In Thursday evening’s Vice Presidential debate with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Vice President Joe Biden claimed that the U.S. intelligence community was to blame for the Obama administration’s false stories about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya–“throwing the intelligence community under the bus,” in political parlance.
Biden also claimed, falsely, that the administration had not received requests for additional security in Libya. (It was one of many misleading statements by the Vice President during the debate.) The Hill notes:
“Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there,” Biden said. “We did not know they wanted more security.”
Biden’s statement directly contradicts the testimony of two security officers who were based in Libya earlier this year. Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the head of a 16-person Special Forces team that left in August, and State Department regional security officer Eric Nordstorm said Wednesday that they repeatedly asked for beefed up security but were turned down.
The explanation that Biden tried to sell is one that the Obama campaign has gradually glued together in recent days: that the Obama administration did not intend to mislead the public, and refined its story as information became available–unlike Romney, who reacted immediately before all of the facts about the attacks were known.
However, Biden took that narrative overboard, claiming not only that the Obama administration did not have adequate intelligence information, but that the intelligence community itself was to blame for the shifting story. “The intelligence community told us that,” Biden said–i.e. that an anti-Islamic video had been to blame.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the intelligence community provided such an assessment.