The White House response to the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi keeps generating headlines. Today, Republicans Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz laid out about a dozen incidents they say occurred prior to the Sept. 11 attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. In their letter to Hillary Clinton, they assert "the US mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi," but all were denied by officials in Washington. Asked about it today, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "I'm not going to get into a situation under review by the State Department and the FBI," reports ABC News.
Eli Lake of the Daily Beast first reported the letter, which includes allegations that:
- Two former consulate security guards threw explosive devices over the facility's fence in April, an event previously unreported, says Politico. The letter also notes that an explosive device detonated in June.
- Militants posted Stevens' morning jogging route in Tripoli on Facebook, along with a photo of him. The ambassador reportedly stopped his runs for a week, then resumed them. (This might explain why Stevens suspected he was on an al-Qaeda hit list, though he was also an "old-school diplomat" who bristled at the notion of too much security, a State Department official tells the Daily Beast.)
“Was State Department headquarters in Washington aware of all the above incidents?” ask Issa and Chaffetz of the House Oversight Committee. “If not, why not?” (The nation's intelligence chief has defended the shifting US explanations
of the Benghazi assault, from spontaneous violence to planned attack, and Republicans are pouncing on reports of weak security