Monday, October 15, 2012

The stench grows

Details start to emerge that make the response to the Benghazi attack seem, well, political.
During the hearing, the top regional security officer in Libya over the summer, Eric Nordstrom, and Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, a Utah National Guardsman who was leading a security team in Libya until August, placed the blame squarely on Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary of state for international programs, whom they said was the official who denied those requests.[emphasis added.  comment: Lamb was monitoring the attack in real time, as she reports here]
"In those conversations, I was specifically told [by Lamb] ‘You cannot request an SST extension.' I determined I was told that because there would be too much political cost. We went ahead and requested it anyway," Nordstrom said. 
Kennedy and Lamb were also pressed several times to explain why senior officials including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice made statements in the days after the attack describing it as a reaction to an anti-Islam video, considering that the State Department was monitoring the events that night in real time.
So, is Lamb a political appointee or a permanent civil service employee?  For if her position was political, this stinks to high heaven.  In other words, a political decision was made by Lamb, which was a mistake that directly led to the attack and death of the ambassador.  Plus, the decision to use the protests in Egypt as political cover for the attack was made by Rice despite the fact that information was available to showed the truth to be otherwise.

But something bigger may be hidden.  This occurred right in the middle of a presidential election and the administration appears to be trying awfully hard to run out the clock on it.  Could it be because the political damage could be severe?

h/t Free Republic

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