Under the administration’s so-called “normalization” policy, White House officials sought to downplay security danger of the Islamists’ rise to power.
The policy apparently impelled lower-level officials at the State Department to replace American embassy-guards with local Muslim guards, leaving only three U.S. guards on that facility on Sept. 11.
Some of those guards belonged to a local Islamist armed group, the “17th of February Martyrs Brigade.”
The group is named after a February 2006 controversy over an Italian politician’s refusal to comply with Muslim demands that Islam’s reputed prophet, Mohammad, not be subject to criticism. Following the politician’s criticism of their prophet, Libyans rioted, prompting Italy’s prime minister to fire the minister.
Obama wanted strong embassy security, Carney claimed.
“The president sets his priorities in his budget,” he said. That focus on the budget downplays Obama’s role in setting U.S. foreign policy strategy, which is then implemented by the the secretary of state.
Carney also urged Republicans and reporters to hold their criticism and questions until the completion of an internal administration investigation, which will not be completed before the Nov. 6 election.
Democrats are complaining that the GOP is “politicizing” the crisis, amid new election-season polls that show declining public trust in Obama’s handling of Islamic security threats.
Carney also repeated the White House effort to blame the intelligence agencies for the Benghazi attack. “There was no actionable intelligence indicating there would be an attack on the Benghazi facility,” Carney said.
The issue “should not be politicized,” Carney complained.
Carney also sought to blame the Republicans for the Benghazi defeat. ”I find it rich that charges have been made about concerns over diplomatic security by those who routinely slash diplomatic security to pay for tax cuts,” he declared.