DC Trawler

Biden’s Benghazi claim: Is he lying, or is the Obama administration really this incompetent?

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Seems to me those are the only two possibilities. Not to say he can’t be both, mind you. But he’s left his dwindling retinue of defenders with no choice but one of those two.

Here’s the relevant exchange from last night’s debate:

RADDATZ: What were you first told about the [Benghazi] attack? Why — why were people talking about protests? When people in the consulate first saw armed men attacking with guns, there were no protesters. Why did that go on (inaudible)?

BIDEN: Because that was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. The intelligence community told us that. As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment. That’s why there’s also an investigation headed by Tom Pickering, a leading diplomat from the Reagan years, who is doing an investigation as to whether or not there are any lapses, what the lapses were, so that they will never happen again.

RADDATZ: And they wanted more security there.

BIDEN: Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there. We did not know they wanted more security again. And by the way, at the time we were told exactly — we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. That was the assessment. And as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view.

But that’s not true, as Foreign Policy notes:

In fact, two security officials who worked for the State Department in Libya at the time testified Thursday that they repeatedly requested more security and two State Department officials admitted they had denied those requests.

“All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources,” the top regional security officer in Libya over the summer, Eric Nordstrom, testified. “In those conversations, I was specifically told [by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb] ‘You cannot request an SST extension.’ I determined I was told that because there would be too much political cost. We went ahead and requested it anyway.”

But there’s a perfectly good explanation, also from Foreign Policy:

Vice President Joseph Biden speaks only for himself and President Barack Obama, and neither man was aware that U.S. officials in Libya had asked the State Department for more security before the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, a top White House official told The Cable…

The Cable asked Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications Ben Rhodes whether Biden was speaking for the entire Obama administration, including the State Department, which acknowledged receiving multiple requests for more Libya security in the months before the attacks. Rhodes said that Biden speaks only for himself and the president and neither of them knew about the requests at the time.

That’s the administration’s latest version of the truth:

Got that? Of course the Obama administration knew about it, silly. Just not, um, the guy who’s supposed to be running that administration. So relax! He’s got it all under control.

This is such a huge crock of “stuff,” as Joe put it, that even the palace guard can’t protect him:

Benghazi is the latest, most glaring example of what Mickey Kaus calls the “undernews.” Again and again, our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the mainstream media have tried to ignore stories that might hurt the Democrats. John Edwards, Anthony Weiner, Van Jones, the list goes on and on. If the New York Times and the network newscasts just pretend it’s not happening, maybe it’ll go away on its own. But bloggers and other new-media outlets keep pursuing these stories when the “real” reporters won’t, until they have no choice but to cover them.

Except this is the first “undernews” story I can think of where people have been killed. And the President of the United States and his surrogates have done nothing but lie about it. Guess that’s a line that even water-carriers like Andrea Mitchell and Mark Halperin aren’t willing to cross. They want to help you out, Joe, but not when you’re lying to the families of Americans who served their country and were murdered by terrorists.

I’ll allow you to retort, Mr. Vice President:

Well said.

By the way, Eli Lake is now reporting that there’s video of the attack on the Benghazi consulate, and it shows a military-style assault. Plus: no protest. None of which Obama and Biden know anything about, and nothing is their fault, and shut up.

Meanwhile, the guy who made “Innocence of Muslims” is still in jail. Hey, if he wanted to express his right to free speech, no matter how stupid that speech might be, he should’ve run for office.

(Hat tip to John Nolte, Matt Welch, Ed Morrissey, and Bryan Preston)

Update: Romney responds.

Update: Biden also claimed he voted against going into Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s a lie.

Update: I’m having this one framed.

See Neil Munro for more.

Update: Tom Maguire asks, “Will this Obama/Biden message of ‘We killed Osama but they forgot to remind us about the blowback’ really carry them past the election?” It had better. That’s all they care about.