House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and committee member, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sent a forceful letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today. In it, they chronicle 13 separate threats to security at the Benghazi, Libya consulate that date back six months. These threats likely contributed to the decision of Ambassador Christopher Stevens to keep a diary.
Despite attempts by embassy / consulate officials to get increased security by reaching out to the State Department, deaf ears seemed to be the only things that greeted their requests.
Via the letter:
Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012. It was clearly never, as Administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest. In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, 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.
CNN actually reported that not only did the requests of the Libyan mission fall on deaf ears but the mouths and/or hands belonging to those deaf ears issued a security waiver when presented with evidence that the consulate did not meet minimum security standards, which include barriers, a safe room, and multiple layers of armed security.
Be sure to read the details of all 13 of the incidents chronicled by Issa and Chaffetz. You will be amazed that nothing was done to protect the consulate after these had been made known to the State Department.
As members of the House Oversight Committee, Issa and Chaffetz have been instrumental in the Fast and Furious investigation. That investigation began after the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December of 2010 and culminated with the House finding Attorney General Eric Holder in both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for not honoring subpoena requests for documents. Barack Obama asserted Executive Privilege to prevent those documents from being released.
It now appears that Issa and Chaffetz are entering similar territory with respect to the State Department. They want information about what the Department knew and want a response by October 8th. Two Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee are also demanding the release of cables between Ambassador Stevens and the State Department before the 9/11/12 attack.
On the subject of Hillary Clinton and waivers, she was involved in a very telling exchange with Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) last year, in which the congressman asked her if any waiver had been issued to the Department of Justice that would allow it to export weapons outside the United States. Such a waiver would have been required for Fast and Furious to have been even remotely legal.
On October 27, 2011, at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Mack boxed Clinton into a corner when he asked her if State had issued a waiver to Holder’s Department of Justice. If she answered yes, it would have meant that State would suddenly be on the hook for the failed gun-walking operation. If she answered no, it would have meant that Holder’s DOJ broke the law.
As you can imagine, she implicated herself by not answering in either the affirmative or the negative.
From that, one would rightfully assume that no waiver for gun-walking was issued. Yet, a waiver was issued to prevent the U.S. consulate in Benghazi from being secure.
In essence, Issa and Chaffetz spent nearly two years trying to figure out why the Department of Justice willingly put guns into the hands of bad guys in Fast and Furious.
Now, they have to figure out why Hillary Clinton’s State Department refused to put guns into the hands of good guys in Benghazi.
Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the book, Unsung Davids which features an entire chapter on Walid Shoebat.