With plans for a Congressional hearing next week on the deaths of four Americans in Libya on September 11, two U.S. House Republicans told the Obama Administration today that "repeated requests for increased security" to protect U.S. diplomats in Libya were rejected by the State Department.
In a letter sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) laid out what they described as a "long line" of troubling security incidents in Libya, incidents they said should have clearly highlighted the need for additional security measures.
"In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi," the letter states.
"The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington," the Republicans added.
The attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Issa will be holding a hearing next week on the matter, which is sure to make the question of security precautions an even more political issue, as Republicans charge the Obama Administration was basically asleep at the switch when it comes to terrorism readiness on an anniversary of September 11.
The letter wraps up by asking the Secretary of State to detail the assessment of security in Benghazi before the September 11 attack, which Obama Administration officials have often blamed on the reaction to an anti-Muslim video on the internet.
"1. Was State Department headquarters in Washington aware of all of the above incidents? If not, why not?
"2. If so, what measures did the State Department take to match the level of security provided to the U.S. Mission in Libya to the level of threat?
"3. Please detail any requests made by Embassy Tripoli to State Department headquarters for additional security, whether in general or in light of specific attacks mentioned above. How did the Department respond to each of those requests?"