Fox News posted a story today about one aspect of Secretary of State Clinton’s testimony before Congress yesterday. I am sure there will be many stories about her testimony to come, but there was one aspect that was very telling.
As I listened to Secretary Clinton, it became very obvious that although she ‘accepted responsibility’ for the deaths at Benghazi, she placed part of the blame for the attack on budget cuts–indirectly blaming Republicans because Democrats only do budget cuts in the defense budget.
When you examine the State Department budget numbers for the past several years, blaming budget cuts does not hold water.
The article at Fox News points out:
Budget numbers, though, show the overall diplomatic security budget has ballooned over the past decade. While there were modest decreases in funding in recent years — and Congress has approved less than was requested — the overall security budget has more than doubled since fiscal 2004.
For that year, the budget was $640 million. It steadily climbed to $1.6 billion in fiscal 2010. It dipped to $1.5 billion the following year and roughly $1.35 billion in fiscal 2012.
Slightly more has been requested for fiscal 2013.
It’s difficult to tell how much was specifically allocated for Benghazi. Tripoli was the only post mentioned in the department’s fiscal 2013 request — funding for that location did slip, from $11.5 million in fiscal 2011 to $10.1 million the following year. Slightly more has been requested for fiscal 2013.
Ignoring requests for increased security is not a budget issue. If the money was not available to protect our ambassador and staff at Benghazi, the ambassador and staff should have been moved elsewhere. The other part of this story that seems to be ignored is the report that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. were asked to stand down rather than help.
I am sure there will be more questions as Secretary Clinton’s testimony is analyzed. What I am not sure of is whether the picture of what actually happened at Benghazi will become any clearer.