Carney: Biden was right on consulate

Oct. 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- White House spokesman Jay Carney Friday backed the vice president's statement he and the president never were briefed about security at the Benghazi consulate.

In his debate Thursday night with Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, Vice President Joe Biden said, "We weren't told they wanted more security" at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed in a Sept. 11 attack.

"Matters of security personnel are appropriately discussed and decided upon at the State Department by those responsible for it," Carney told reporters during the daily White House briefing.

"Obviously, it is the case that everyone responsible for national security in this administration and those I believe who are knowledgeable about it on Capitol Hill have long been aware of the fact that Libya is a dangerous place."

During a hearing this week before the House Committee on Oversight and Government, former regional security officer Eric A. Nordstrom and Army Special Forces security team commander Lt. Col. Andrew Wood testified numerous requests were made to beef up security in Libya but the requests were denied.

Carney said the requests went to security experts at the State Department, not the White House, also noting administration budget requests to beef up spending for diplomatic security were stripped by House Republicans.

"There was no actionable intelligence regarding the Benghazi facility [before the attack]," Carney said. "I understand an effort here to politicize this, to turn this into an issue in the campaign."

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