House Oversight Chairman Darrell “Witch Hunt” Issa is back and this time he’s investigating the lack of security at the American embassy in Libya. But there’s something he isn’t telling you.
A Special Forces soldier, a former U.S. security officer in Libya and State Department officials in charge of protecting diplomatic outposts took the stand on Capitol Hill Wednesday in hearings on security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, at the time of an attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. [...]
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called the hearings and has accused the State Department of turning aside pleas from its diplomats in Libya to increase security in the months before the attack in Benghazi.
The State Department dismissed pleas for increased security? Is that so?
What Darrell Issa isn’t telling you is that he, along with Paul Ryan, voted to cut security at American embassies.
For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.
Ryan, Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Under Ryan’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security.
If there was inadequate security at the American embassy in Libya, neither the State Department or President Obama are to blame.
If you’re going to blame anyone, you should blame the Republicans who were too caught up in obstructing the president’s agenda and fetishizing deficit reduction to consider the consequences of their actions.
The only time Republicans stop to consider American personnel overseas is when they can be used as campaign props or cannon fodder.