Democrats Once Again Smacked Down on Benghazi Funding Cuts Claim
Since the Congressional hearings last year, Democrats and their allies have tried to claim that budget cuts were responsible for the lack of security in Benghazi. According to a review of the facts by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post published today, those claims are false.
A memo prepared by Democratic staff last year made the claim about budget cuts at some length, quoting the Center for American Progress as a source. Just this week, Sen. Barbara Boxer revived this claim when she published a piece at the Huffington Post which opened "If my Republican colleagues are serious about conducting real oversight
on the tragedy in Benghazi, they should start by looking in the mirror." Boxer then took to the Senate floor Tuesday and claimed "If we want to know what happened in Benghazi, it starts with the
fact that there was not enough security. There was not enough security
because the budget was cut."
But as Kessler notes, it's simply not true. And it's not true in several notable ways starting with the fact that funding was not actually cut. Kessler writes "while Boxer claims that Republicans “cut” the budget, she is only
comparing it to what the Obama administration proposed. The reality is
that funding for embassy security has increased significantly in recent
Equally significant and ignored by Boxer is the fact that the evidence is clear on this point. The ARB report does suggest an increase in funding for security but does not claim lack of funding was an issue in Benghazi. Also, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb was asked directly about this during her congressional testimony last October:
Asked to explain the contradiction between her claims and reality, aides to Sen. Boxer sent Kessler a link to a NY Times editorial.
Kessler concludes "it is almost as if Boxer is living in a time warp, repeating talking
points from six months ago that barely acknowledge the fact that
extensive investigations have found little evidence of her claim..."
The administration and its allies keep pushing this claim, not because it was ever true but because they have nothing else. The media needs to be more forceful about rebutting this claim whenever it pops out of the mouths of Democrats seeking to defend the administration.