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Ex-CIA chief: White House, not intel community, to blame for Benghazi

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Coming to the defense of the nation's intelligence community after Vice President Joe Biden blamed bad intel for the administration's false explanation of what led to the killings of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, the former CIA director and second-ever Homeland Security Department secretary said the White House is to blame.

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said the White House didn't listen to the intelligence community leading up to the September 11 attack on the U.S. facility in Libya and inaction led to the deaths of U.S. officials in Benghazi. Both are advising the Romney campaign.

In a statement, they said:

"During the vice presidential debate, we were disappointed to see Vice President Biden blame the intelligence community for the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama administration to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Given what has emerged publicly about the intelligence available before, during, and after the September 11 attack, it is clear that any failure was not on the part of the intelligence community, but on the part of White House decision-makers who should have listened to, and acted on, available intelligence. Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs."