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Security Officer: ‘The Taliban Is On The Inside’

From Jake Tapper at ABC News:

Security Officer on State Department Blocking Requests: ‘For Me the Taliban Is Inside the Building’

By Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce | Oct 10, 2012

In a heated and dramatic congressional hearing today, witnesses who served with the U.S. diplomatic corps in Libya and pushed for a stronger security presence repeatedly faulted the State Department for standing in their way – one even referring to the State Department officials he described as obstructionist as if they were Taliban terrorists.

The former regional security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, recalled talking to a regional director and asking for twelve security agents.

“His response to that was, ‘You are asking for the sun, moon and the stars.’ And my response to him – his name was Jim – ‘Jim, you know what makes most frustrating about this assignment? It is not the hardships, it is not the gunfire, it is not the threats. It is dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me. And I added (sic) it by saying, ‘For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building.’”

That is a breath-taking statement. It is also pretty ironic, given that it now looks like the consulate personnel were betrayed by some of their local security.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood, the commander of a Security Support Team (SST) sent home in August – against his wishes and, he says, the wishes of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens – said “we were fighting a losing battle. We couldn’t even keep what we had.”

Nordstrom agreed, saying, “it was abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is again, ‘How thin does the ice need to get until someone falls through?’”

As an example, earlier Nordstrom had said he was “specifically told, ‘You can’t request an SST extension. How I interpreted that was there was going to be too much political cost.” …

Note that Mr. Nordstrom said "political cost." Not financial cost, as some on the Democrat side have been claiming.

As Katrina Trinko over at the National Review points out, Democrat Elijah Cummings has been claiming that the extension of this 12 man security force was denied due to budget cuts:

But when questioned, [Charlene] Lamb [who is the Deputy Assistant secretary for International Programs at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security] denied that budgetary concerns had influenced her decision.

“It has been suggested that budget cuts are responsible for a lack of security in Benghazi, and I’d like to ask Miss Lamb,” said Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.). “You made this decision personally. Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which lead you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?”

“No, sir,” said Lamb.

So that is another Democrat lie put to rest.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 11th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Security Officer: ‘The Taliban Is On The Inside’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Of course they’re inside.

    Washington is so evil they’re now outsourcing our security.

    To our enemies.

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