During Senate testimony this today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implied that lack of funding for the State Department was a contributor to the deadliness of the Benghazi terrorist attack in Sept. 2012.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) provided her an opportunity to do this by asking her whether it was resonable to expect anything but trouble if Congress did not fund the State Department’s security needs.
Clinton ran with Durbin’s premise and pointed out “deficiencies” and “inadequacies” within the department. She said she has spent the last four years “doing what [she] could” to encourage State Dept. officials “to do as much as they could with what they had.”
She said the State Department knew it was never going to reach “parity with the Defense Department,” and the implication was obvious–Benghazi was at least partially due to a lack of funding.
The argument was made even more strongly by Democratic members of the House of Representatives in their questioning of Clinton, who implied that Republicans bore responsibility for the lack of security in Benghazi.
That claim, however, contradicts comments in October 2012 from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Charlene Lamb, who told a Congressional hearing that funding was not an issue.
Lamb was asked whether there was “any budget consideration and lack of budget” which played into the number of people assigned for security at the Benghazi consulate. Lamb’s answer: “No.”