to resign, says GOP senator
24 May 2013, 12:45 AM PDT
Republicans criticize Obama over call for repeal of 2001 use of force law
24 May 2013, 12:45 AM PDT
New York sheriffs voice opposition to strict gun law, seek to join lawsuit
23 May 2013
Concealed handgun measure triggers fight among Texas lawmakers
23 May 2013
Fox News National
New Jersey cop reportedly firebombs supervisor's home, charged with attempted murder
24 May 2013, 4:10 AM PDT
US lauds India for reducing Iranian oil imports
24 May 2013, 3:05 AM PDT
New Jersey officials say bar sold rubbing alcohol instead of scotch
24 May 2013, 2:48 AM PDT
5.7-magnitude quake widely felt across N. Calif.
24 May 2013, 2:01 AM PDT
Jury in Arias case gives up after no consensus
24 May 2013, 1:51 AM PDT
Fox News Sports
Year after 1st-round exit, Serena Williams to face 83rd-ranked Anna Tatishvili at French Open
24 May 2013, 3:02 AM PDT
UEFA President Platini wants a European sports police force, laws to punish match-fixers
24 May 2013, 2:14 AM PDT
Schaub determined to help Houston Texans reach next level this season
24 May 2013, 1:10 AM PDT
From singing to soaring, Olympic medalist high jumper Brigetta Barrett in perfect sync
24 May 2013, 1:05 AM PDT
Oriol Servia, team prepares for the Indy 500 _ their final race of 2013
24 May 2013, 12:56 AM PDT