Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rubio During Senate Benghazi Hearing


I am no fan of Sen. Marco Rubio. That said, Rubio managed to be rather respectful to State Department officials. The questions Rubio asked were fairly sound. What remains unclear if why security requests from Ambassador Chris Stevens were never addressed.

Senator Rubio: "So beyond that level, were any senior officials beyond the assistant secretary level made aware of the repeated request from the post for extended or additional security? In particular, there were request made in March and July 2011. Do you know if beyond the assistant secretary level those requests were ever forwarded in a memo or in some other written document?"

Deputy Secretary Burns: "I am not aware of any specific memo that went beyond the sixth floor to those specific requests at that time, no, Senator."

That isn't good. That means either someone on the sixth floor of Foggy Bottom blew off Steven's request or Secretary of State Clinton nixed the request.

Update: the Accountability Review Board report is placing a good portion of the blame on the late Stevens.

The two top officials on the review board, retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Michael Mullen, chose their words carefully at the news conference Wednesday as they weighed Stevens' responsibility in the security lapses, saying that he did support having more additional security personnel. But they also said that he was the ultimate authority on the deteriorating local security conditions.

As chief of the mission, he certainly had a responsibility in that regard, and actually he was very security conscious and increasingly concerned about security," Mullen said. "But part of his responsibility is certainly to make that case back here, and he had not gotten to the point where you would, you might get to a point where you would be considering, 'It's so dangerous, we might close the mission.'"

So Stevens is being blamed for not abandoning his post. He asked for security. Yet, Stevens is blamed for not asking for extra security in the right way. This sounds like bullshit.

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