Propaganda: Benghazi happened because GOP cut budget funding for embassy security! It’s their fault!
This piece of propaganda was first floated by Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and despite being thoroughly debunked by the Left’s own Fact Checkers, earning 3 Pinocchios, it’s still repeated today.
I believe if we want to know what happened in Benghazi, it starts with the fact that there was not enough security. There was not enough security because the budget was cut.
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), speech on the Senate floor, May 14, 2013
Here is the truth:
- Funding for embassy security has increased significantly since 2007:
“The Department of State’s base requests for security funding have increased by 38 percent since Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, and base budget appropriations have increased by 27 percent in the same time period”, said the bipartisan Senate Homeland Security Committee report on the Benghazi attack.
- Neither the White House, The State Department, nor Democrats in Congress requested additional security funding:
The Report goes on: “However, there was no supplemental or OCO request made by the President for additional diplomatic security enhancements in FY 2010 or FY 2011,” the report pointedly noted. “Neither the Department of State nor Congress made a point of providing additional funds in a supplemental request for Libya, or more specifically, Benghazi.”
- During hearings into Benghazi, on October 10, 2012, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (Hillary, Secretary of State, was never questioned), Charlene Lamb, was asked:
It has been suggested that budget cuts were responsible for a lack of security in Benghazi. And I’d like to ask Ms. Lamb, you made this decision personally. Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?
Again, she was asked:
So there’s not a budget problem. It’s not you all don’t have the money to do this?
Sir, it’s a volatile situation. We will move assets to cover that.
- On May 8, 2013, the Regional Security Officer, Eric Nordstrom, was similarly questioned before Congress:
Mr. Nordstrom, you were on that panel. Do you remember what she [Lamb] said?
Yes, she said that resources was not an issue. And I think I would also point to the ARB report, if I’m not mistaken, that they talked to our chief financial officer with D.S. [Diplomatic Security], who also said that resources were not an issue.
Even the Accountability Review Board , which released its report in December of 2012, fixed the blame for lack of security at Benghazi squarely on the shoulders of the State Department. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department:
Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department (the “Department”) resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.
It is interesting to note that Boxer made her comments after the Accountability Review Board released its report, after Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb testified, and after Eric Nordstrom, Regional Security Officer, testified. In other words, she knew better and was lying.
There are many questions left to be answered about what happened in Benghazi, and what happened after that, but whether Congressional budget cuts had a role to play in security breakdowns is not one of them.