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U.S. News and Commentary



Sunday
Oct142012

Sen. Graham: Benghazi ‘Exhibit A of a failed foreign policy’

State Dept. official Charlene Lamb (Left) told Congress she believed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi had the “correct number of assets” when the attacks occurred.[Photo: Shot from C-SPAN broadcast]Pundit Bob Schieffer tackled the Benghazi affair on his Sunday talk show Face the Nation, and no one tried to spin more aggressively than Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) who continues to suggest security lapses were Republicans’ fault because they cut the budget.

If Cummings is of sound mind, he knows the budget had nothing to do with what happened in Benghazi.

Even Charlene Lamb, a State Dept. official who testified under oath before Congress, said the lapse had nothing to do with funding. As a matter of fact, she said she would make the same decision about security staffing levels again.

As readers of The US Report know, government reports also contradict Cummings’ assertion. President Barack Obama issued a directive that was referenced in a Government Accountability Office report issued in June, 2012.

The directive was also referenced in an August, 2012 report prepared by the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Dept. of State.

Reports also indicate the State Dept. had a problem filling hardship positions and current policy was a direct result of Obama’s directive.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) also told Schieffer there was even a $2 billion dollar discretionary fund that could have been used for security. Issa added, “We’ve also doubled the State Dept. budget over the last 5 years.”

Two government reports substantiate Issa's claim.

On those budget cuts, Issa said the bill containing them passed with 149 Democrats’ votes and 147 Republicans’ votes.

Cummings recognizes the potential danger to a president who has been glued to the stump for months. Obama has been telling the world al Qaeda is no longer a threat.

Cummings said Republicans are “trying to give Romney some talking points.”

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) preempted Cummings’ claims during the first segment of Schieffer’s show. Graham pointed out that the Obama administration willfully leaked information about operations that have been successes—the bin Laden raid is one example.

Vice President Joe Biden told the world Navy SEALs killed bin Laden. Biden has never been held accountable for that leak, a direct conflict with the SEAL ethos.

Graham called the Benghazi affair and the “falling apart” of Mideast governments “Exhibit A of a failed foreign policy.”

Graham also said, “This whole region is about to explode.”

Biden and Obama claim they knew nothing about requests for more security in Libya. In that case, it’s worse.

Libya is Obama’s war. The president didn’t even consult Congress before engaging. Obama had time to issue a directive for more windows at consulates in Brazil and China, but he couldn’t find the time to stay abreast of what was happening in the war he began.

Three days after the Benghazi attack, al Qaeda attacked Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, inflicting serious damages to U.S. air assets.

Centralized media sympathetic to the Obama-Biden ticket have mostly refrained from covering terrorism because the president has repeatedly told the world it’s no longer a problem.

Media did the same thing ahead of September 11, 2001.

CNS News said 70 percent of military fatalities in the Afghan War have occurred on Obama’s watch.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 14, 2012)

Sources

At The US Report

Obama directive called for more consular officers to Brazil, China, but not Libya

Rep. Cummings should read GAO report—State budget didn’t cause Libya meltdown

House hearings on Benghazi marked by partisan digs, confusion and bombshell

Benghazi and Camp Bastion reflect Obama’s ‘If wishes were horses’ war policy

CNN’s Anderson Cooper confirms ‘Not one FBI agent in Benghazi’

On the Web

White House: Report on presidential directive re embassy funding and “changing foreign policy priorities.”

Foreign Policy: Report on Staffing Gaps at Embassies from the GAO

GAO: Text of staffing gaps report at U.S. government

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 14, 2012)

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