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09 May 2013

10 Reasons Why The 'Blame Benghazi On Budget Cuts' Meme Doesn't Pass The Smell Test

Let's quash this 'Blame Benghazi on Budget Cuts' shit right now...

1.  The Senate never voted on nor did Obama sign into law the Ryan Budget; thus, the Republican budget cuts never took effect.

2.  Sequestration did not take effect until 6 months after the Benghazi attack and, at the time of the event, very few in Washington expected Sequestration to ever go into effect; thus, it is ludicrous to attempt to connect Benghazi to Sequestration.

3.  In response to the question 'Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?' posed during a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform  on 10 October 2012, Charlene Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, answered:  'No, sir.'

Recall that Lamb is the person, who denied requests from the top diplomatic security officer in Libya to retain a 16-man team of military personnel who had been protecting diplomats.  It is only logical that SHE WOULD KNOW. 

4.   In an email exchange between Diplomatic Security Chief Financial Officer, Robert Baldre, and Assistant Secretary of State, Eric Boswell, on 28 September 2012, Mr Baldre flatly states:  'I do not feel that we have ever been at a point where we sacrificed security due to a lack of funding...Typically, Congress has provided sufficient funding.'

5.  A lack of funding could not have been at issue with regard to the rejection of the request to extend the deployment of the SST, as that team was provided via the Defence Department at no expense to the State Department.

6.  The White House and the State Department easily found $70,000 to air ads in Pakistan denouncing the 'hateful video' and condemning those who purportedly used it to justify their behaviour.

7.  On 11 September 2012, while the Benghazi consulate was inadequately staffed - a finding made by the State Department Accountability Review Board - the American Embassy in the Bahamas had a full contingent from the Marine Embassy Guard..  In fact, a mere 3 weeks earlier, they held a fitness drill and jamboree for the Islanders.

8.  The State Department could find the money to fund Secretary Clinton's 'U.S. Celebrity Chefs World Tour' initiative and, four days after it denied a request by a group of Special Forces assigned to protect the American mission in Libya to continue their use of a DC-3 airplane for security operations throughout the country, the State Department authorised the American Embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool’s new Chevrolet Volts.  Also, the American Embassy in Cairo could find the money to purchase $38,000's worth of Barack Obama's autobiographies to disseminate amongst the locals. 

9.  While there had been 234 terrorist attacks in Libya in the 16 months preceding the attack on the American Consulate, including 48 in Benghazi alone (including 2 attacks on the American Consulate, 2 attempts on the life of the British Ambassador, and  the Red Cross, and every humanitarian post located there), the State Department REFUSED TO INCREASE SECURITY per the request of the Libyan diplomatic mission, including Ambassador Chris Stevens himself, and in fact DECREASED it.

And, the idea that the attack on the Benghazi Consulate was unforeseeable, recall that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was, PERSONALLY, aware of the fact that our Ambassador had to be sneaked into the country on a cargo ship BECAUSE IT WAS SO DANGEROUS. 

10.  At the time of the attack, the State Department had $2.1 billion on hand and had been granted another $1.9 billion by Congress.

Related reading:

Benghazi: The Pentagon Sets Off The Bullshit Detector

The Talking Points' Evolution

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