Documents prove Ambassador Chris Stevens had requested more security
Jake Tapper, ABC News Senior White House Correspondent, released new documents obtained from the current House Committee Oversight and Government Reform investigation. The documents substantiate the claims that Ambassador Stevens was denied added security in the months leading up to the terrorist attack. Tapper writes of a document: “signed by Stevens and titled “LIBYA’S FRAGILE SECURITY DETERIORIATES AS TRIBAL RIVALRIES, POWER PLAYS AND EXTREMISM INTENSIFY,” dated June 25, 2012.”
Ambassador Stevens detailed the worsening conditions in the Libyan city. Tapper states: “A Libyan government national security official told Stevens “that the attacks were the work of extremists who are opposed to western influence in Libya. A number of local contracts agreed, noting that Islamic extremism appears to be on the rise in eastern Libya and that the Al-Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities in Derna,” a village to the east in Benghazi.” These documents verify the intelligence derived from Ambassador Steven’s journal in which CNN obtained days after the attack. In it he feared for his life. He noted the denied requests for security.
The Obama administration believes that 2 extra security officials wouldn’t have made a difference. House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations, note that it would have been a sufficient detail to evacuate all personnel from the compound. The new details compounded with previous knowledge provide a clear picture of the severe lack of strategic and military planning. The State Department has maintained that cuts to the budget had no bearing in the reduced security; thus the blame can’t be placed on the GOP.
On Thursday, President Obama visited Comedy Central’s “Daily Show.” Jon Stewart, host, said: “I would say and even you would admit it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people as far as all of us being on the same page.” The president responded: “Here is what I will say, if four Americans get killed, it is not optimal. And we are going to fix it.” U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the strike. President Obama went on to say: “And what happens during the course of a presidency, you know, the government is a big operation. At any given time, something screws up and you make sure you find out what’s broken and you fix it.”
The mother of Sean Smith, one of the Americans killed in the raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was irate at the president describing the attack as “not optimal.” She said: “my son is not very optimal. He is also very dead.”
What isn’t optimal is ignoring the persistent requests of our diplomats.
What isn’t optimal is the administration’s response to this clear terrorist attack.
What isn’t optimal is that we’ve found the ringleader to the attack and for whatever reason he hasn’t been arrested. A terrorist sitting at a luxury hotel drinking strawberry frappes with no worries.
That President Obama is what isn’t optimal.
But what do I know, I’m not president.
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate