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Press Release: Biden's Benghazi Blunder

October 12, 2012

"Vice President Biden continued the Administration's pattern of misleading the American people about events in Libya. He wrongly stated that the Administration was not aware of requests for more security from our diplomatic facilities in Libya. But we now know from the sworn testimony of two U.S. security officials who were stationed in Libya that there were repeated requests for more security in the face of rising threats. We need leaders who will be truthful with the American people and who are informed about vital issues of national security. Joe Biden's comments point to the larger failures of the Administration to be completely transparent about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi and the security situations leading up to the attacks." — Dan Senor, Romney Campaign Senior Adviser

At Last Night's Debate, Vice President Biden Claimed The Administration Wasn't Told The U.S. Consulate "Wanted More Security" Before The Attacks:

Vice President Biden, On The Benghazi Terrorist Attack: "We Weren't Told They Wanted More Security Again. We Did Not Know They Wanted More Security Again." RADDATZ: "And they wanted more security there." BIDEN: "Well, we weren't told they wanted more security again. We did not know they wanted more security again. And by the way, at the time we were told exactly -- we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment." (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

But Just This Week, State Department Officials Told Congress They Had Rejected Requests For Extra Security:

Vice President Biden's Debate Claim Contradicted "Three State Department Officials And The Former Head Of Diplomatic Security In Libya." "Vice President Joe Biden claimed that the administration wasn't aware of requests for more security in Libya before the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi during Thursday night's debate, contradicting three State Department officials and the former head of diplomatic security in Libya." (Josh Rogin, "Biden Contradicts State Department On Benghazi Security," Foreign Policy, 10/11/12)

  • State Department Officials Told Congress That They Had Rejected Requests For Increased Security Personnel In The Months Before The 9/11 Benghazi Attack. "Senior State Department officials acknowledged to Congress on Wednesday that they had turned down requests to send more U.S. military personnel to guard diplomatic facilities in Libya shortly before the Sept. 11 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.  ... Wood's team left Libya in August after Lamb had refused to approve extending its assignment for a second time. She said the State Department planned to turn over most basic protective duties to a Libyan guard force, part of a decade-long shift away from using U.S. Marines to protect embassies. Lamb said the mix of State Department officers, Libyan guards and militiamen 'could do the same function' as the U.S. military." (Ken Dilanian and Kathleen Hennessey, "U.S. Declined Requests To Boost Security In Libya, Congress Told," Los Angeles Times, 10/10/12)

"The Administration Had Been Implored To Beef Up Security At The U.S. Consulate In Libya" But "Joe Biden Seemed Unaware." "Anyone who paid attention to a hearing in Congress this week knew that the administration had been implored to beef up security at the U.S. Consulate in Libya before the deadly terrorist attack there. But in the vice presidential debate Thursday night, Joe Biden seemed unaware." (Calvin Woodward, "Fact Check: Slips In Vice President's Debate," The Associated Press, 10/12/12)

"The State Department Scaled Back U.S. Security Staff In Libya In The Weeks And Months Before The Sept. 11 Attack..." "The State Department scaled back U.S. security staff in Libya in the weeks and months before the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, despite requests for additional personnel, former U.S. security officials told a politically charged congressional hearing." (Jay Solomon and Dion Nissenbaum "Security Cut Before Libya Raid," The Wall Street Journal, 10/10/12)

Vice President Biden's Account Of Events Ran "Counter To Evidence And Testimonies." "That assertion runs counter to evidence and testimonies that were presented at a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday, where the committee released five memos requesting additional security, and witnesses from the State Department confirmed that those requests had been denied." (Rebecca Berg, "Biden Contradicts Evidence On Benghazi Security Requests," BuzzFeed, 10/12/12)

NBC's Andrea Mitchell: "The State Department Did Know In Real Time From Videos That Requests For More Security Resources Had Been Made And Were Turned Down." MITCHELL: "It was an assessment but the State Department did know in real time from videos that requests for more security resources had been made and were turned down. A State Department official acknowledged that testifying on Capitol Hill only yesterday." (NBC, 10/11/12)

CBS's Jan Crawford: Vice President Biden "May Have Some Cleanup Of His Own To Do Today On Libya." (CBS, 10/12/12)

Time's Mark Halperin, On Vice President Biden's Benghazi Claims: "I Think The Vice President May Have Put Down Some Marks There That Are Going To Cause Problems..." HALPERIN:  "This Libya story is still evolving. There's still real questions. Governor Romney hit it very hard last night, didn't get a lot of attention because of the debate. And the press is continuing to pursue this story. So if there's anything out of the debate that I think could have resonance and be a moving target going forward, it's the topic of Benghazi, and I think the vice president may have put down some marks there that are going to cause problems for the administration going forward." (MSNBC, 10/12/12)

Mitt Romney, Press Release: Biden's Benghazi Blunder Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/303521

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