Libyagate has team Obama reeling. Here’s David Axelrod on CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien (video) trotting out the new Obama spin on how they weren’t really lying about the attack in Libya and trying to pin the blame on Republicans. It’s really quite comical:
“Well, the role of the White House was to convey the information that we were receiving from our intelligence people on the ground and in the area. And that’s what we’ve done throughout. No one has an interest in obscuring facts about this. The President, of all people, wants all the facts so that he can act on them and make sure that in the future, if there were deficiencies, that we address them. The other thing is, and the primary task right now, is to find those who are responsible and bring them to justice. So we work with the facts that we have, as the facts emerge, the White House and the State Department have shared them. And now the task should be to ask, ‘What do we need to do in the future to guard against this kind of a situation?’ One thing we shouldn’t do, however, Soledad, is what Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress have suggested, which is to cut back on funding for the security of these facilities.”
The lies of the administration on the root cause of the assassination of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other men are so well documented that they need not be covered here again.
The real humor in Axelrod’s trope is the bit about finding those responsible. Team Obama’s lead investigators, the FBI (really?), didn’t make bombed out embassy for over 15 days. In fact I’m still not sure if they’ve made it to the scene of the crime.
But the last bit about cutting back on the funding for security is the new “big lie” from the Obama camp.
Overall budgets for embassy security and construction were not cut. The Heritage Foundation did the research.
Comparing FY 2011 actual funding versus the FY 2012 estimate, there appears to be a reduction in Worldwide Security Protection and Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance. But that reduction does not account for additional funding in FY 2012 from Overseas Contingency Operations funds amounting to $236 million for Worldwide Security Protection (p. 63) and $33 million for Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance (p. 467). As a result, total funds for Worldwide Security Protection for FY 2012 are estimated to be $94 million higher than in FY 2011, while Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance is estimated to be $61 million less than FY 2011. Together, there is a net increase.
And in testimony before Congress today the State Department confirmed that budgets had nothing to do with the manpower and assets in Libya pre 9/11/12. Rob Port found this from Joel Gehrke at The Examiner:
Was the refusal to provide more security caused by budget cuts to embassy security? “No, sir,” Charlene Lamb, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs, told the committee.
Lamb said that the State Department was right not to grant Nordstrom’s request for more security. “We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi on the night of 9/11,” Lamb said, per The Cable, citing the Libyan security personnel.
The $16 billion dollar State Department budget had plenty of money to for other urgent matters like “green” energy. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) notes in The Washington Times:
[O]n May 7, the State Department authorized the U.S. embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool’s new Chevrolet Volts. The purchase was a part of the State Department’s “Energy Efficiency Sweep of Europe” initiative, which included hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on green program expenditures at various U.S. Embassies.
In fact, at a May 10 gala held at the U.S. embassy in Vienna, the ambassador showcased his new Volts and other green investments as part of the U.S. government’s commitment to “climate change solutions.”
The event posting on the embassy website read: “Celebrating the Greening of the Embassy.”
While the embassy in Vienna was going green, the consulate in Benghazi was getting bombed, and little was done to stop it.
The administration had everything they needed, except for a plan. From Joel Gehrke’s previously linked piece:
Eric Nordstrom, the man responsible for U.S. Embassy security in Libya this summer, told Congress today that the Obama Administration decided to “hope everything would” change for the better rather than provide additional security.
“So when I requested resources, when I requested assets, instead of supporting those assets, I was criticized,” Nordstrom said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the security provided to the American personnel in Benghazi. “[T]here was no plan. And it was hope that everything would get better.”
Paul Ryan will have a chance to refute this pathetic new wrinkle to Libyagate tonight if Joe Biden attempts to play that card. I secretly hope he does because it opens the whole topic of the administration’s lies and coverup for Ryan to layout to the viewing audience.
That’s what we call a softball…