During the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday night, Vice President Joe Biden said that the Obama administration was not made aware of any requests for added security in Libya prior to the attacks that occurred this past September 11 on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. These comments go against two officials from the State Department and the former head of diplomatic security in Libya.
“We weren’t told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there,” Biden said.
On Thursday, two security officials from the State Department testified that they asked for more security and two officials from the same department admitted to denying the requests.
“All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,” Eric Nordstrom said. Nordstrom was the top regional security officer this summer in Libya. “In those conversations, I was specifically told [by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene 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 also said, “For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building.”
“We felt great frustration that those requests were ignored or just never met,” testified Lt. Col. Andrew Wood. Wood was a National Guardsman from Utah who was the head of a security team until August in Libya.
The testimony was pointed out to Biden by Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.