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Live Blog C-SPAN Noon ET * House Oversight Hearing, Benghazi Security Failures [Updates]

From my post, “Obama White House in Meltdown over Benghazi (UPDATE)“: “TODAY’s hearing on murder of four American “diplomats” at the hands of Al Qaeda linked terrorists on the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks will put the final nails in the coffin carrying the political corpse of Barack Obama. His Presidency is dead, done and finished. We have breaking news tonight (thanks, HelenK2) that two senior State Department officers informed the press (sans Fox News) that on the evening of 9-11 in Benghazi there was no protest or spontaneous riot. …”


UPDATE 2: View the two-part video
of the hearing below.

(To date, there appear to be no future reairings of the two-plus hour hearing. You can read opening statements by each of the four witnesses [see links at the end of this post], but a full transcript is not yet available at C-Span (and a transcript from a House committee hearing can take up to two weeks to publish).

UPDATE 1: LIVE ON C-SPAN ONE (on TV or C-Span’s site)

From the October 9, 2012 Washington Times article, State Department creates own board to look at Libya security query“:

“There’s documentary evidence that requests came back to diplomatic security and Undersecretary Kennedy rejected them,” Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer and State Department counterterrorism official, told The Washington Times.

“What is at issue here, this board is set up to review all of the decisions that were made prior to the attack on 9/11 that reduced security for the U.S. mission in Libya. Kennedy shouldn’t have had anything to do with this,” Mr. Johnson said. “He should have completely recused himself from the process.” [Continued below ...]

More from “State Department creates own board to look at Libya security query“:

Mr. Kennedy is slated to testify Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is holding hearings to investigate the State Department’s response to threats before the attack, among other issues.

John R. Bolton, a former ambassador to the U.N. who is advising Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, told The Times that the undersecretary for management typically handles the creation of special boards.

In this case, Mr. Bolton said, with so many officials facing scrutiny, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, it would have been better to hand the job to the independent inspector general for the State Department.

“It isn’t different than what they’ve done before,” he said. “Maybe the lesson here in the future, it ought to be the [inspector general] that takes this board to guarantee the independence of the members.”

Army Lt. Col. Andy Wood, a Green Beret who led a site security team in Libya, told CBS News that he and others had requested more security, but State Department officials in Washington turned them down and pulled them out of the country, along with a six-member force of elite security guards.

“We tried to illustrate to show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there. So to decrease security in the face of that really is it’s just unbelievable,” Col. Wood said.

Col. Wood said team members could have accompanied Mr. Stevens to Benghazi, the site of the well-coordinated assault by al Qaeda-linked extremists.

Last week, ABC News unearthed a May 3 memo. …

For the rest of the story on ABC News’s exceptional digging by Jake Tapper, see Larry Johnson’s “Media Not Letting Go on Libya.”

Read WT’s accompanying article:State Department creates own board to look at Libya security query

Follow WT’s lead stories: @washtimes on Twitter
(See far right column for Washington Times’s Twitter feed)

______________________________________

Editor’s Update:

larryjohnson-new-ss1
Larry Johnson (Bio)


See Larry’s latest posts and Tweets in the RIGHT COLUMN.

______________________________________

UPDATE 2:

Witnesses

Ms. Charlene R. Lamb (testimony)

Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs, Bureau of Diplomatic Security
U.S. Department of State

Mr. Eric Nordstrom (testimony)

Regional Security Officer
U.S. Department of State

Lt. Col. Andrew Wood (testimony)

Utah National Guard
U.S. Army

Ambassador Patrick Kennedy (testimony)

Under Secretary for Management
U.S. Department of State

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1147926192 Alex J. Rynkiewicz

    DERELICTION OF DUTY BY OBAMA IN REFUSING HELP TO AMB STEVENS AND THE 3 MARINES WHEN GEN HAM AND ADMRL GAOUETTE WERE GOING TO SEND NAVY PLANES TO BOMB THE TERRORISTS.–OBAMA REFUSED 3 TIMES TO HELP.–TREASONOUS.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NZIFEM43OZ4RR2L3IGG7QMCTDA Nomad

    Trying to find a full transcript of this. Has anyone in intelligence said anything about ever saying they told the whitehouse or state department that was caused by the video?

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  • Popsmoke
  • akaPatience

    Let’s not forget what Hillary Clinton said on 9/12/12: “How could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate? In a city we helped save from destruction?”
    Larry mentioned this remark in his first essay about Benghazi. It speaks volumes. I frankly find it incredible that she would expose her naivete so freely and willingly. And that’s what’s at the heart of all of this – ample security was denied because it was thought Libyan protection would be sufficient, could be relied upon, in spite of recent history, and in spite of many pleas from security professionals and Ambassador Stevens himself.

  • http://www.projectweavers.com/ Matthew J. Weaver

    The Obama Administration, including Clinton State Department, are, in the words of Nordstrom, the Taliban on the inside. That is a damning conclusion for the lack of support offered our embassy staff.

  • shelldoll2

    As for the last two years of budget cuts. If they went into law guess who signed them? Obama.

    • http://www.projectweavers.com/ Matthew J. Weaver

      This picture from the Washington Timeis fitting for your comment.

      • getfitnow

        Powerful.

  • shelldoll2

    So the security detail was pulled days before 911 because of money.

    Our country spends billions of dollars on Solyndra and other projects that failed.

    So in other words we are now suddenly too broke to protect an embassy/consulate in one city in one volatile country because the budget was cut too severely.

    So let me get this straight.

    The current Congress is being criticized for cutting a budget that they are also being criticized for not passing.

    So where did our Armed Forces GO? Was the entire Marine Corps gone and there are no Marines trained or available to form a protection force?

    Our Seals all suddenly disappeared as a result of this budget cut?

    We have no Green Berets left as a result of these budget cuts?

    We have no Army Rangers left as the result of this budget cut?

    Surely we have trained troops with experienced leadership that stepped into the breach.

    So I wonder when the DOD and Pentagon shut down?

    Who said no and why? Since we can afford to spend billions then where did the money go?

    When an Ambassador pleads for additional security and we have no money for it at all then why not remove said Ambassador temporarily? We can always send an Ambassador back when the budget fight is done – or not.

    This is where leadership comes in. You get on the phone and invite the leadership of both parties to the WH and find out what the hell is going on.

    This isn’t rocket science. LBJ , JFK, Clinton would have pulled it off.

    Hell, Eisenhower, Reagan and Nixon would have the done the same.

    Carter? Great humanitarian?
    Think so, not sure, like the man.

    But this no money bull when this administration has spent money like water says it can’t protect one US Ambassador because of money?

    I call bull sh*t.

    • binky354

      One of the Congressmen pointed out that over $100,000 had been spent on having one of the embassies go green and had a celebratory shin-dig to celebrate such. Might have been in vienna. Wish I could hold on to names. It’s my darn short term memory!

      • http://www.projectweavers.com/ Matthew J. Weaver

        I think this was Trey Goudy and the Rep. just before him.

    • Hokma

      If this is the tactic that Obama is now using to deflect blame NO ONE is going to buy other than their Democrat comrades and those on the far left. They are just piling up more B.S. at a time they should just come clean and try to get it behind them.

  • binky354

    Trey Goudy, SC, is really laying it on Kennedy. (I’m watching the C-Span re-run.)

    • http://www.projectweavers.com/ Matthew J. Weaver

      I’m half-watching this for 2nd time while doing some work. The whole hearing was like this. After having sat in on a lot of hearings over the years, beginning with Iran-Contra as a grad student, the tension and all were remarkable today. That this is not leading all of the news is more evidence that we do not have a real 4th estate in the U.S. today. None.

      • shelldoll2

        Thank you. I’ve never seen better state sponsored media.

        Why isn’t this in the headlines of the major papers no matter their political leanings?

        Why isn’t this the major story on the evening news shows? Or maybe even the only story? They do that at times.

        Pravda would be proud.

        • getfitnow

          Because we have our first young, historic, black POTUS.

          I believe if it had been any other administration, regardless of party, this would be THE news.

          It’s a damn shame.

      • getfitnow

        It is shocking. I saw a comment–a person was on FOX where it was being covered, switched to CNN to check–they were talking about Lance Armstrong/doping.

    • http://www.projectweavers.com/ Matthew J. Weaver

      I’m now into new content I missed earlier today. Rep. Rohrabacher gives the air of the grown-ups having arrived and asking a kid what the heck did they think would happen as a result of their action or inaction.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    I’m a bit surprised that no one is praising Susan Rice for her absolute loyalty to the Axelrod Democratic plantation. I mean, she had to know that she was absolutely lying when she did her Sunday talk show tour.
    Susan needs to be rewarded for her performance. Personally, taking a page out of the Al Gore playbook, I believe that an Academy Award for Best Actress is order. She was really into her role.

    • http://www.projectweavers.com/ Matthew J. Weaver

      No, she just demonstrated the pure arrogance that is the hallmark of the Obama administration. Instead of award, she deserves jail or at least dismissal in disgrace.

    • binky354

      I absolutely agree about the Academy Award for Susan Rice.

  • HELENK2

    what is this 50 minute benghazi tape that Issa is talking about and who has it,if it is not the FBI??

    I missed that this morning. glad I am watching the rerun

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/10/10/dnc-chief-wasserman-schultz-just-because-the-obama-admin-put-out-wrong-
    statements-on-libya-attacks-doesnt-mean-it-was-false-huh/

    sheees back,, dibby debbie spouts nonsense

    • http://www.projectweavers.com/ Matthew J. Weaver

      And I was beginning to miss Dear Debbie…

  • binky354

    I noted Kucinich (sp) in his speech that our Libyan intervention was “without constitutional authority”! No joke. It was his President that got approval from the UN and ignored Congress. Did anyone hear him object back in that day or call for impeachment?

    • getfitnow

      He certainly objected throughout the Bush administration.

      He’s on his way out, that’s where his “courage” comes from.

  • Bill O’Reilly

    So Mr. Johnson what do you think about this WP article.

    “The purpose of the pre-election hearing, presumably, is to embarrass the administration for inadequate diplomatic security. But Issa seems unaware of the irony that diplomatic security is inadequate partly because of budget cuts forced by his fellow Republicans in Congress. For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.

    Ryan, Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Under Ryan’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-forget-about-big-bird/2012/10/09/5f9a411c-1258-11e2-ba83-a7a396e6b2a7_story.html

    Seems like your GOP party might actually be responsible for the lack of security in Benghazi. Your party cut the funding, which as Hillary Clinton warned, had deadly consequences. With all the budget cuts Ryan wants it seems like their will be less diplomatic security in the future.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Thanks, I love it when press agents write a story and the papers print it word for word as legitimate news. I used to do a bit of this when I worked for CIA, and even though I was trained to expect and exploit it, I was often surprised at how easily journalists and editors were willing to be compromised. Interesting to see that even though the players change, the basic principles behind co-opting journalists and their editors remain the same.

      • Popsmoke

        Journos and many editors are clueless

      • Bill O’Reilly

        You cannot deal with the facts; ie. the impact of State budget cuts, so you attack the press for revealing the irony of cuts and the GOP trying to make this political. Totally lame.

        • Retired_from_SPOnaj

          Let’s deal with the facts, then. The fact is that when the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs of the Diplomatic Security Bureau of the Department of State, Charlene R. Lamb, was asked yesterday during her testimony before Congress whether budget cuts to diplomatic security resulted in the recent problems in Libya, she replied, “No.” If you are calling her a liar, then you are calling the administration that she works for–i.e., the Obama administration–dishonest. Is that your assertion?

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      You are an ignorant ass. Cutting the State Department budget, which was voted on by a majority of Democrats, does not eliminate the need for the Department to ensure a consulate in a high threat area is protected properly. They can close posts in other areas of the world that are low threat and irrelevant. Curacao, for example.

      • Bill O’Reilly

        So now we have the GOP and yourself concerned about the security of our diplomats. Why weren’t they and you concerned with security when the GOP was cutting the budget? The ex-Ambassador to the Kenya (who was there when it was bombed) said in a recent interview that the biggest problem with providing more security to diplomatic outposts was the lack of funds, which had been further stressed by these GOP pushed through spending cuts at State. Clinton warned about the impact these cuts would have.

  • HELENK2

    the hearing is being re aired on c-span if anyone wants to watch it