Hearings are currently underway by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), to investigate the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month. The attack killed four Americans; U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three security officers.
Republicans on the committee, which includes Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), want to know if politics were driving the decisions rather than security.
Congressman Chaffetz appeared on CNN this morning with Soledad O’Brien where she asked the Congressman about his vote in the U.S. House of Representatives when he voted against more security.
“So when there are complaints that, in fact, that there was not enough security, you’ve just said ‘absolutely’ that you cut that you were the one to vote against, to increase security for the State Department, which would lead directly to Benghazi,” O’Brien told Chaffetz. “It seems like you are saying you have a hand in the responsibility for this? Right? The funding of the security, you’re happy to cut it.”
“You have to prioritize things,” Chaffetz insisted. “Libya before 9/11, two bombings on our consulate out there. Of course, that’s got to be a higher priority than making sure that we’re protecting some other interest.”
“We’ve just heard from the clip from one of the guys that’s going to testify before you today that there’s definitely this pressure, in his mind, to not staff the security fully security-wise,” the CNN host noted. “Wouldn’t that pressure be coming from you directly essentially? People and others who voted against funding for security? Keep it low because there’s no funding for security?”
“Well, you’re also talking about a vote that never came to fruition because we actually continued at the exact same funding levels moving forward,” Chaffetz insisted. “This is what happened over in the House but the Senate never got to this point. So, it’s a red herring.”
Chaffetz admits that there was a vote for additional security in Libya where he and his fellow Republicans voted no, then tries to blame it on the U.S. Senate because they never got around to voting on additional security, so his vote against more security doesn’t really count he says.
Rep. Chaffetz and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want to know if not adding extra security was a political decision and if the White House and the State Department are at fault.
Two things are now irrefutable regarding the security issues in Libya; yes, it was a political decision, and that political decision is the direct fault of House Republicans. The same House Republicans who today are holding hearings to push the blame onto President Obama in order to make him look weak on foreign policy, which happens to be the topic for the next Presidential debate.
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