October 2nd, 2012
03:48 PM ET

House GOP wants State Dept. to answer for Libya security

By Deirdre Walsh and Gregory Wallace

The State Department's rejection of "repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi" came amid "a clear pattern of security threats" in the five months leading up to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, a Thursday letter from House Republicans obtained by CNN reads.

"The attack that claimed the Ambassador's life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012," the letter from Reps. Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads.

The Republicans demanded answers to several questions and testimony at a hearing next Wednesday – the only hearing on any matter scheduled so far in the 35 days remaining until Election Day.

"Multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 [2012] attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi," the letter continued. "The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington."

Clinton "intends to respond to the congressmen today" and "will send folks to their hearing" State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday afternoon, adding that the reply "will make absolutely clear the desire of this department, her personal desire, to cooperate closely with the committee and with all members of Congress."

"Her response is going to be relatively succinct today," Nuland said, "expressing her complete commitment and this building's commitment to work with the congress to get fully to the bottom of this. But I don't anticipate she'll be able to answer the specific questions today, but obviously that is our expectation and hope over time that we'll be able to answer all of the questions because we have questions, too."

Issa is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, and Chaffetz oversees the national security subcommittee. Chaffetz is also a top surrogate for the Romney campaign.

The September attacks claimed the lives of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others.

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Planner922

    @mikemc1970 why should I explain away what I call successes in the face of complete and total lack of cooperation from the Republican Party. When Mitch McConnell made it his stated objective to make sure Mr. Obama was a one term President, he made his priorities known. That did not include advancing the interests of the people of The United States. Not doing your job is reason for removal from office. Goodbye. Republicans! IMO

    October 3, 2012 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • Ranger830

      I am a vet of 24 years and six tours not including desert storm and somalia! This is exactly the reason myself and many many vets have distanced ourselves from the useless GOP. They have spent more time defaming the current Pres. administration than worrying about the American people! Meanwhile with one hand tied behind his back the President has somehow managed to prevail to the best of his abilities considering the hurdles he has faced. You know the good ol American way! Not whining and crying and holding the country hostage until the ultra rich got their bush era tax breaks extended! Oh and PS. please keep your religeous preferences out of our politics!

      October 3, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  2. Jimh77

    OK, GOP, just how much funding for security did you cut from the budget? The GOP is the most problem in washington today. They are the lamest Bst r ds to exist in all of congress in this Countries History. Buying your votes. Disguisting.
    Completely unAmerican. All Republicans in office today needs to be fired by the people since they only represent the 1%'rs.

    October 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      Do you even follow politics or did you go look up every internet meme on Republicans you could find, mash them together, and regurgitate them here? I bet you don't even understand why you hate them. If you think we'd be one iota better under single party rule, you're divorced from reality.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  3. Academic Review

    A perfect example on how politicians are trying to exploit the death of a diplomat for political gain. An investigation and intelligence need to be gathered on the incident, no doubt. The disgraceful issue is with how politicians no matter their party handle it. At this point the investigation on the incident is not complete so a conclusive holistic understanding has not been achieved. Politicians are exploiting this for political gain and no other reason. Respect the ambassador's memory and stop using it for political gain.

    October 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • K M

      How about accountability. Not for political gain but why were tese people thrown to the wolves. Denied security by the people in office NOW. Campaigning instead of securing our people in the hottest spot in the world.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
      • Planner922

        You seem to be painting with a broad brush there. Do you even know who controls the purse strings in government? And yes, the Tea Party Republicans have a lot to answer for in this Election Cycle. In fact, ALL of Congress does!

        October 3, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  4. Abdullo

    Hillary "hallelujah" "hallelujah" "hallelujah" Praise ye Yah" hallelujah"

    October 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  5. BigTBone

    Anyone ever hear which terror cell claimed responsibility? Anyone think that we could be hot on the trail of the perps and gleaning more and more network info and we may be poised to strike?

    Nahhh, CNN commenters get daily security briefings as well I'm sure. Wonder if any other US facility had any chatter on the anniversary of 9-11? You think maybe EVERY SINGLE PLACE WE HAVE WAS ON ALERT?

    Who makes the call for additional troops/special ops forces? Isn't Bachmann on the Intel Committee? Where's the reco for staffing? What the private security to military ratio? Who pays them?

    Because many protestors were paid behind the scenes. The movie and response were only a cover/diversion...

    Issa is a dirtbag who parades dead Americans when it serves his witch hunts. He is a pitiful excuse for a statesman.

    October 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  6. Radgast

    I thought it was reported that the budget was gutted like 300 millions dollars to protect embassies, if true I wonder how much congress played a role in this too.

    October 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  7. Clinton

    More proof that nothing is off limits to the political gaggle-f@#$ that is our Presidential election... Republicans want to try and draw a conclusion that somehow the President is at fault for a bunch of angry muslim terrorists killing our diplomat thousands of miles away and of course the President will try and prove he did everything he was supposed to... That's all that happens during election years... Real matters become politicized for no reason... nobody wants to focus on the problem just try and see who they can blame for it... I hate election year... Republicans are idiots by the way... The President is not in charge of figuring out the defense posture of all of our diplomatic posts throughout the world... but don't let facts get in the way of your political attacks Romney... you've never let facts get in your way before....

    October 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Sam

      There's a democrat with the Costa Concordia response, as the captain pushes women and children aside to jump in the first life raft while calling his mommy on his cellphone, "Momma, it not my fault!"

      Yes, it is Obama's fault. Qadafi was a jerk, but no threat to the US. He controlled Al Qaeda of the Maghreb and the salafist eastern tribes. Obama was forewarned, "Topple Qadafi and pro Al Qaeda salafists will fill the vacuum." He toppled Al qaeda anyway. Gee, what happened? Plus he released Al Qaeda terrorist Sufyan Ben Qumu from Guantanamo where he was safely held who participated in Ambassador Chris Steven's man raype before he was killed.

      Clinton, your ignorance of facts doesn't make them disappear. Refrain from opinions until you know a thing or two.

      October 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply
      • Planner922

        You really have a lot of nerve to call someone else ignorant when all you can do is repeat FOX talking points. Who made you the expert on MidEast affairs? Did it ever occur to your small brain there may be larger issues at play here?
        Did it ever occur to you to question what high value individual might have been secluded in the safe house? Did it ever occur to you the Ambassador may have given his life for the protection of someone else?
        Thought not.
        Sometimes people like you can be just pure plain ignorant besides being stupid. The private security contractors who were former Seals were there for a reason. Why don't we wait until we know the whole story before you start mouthing off.

        October 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  8. mikemc1970

    The mass media has become the enemy of the American people. They will bury this cover up or keep it on the last page until they get Dear Leader reelected.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      You fracking republicans are so stupid with your Dear leader comments... how frackin dumb do you get? You don't even understand what the hell you're talking about... You sent one of the worst presidents in our history to the whitehouse the last time you sent somebody up there and now you're attacking the Dems and so befuddled why America is poised to re-elect Obama? BECAUSE YOU'RE IDEA'S DON'T WORK AND AMERICA DOESN'T FEEL LIKE GOING BACK TO POLICIES THAT NEARLY DESTROYED THE COUNTRY!!!! YOU FRACKIN MORONS.

      October 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • mikemc1970

        Any incompetence of previous administrations either real or imagined has no bearing on the fact that Obama is the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people and that the mass media in this country has done nothing but go out of their way to protect him from his and his administrations own failures. Thanks for the meltdown though.

        October 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
      • Planner922

        Really? You do know those are words from an actor don't you? Oh, I forget, you think because they play heroes on the screen, that makes them real ones? How about asking a Soldier?
        And just because some News Outlet doesn't report exactly the same as FOX or Drudge, you think they are out to get you? Can you spell P A R A N O I A?

        October 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
      • mikemc1970


        Still can't explain away Barrack Obama's failed foreign, domestic, and economic policies can you? Nothing has improved while he has been president except his golf game. Under Barrack Obama the state department basically left Ambassador Stevens to die in Libya, ignoring all pleas for extra security and the warnings of an eminent Al Qaeda attack. All the while waving the "I killed bin Laden" flag in Al Qaeda's face. He has their blood on his hands and so does Hillary Clinton.

        October 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  9. Why?

    Romney did release his tax returns – White house Press Office. Obama/Biden are trying to bury this story.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Planner922

      No, he didn't. I want to see 2009 Income Tax Return to verify that Romney took the IRS Amnesty for his Swiss Bank Account with UBS.
      I want to know how he has $110 Million in his 401k when the max contribution for self-employed is $90k per annum.

      October 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  10. White House Press Office

    This is not a scandal. It is a bump in the road. Romney needs to release his tax returns. Details on the Al Qaeda terrorist released from Guantanamo to assassinate an American Ambassador will be released after the re election. Now, who out there wants government cellphones and food stamps? Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Nomad


      October 3, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  11. tammy

    why is this not on the front page of your website? Our men were murdered and you are not reporting on the activity that has happened

    October 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Nashcat

      You nailed it, Tammy. CNN has buried the story. This is obviously a front page story.

      October 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply

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