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Biden: 'We Did Not Know They Wanted More Security'

10:14 PM, Oct 11, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In regards to security at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Vice President Joe Biden says "we did not know they wanted more security":

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: “Because that’s 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. That is why there’s also an investigation headed by Tom Pickering, a leading diplomat from the Reagan years, who is doing an investigation as to whether or not there were any lapses, what the lapses were so that they will never happen again.”

ABC’s MARTHA RADDATZ: “And they wanted more security there.”

BIDEN: “Well we weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security there. And by the way, at the time, we were told exactly, we said what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment. And as the intelligence community changed their view we made it clear they changed their view. That’s why I said we will get to the bottom of this. You know, usually when there is a crisis, we pull together, we pull together as a nation. But as I said, even before we knew what happened to the ambassador, the governor was holding a press conference, was holding a press conference. That’s not presidential leadership.”

Josh Rogin explains why this is wrong:

In fact, two security officials who worked for the State Department in Libya at the time testified Thursday that they repeatedly requested more security and two State Department officials admitted they had denied those requests.

"All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources," the top regional security officer in Libya over the summer, Eric Nordstrom, testified. "In those conversations, I was specifically told [by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb] ‘You cannot request an SST extension.' I determined I was told that because there would be too much political cost. We went ahead and requested it anyway.

Nordstrom was so critical of the State Department's reluctance to respond to his calls for more security that he said, "For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building." 

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