President Obama’s National Security Council may have shaped the policy decision that led to decreased security at the U.S. consulate Benghazi, where the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was murdered last month, according to House investigators.
State Department officials rejected requests for extra security because they were trying to “effectuate a policy of ‘normalization’ in Libya,” investigators learned. In a new letter from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to President Obama, lawmakers suggests that the buck really did stop with him in terms of formulating that policy.
“These critical foreign policy decisions are not made by low or mid-level career officials – they are typically made through a structured and well-reasoned process that includes the National Security Council at the White House,” committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and subcommittee chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wrote to Obama today.
State Department official Charlene Lamb has admitted to denying repeated requests to provide diplomats in Libya with more security.
The lawmakers also reminded Obama that this policy of “normalization” caused the security to be decreased, rather than increased as requested, in the face of numerous security threats before the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate.
“For this administration to assume that terrorists were not involved in the 9/11 anniversary attack would have required a willing suspension of disbelief,” Issa and Chaffetz tell Obama.