Embassy Attacks

Blaming Benghazi on Budget Cuts

Unchecked interventionism couldn't be it, could it?

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a picture of joe biden not smiling last night

Democrats seized on a cut in embassy security funding to deflect criticism of the administration's poor handling of the terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on 9/11. The charge was brought up in a contentious congressional hearing on security failures in Benghazi and repeated last night by Vice President Joe Biden, who after saying they weren't aware of requests for more security in Benghazi, pointed out "the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for, number one.  So much for the embassy security piece."

Republican Jason Chaffetz, on the committee that held hearings on Benghazi this week, acknowledged voting to cut embassy security funding:

"Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we're talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you're in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things."

The Heritage Foundation pulls the numbers for "worldwide security protection," the budget for which went from $1.18 billion in 2008 (out of about $35 billion for the State Department and "other international programs") to $1.59 billion in 2010 (out of about $52) before dropping to just under $1.5 billion in 2011. The Heritage Foundation explains:

Comparing FY 2011 actual funding versus the FY 2012 estimate, there appears to be a reduction in Worldwide Security Protection and Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance. But that reduction does not account for additional funding in FY 2012 from Overseas Contingency Operations funds amounting to $236 million for Worldwide Security Protection (p. 63) and $33 million for Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance (p. 467)… Together, there is a net increase.

In terms of people, the budget justification reported that Worldwide Security Protection had slightly fewer positions budgeted (1,777 in FY 2011 versus 1,707 in FY 2012) and Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance had the same number of positions budgeted (1,014 for both years).

In its budget request for FY 2013, the Administration requested significantly more funding for embassy security—mostly through the Overseas Contingency Operations budget—but retained the same number of positions, apparently on the assumption that security staffing was adequate. Regardless, that budget, even if approved in its entirety, would have entered into effect after the events in Libya.

Before Biden's comment on budget cuts, Paul Ryan asked:  "Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him. Shouldn't we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi, a place where we knew that there was an Al-Qaeda cell with arms?"

last term in congress

Dennis Kucinich's line of questioning at the congressional hearing on Benghazi brought up that virtually no Al-Qaeda presence existed in Libya prior to U.S.-backed intervention, asking Ambassador Patrick Kennedy about Al-Qaeda levels since then. He refused to answer, but Lt. Colonel Andrew Wood offered that Al-Qaeda's presence was certainly more established in Libya than America's. Kucinich was also able to find out that ten to twenty thousand surface-to-air missiles are still missing since the Libyan civil war. While land wars were kinda sorta taken off the table at the vice presidential debate, the kind of "soft" intervention that creates situations like Benghazi was left unquestioned.

Kucinich lay the blame for security failures on decades of U.S. intervention, telling his colleagues that Congress has failed to stop illegal wars and that such an illegal intervention destabilized Libya and created the threat and failure on which the hearing was held. "We want to stop the attacks on embassies?" Kucinich asked. "Let's stop trying to overthrow governments."

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  1. Democrats seized on a cut in embassy security funding to deflect criticism

    All I’ve heard about is a proposed cut in a bill that never passed. Was there an actual cut in actual funding that went into effect before 9/11/12?

    1. Well, no, but it could’ve been their fault! You can’t deny that, now can you? [Does sacred Obama administration victory dance.]

    2. Was there an actual cut

      in the normal world, the answer to this question – no – would be game, set, match. But this is election world, where reality is immaterial and only talking points, distractions, and misdirection matter.

  2. Man, flattering picture of Dennis the K you found there. Looks like Peter Lorre goes to Congress.

  3. How’s the cut even relevant? State says it pulls its people out if they can’t be protected. So if State had a good idea what was needed, and Congress didn’t provide that, why didn’t they pull them out?

    1. Typical republican. Advocating the pull out method all while denying women the right to force people to pay for their no baby pill or vacuum suction “contraception”

  4. Lamb: “We Had Correct Number of Assets in Benghazi at Time of 9/11”

    http://cnsnews.com/news/articl…..t-had-been

    1. I can’t get over that one.

      Because, you always know when you’ve got your security really dialed in when EVERYBODY GETS FUCKING KILLED!

      1. Like saying that there were enough Texans at the Alamo.

        1. And Drake wins the “Best Weekly Analogy” award.

    2. Carney said that Republicans cut funding for the embassies because they wanted to give tax cuts for the rich this morning.

      You can’t even make this stuff up anymore.

      1. then Carney is worse than idiot level. Let what he said roll around – he presumes that tax cuts mean the govt giving people money.

      2. Carney said that Republicans cut funding for the embassies because they wanted to give tax cuts for the rich this morning.

        What, did Bernanke not purchase enough bonds that week?

      3. Carney is so despicable that I wouldn’t even want to punch his face. God only knows the slime that would be left on your fist.

  5. So embassy security spending is more than 25% higher than it was in 2008? Typical Washington, explode the budget one year, and then whine about devastating effects the next year if even one dollar is cut. The government spends nearly $4 trillion and they can’t protect embassies in the most dangerous part of the world? Talk about a need for prioritization. But remember, these are the people we want running our economy, education system, and health care system

    1. The only satisfying thing of watching this trainwreck is knowing that the limits of human scale are finally kicking in, and knowing that none of the people in power have a clue as to how to address it like adults.

      You couldn’t come up with a better example of “Why Government Should Be Limited” than what is going on in DC right now.

  6. If they want to save money, why not set up a dead man’s switch, tied to the ambassador or other senior diplomat, that sets off a small nuclear charge if he/she gets killed?

    1. Outfit the ambassador with obsidian knives to get through any pesky metal detectors, and I think you have a plan!

      1. See, these problems are easily solved. Government is just completely useless. I think maybe someone should start a business providing this sort of nuclear shield to ambassadors for their private use.

      2. Dragonglass.

        This way they’ll be victorious if the embassy is stormed by white walkers.

        1. Dude, we’re riffing on Snow Crash here. Don’t cross the streams.

  7. The best is watching Carney this morning try and defend Uncle Joe’s stupidity from last night.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f…..C7fq9b7sM#!

    Carney is going to have to basically cure aids or liberate North Korea to wash the stench off of his soul from this administration.

    1. Ha! He had no soul to begin with because no one with integrity could possibly stomach lying on a daily basis.

    2. Carney is going to have to basically cure aids or liberate North Korea to wash the stench off of his soul from this administration.

      If Obama loses I imagine his career is over.

      He is a young guy too.

      1. You kidding? He’ll be the next George Stephanopoulos.

  8. Can Obama exploiting people’s bigotry against Muslims–just to deflect criticism away from himself–be explained by budget cuts, too?

  9. Despotism forever wherever it may be! And if the locals hate us for “supporting” the despots, well just screw the locals then.

  10. What a bunch of bullcrap. The government has been running on a continuing resolution for three years now; nothing has been cut anywhere.

  11. More and more, I’m starting to think that Nixon got an unfair shake over Watergate. At least no one died because of that scandal. Can’t say the same about some of the scandals of later presidents that apparently don’t even warrant the mention of the word “impeachment”

    1. It is amazing how this admin has been able to avoid being held even remotely responsible for this growing list of scandals.

      Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Solyndra, Illegal chinese fundraising, Rezko, a big pile of innocent dead pashtuns killed by drones…

      I mean there are piles of dead people. Unreal.

      1. That’s raccis.

      2. Yeah, but Obama is just so charming.

        And Bush killed people too, so really, who cares?

  12. “We want to stop the attacks on embassies?” Kucinich asked. “Let’s stop trying to overthrow governments.”

    You know, for Level 12 half-elf/half-satyr Bard, he makes a good point.

    1. Level 12 half-elf/half-satyr Bard

      Does this explain his hot wife?

      1. I like to think so. He hits the women with his Fascinate song and it’s all over. Some have suggested that Kucinich has levels in Druid as well, but I’ve never seen him with an animal companion or use Wildshape, so I dismiss this talk as mere speculation.

    2. I’m actually surprised that he and Ron Paul didn’t get on a ticket together for the lulz.

      1. I’m pretty sure they’re oath-sworn to fight to the death if they’re ever in the same room together.

    3. When Kucinich is the voice of reason in your party – you ought to be thinking real hard about what your party is doing.

  13. This question was asked during the congressional hearings earlier this week. The State Department representatives acknowledged that the decision to remove the SST was not because of a lack of funding.

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