The Obama administration is saying little about new claims that U.S.
diplomats in Libya made repeated requests for more security before the
Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed ambassador Christopher Stevens
and three other Americans.
"I'm not going to get into a situation under review by the State Department and the FBI," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton will respond to a letter from two Republican House
members citing requests for more security in the months ahead of the
MORE: House committee: Requests for security in Libya denied
"We want to get to the bottom of precisely what happened
and learn any lessons that we need to learn from it," Nuland said.
"We're taking this very, very seriously."
The two House members --
Reps. Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz -- said in a letter to Clinton
that information about previous security requests came from individuals
with direct knowledge of events in Libya."
Issa and Chaffetz also
made reference to the administration's changing views about the source
of the attack, now generally attributed to terrorists that may include
"It was clearly never, as administration officials once
insisted, the result of a popular protest" over an anti-Islam film,
wrote Issa and Chaffetz.
The lawmaker said they are planning an Oct. 10 hearing on the Benghazi attack.
addressed the issue last month: "Let me assure you that our security in
Benghazi included a unit of host government security forces, as well as
a local guard force of the kind that we rely on in many places around
The Associated Press reported that the Issa/Chaffetz letter listed a dozen instance of questionable security in Benghazi before the Sept. 11 attack:
Just weeks before the attacks, the unarmed Libyan guards at the
consulate, employed by British contractor Blue Mountain Group, were
warned by family members to quit their jobs because there were rumors of
an impending attack.
-- In April, a gun battle erupted about two
miles from the consulate between an unidentified armed group and forces
loyal to the transitional government. Also in April, two Libyans fired
from a contractor providing security at the consulate threw a small
explosive device over the consulate fence. There were no casualties.
In June, a posting on a Facebook page mentioned Stevens' early morning
runs around Tripoli along with members of his security detail. The page
contained a threat against Stevens and a stock photo of him. Stevens
stopped the runs for about a week, but then resumed.
-- Also in
June, assailants placed an explosive device on a gate of the U.S.
consulate, which blew a hole in the security perimeter. That month,
there was a daylight attack on a two-car convoy carrying the British
ambassador to Libya."