Biden says wasn’t told about security requests in Libya, despite State Department testimony
Published October 11, 2012 FoxNews.com
Vice President Biden claimed at the debate Thursday night that the administration wasn’t told about requests for more diplomatic security in the run-up to the Libya terror attack – a statement that appeared to clash with acknowledgements of those requests a day earlier by State Department officials.
“Well, we weren't told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again,” Biden said, when pressed about earlier criticism from Republican running mate Paul Ryan about the protection of diplomatic posts in Libya.
However, State Department officials who testified Wednesday before a House committee acknowledged there were earlier requests for more security staffing – though they also suggested more staffing would not have prevented the Sept. 11 tragedy in Benghazi.
Two former security officers who testified at that hearing, including former top security official Eric Nordstrom, expressed frustration at how their appeals for more resources were rebuffed.
"We were fighting a losing battle. We couldn't even keep what we had," said Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, former head of a 16-member U.S. military team that helped protect the embassy in Tripoli.
During the debate, Ryan later challenged the vice president on his comment.
“There were requests for extra security; those requests were not honored,” he said, adding that there should be Marines in Benghazi.
Biden also stated definitively Thursday that it was the intelligence community that originally surmised the attack was just a protest spun out of control – rather than a coordinated terror strike.
“That was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. The intelligence community told us that. As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment,” Biden said.