GOP House leaders say White House 'ignored pleas to increase security at US consulate in Libya'


Washington, Oct. 3 (ANI): The White House turned down repeated pleas from American diplomats in Libya to increase security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, despite two explosions and dozens of other security threats, Republican leaders of a House Committee have said.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chairman Darrell Issa and Republican Jason Chaffetz, of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said their information came from 'individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya'.

According to CBS News, Issa and Chaffetz said the attack three weeks ago in Benghazi was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months before the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S.

There was allegedly even a direct threat on Facebook. In June, militants associated with the late dictator Muammar Qaddafi allegedly posted a threat referencing Ambassador Stevens' jogging route, even posting a picture of him.

Intense questioning over the White House's handling of the situation in Libya has gained a lot of traction in Republican circles recently, perhaps as a late election-season broadside.

On 'Face the Nation', former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that Stevens was without security on 9/11, and that was a terrible mistake.

GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan called the incident "part of a bigger story of the unraveling of (the Obama administration's) agenda all over the world."

In the most recent push back against the Obama administration's actions in Libya, the House committee's letter listed 13 incidents in all that should have given the White House concern, but Chaffetz said there were more than 50.

"A number of people felt helpless in pushing back against the decision not to increase security and were pleading with them to reconsider," Chaffetz said.

According to the report, the State Department has, however, declined to answer questions about whether extra security was sought by officials in Benghazi ahead of the attack.

Clinton responded in a letter to Issa that she has established an accountability review board that will determine 'whether our security systems and procedures in Benghazi were adequate, whether those systems and procedures were properly implemented, and any lessons learned that may be relevant to our work around the world', the report said. (ANI)