Oversight Committee Asks President About White House Role in Misguided Libya ‘Normalization’ Effort
WASHINGTON –Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz today sent President Obama a letter and 166 pages of documents related to security threats and the process of ‘normalization’ in Libya. The letter requests that the White House respond to questions about its role in the controversial decision to have the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya pursue a course of ‘normalization’ that was intended to help create the perception of success in Libya and contrast it to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Excerpts of the letter from Chairman Issa and Rep. Chaffetz:
“Information supplied to the committee by senior officials demonstrates that not only did the administration repeatedly reject requests for increased security despite escalating violence, but it also systematically decreased existing security to dangerous and ineffective levels. We have been told repeatedly that the administration did this to effectuate a policy of ‘normalization’ in Libya after the conclusion of its civil war. These actions not only resulted in extreme vulnerability, but also undermined Ambassador Stevens and the diplomatic mission.”
“Multiple warnings about security threats were contained in Ambassador Stevens’ own words in multiple cables sent to Washington, D.C., and were manifested by two prior bombings of the Benghazi compound and an assassination attempt on the British ambassador. For this administration to assume that terrorists were not involved in the 9/11 anniversary attack would have required a willing suspension of disbelief.”
“The American people deserve nothing less than a full explanation from this administration about these events, including why the repeated warnings about a worsening security situation appear to have been ignored by this administration. Americans also deserve a complete explanation about your administration’s decision to accelerate a normalized presence in Libya at what now appears to be at the cost of endangering American lives. These critical foreign policy decisions are not made by low or mid-level career officials – they are typically made through a structured and well-reasoned process that includes the National Security Council at the White House.”
The Oversight Committee’s letter was accompanied by 166 pages of documents and photos.
Chairman Issa’s and Chairman Chaffetz’s letter can be found here.