OK, he didn’t call Obama a stuttering clusterf*ck of a miserable failure, but, dog whistle, you know?
(Fox News) Mitt Romney, fresh off what by most accounts was his victory Wednesday night in the first debate with President Obama, said in a Fox News interview that the deadly consulate attack in Libya was a “tragic failure” of security and that the Obama admiration’s explanations have been “misleading.”
“Let me note my condolences and sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives,” Romney told Fox News in a joint interview with his running mate, Paul Ryan. “I believe obviously what happened there was a tragic failure. There had been warnings of a possible attack, there were requests … to have additional security forces. They were turned down.”
“This was a terrorist attack. Lives were lost,” Romney said. “We expect candor and transparency from the president and from the administration, and we didn’t get it.”
Eli Lake, who has been doing the hard work on investigating Libya (which most media outlets haven’t) told us Thursday
In the six months leading up to the assault on the United States consulate in Benghazi, the State Department reduced the number of trained Americans guarding U.S. facilities in Libya, according to a leading House Republican investigating the Sept. 11 anniversary attacks. The reduction in U.S. security personnel increased America’s reliance on local Libyan guards for the protection of its diplomats. (snip)
On Tuesday, Chaffetz and the oversight committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), disclosed in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton details of an alleged April 6 bombing at the consulate. The letter detailed how in the run-up to the 9-11 assault there was an escalation of military-style attacks on Western targets in Libya’s second-largest city. The letter also said U.S. security personnel had requested, and were denied, additional security for the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and the consulate in Benghazi.
Eli notes that a State Department official stated that “it was routine to reduce the number of U.S. personnel serving in new diplomatic posts such as Benghazi over time.” Perhaps in a country that is stable and doesn’t have to deal with large numbers of Islamic extremists and members of al Qaeda in the area. Perhaps in countries where the diplomatic personnel haven’t asked for more protection. Perhaps at diplomatic posts that haven’t seen multiple attacks over the previous months, and where they hasn’t been “an escalation of military-style attacks on Western targets in Libya’s second-largest city.”