ABC reported that Ambassador Stevens had warned a retired senior American military officer not to travel to Libya because the security there was so poor.
The State Department continues to stonewall and try to avoid questions because they claim that there is an ongoing investigation. Previously, we were supposed to wait until the FBI investigation had done its work, but they never were able to get to Benghazi because the security there is too weak. But we're supposed to wait, by coincidence, until after the election is over. How convenient.
Now Darrel Issa and Jason Chaffetz from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have written to Hillary Clinton that they have received information that "the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington." They then summarize a list of 13 attacks on incidents threatening American diplomats in Libya. They conclude by asking if the State Department was aware of these incidents and, why not if they weren't aware. They ask what steps the State Department did to protect our diplomats in Libya and whether there were any requests made by the Embassy in Libya for additional security.
I'm sure that Hillary Clinton would like this to seem to be simply a GOP effort to blacken the administration on the eve of an election. But these are pertinent questions and there should be no security reason not to answer what concerns the Embassy had about security and what the State Department did in response. It might be embarrassing, but it would not interfere with any investigation into the murders in Benghazi. These are simple questions - did the diplomats on the ground in Libya ask for more security and how did the State Department respond.
It's just a joke that the State Department is hiding behind a supposed ongoing "criminal investigation" to avoid answering such questions.
“You’re not going to hear anything from here unless my guidance changes,” explained Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman. “When we open a criminal investigation in the United States, generally, we don’t brief out in pieces until the investigation is complete so we don’t prejudice the outcome. I have to respect their process, obviously.”There should be such an outcry from the media that the State Department doesn't get away with that stonewall. And if the media is too in the tank for Clinton and Obama, perhaps the Republicans in the House can hold Hillary Clinton responsible.
As Pejman Yousefzadeh asks,
I recognize that the attack on our consulate in Benghazi is being investigated, but I have trouble understanding why the White House can’t answer a simple query: Did the consulate request additional security prior to the attack on it–the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stephens?(H/t Instapundit)
Seems to me that this is a question that can be answered with a simple “yes,” or “no.” When the answer instead is “no comment,” then something certainly smells fishy.
If there aren’t additional questions regarding this issue during the foreign policy debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama–and if the president is not pressed to give specific answers to those questions during that debate–we will know that journalism is dead.