Friday, the New York Times published an alarming and potentially damaging report for the Obama campaign over the administration’s handling of the Libya embassy attack.
The Times piece, titled, Libya Attack Gains Steam as Issue in Race for President , suggests that Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that “we weren’t told” by intelligence officials about requests for additional security at the Libyan outpost, may mean trouble for the Obama campaign.
Those in charge of security at the embassy made repeated requests for better security before Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other consulate officials were murdered by terrorists, according to an ongoing congressional investigation. The State Department turned down all requests, leaving a small embassy staff to fend for themselves.
Biden’s widely disputed account of events has become the focus of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy with a presidential election looming. To make matters worse, for at least a week after the killings, the Obama administration continued to deny the event was anything more than a demonstration turned violent.
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Mitt Romney immediately challenged Biden’s claims that Team Obama did not know about requests for security made by various security officials over the months leading up to the embassy being overrun during a two-pronged sustained terrorist attack.
“There were more questions that came out last night because the vice president directly contradicted the sworn testimony of State Department officials,” Mr. Romney said at a rally in Richmond, Va., on Friday morning. “He’s doubling down on denial. And we need to understand exactly what happened, as opposed to just having people brush this aside. When the vice president of the United States directly contradicts the testimony, sworn testimony, of State Department officials, American citizens have a right to know just what’s going on, and we’re going to find out.”
For his part, Biden denied that the Obama administration knew what was happening at the Libyan embassy regarding security. Some characterize the Obama administration as having thrown career intelligence officials under the bus. Documents were produced during an ongoing congressional investigation that show multiple requests for additional security at the unfortified embassy.
On Friday, the White House sent White House press secretary Jay Carney out to try and explain Mr. Biden’s comments to the press. Carney claimed diplomatic security requests were handled by the State Department, headed by Hillary Clinton, not the White House.
“The vice president was speaking about himself, the president and the White House,” said Carney. “He was not referring to the administration.”
The American Embassy in Libya was destroyed and its ambassador and three other Americans murdered by heavily armed terrorists on Tuesday, September 11, the anniversary of New York’s Twin Towers having been brought down by terrorists.