In an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien, Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, made several statements that were deceitful, considering the representative's role in reducing funding for the State Department's embassy security.
Representative Chaffetz seemed prematurely certain of what the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform would find during the hearings."I think what we’re going to hear is that we didn’t meet the basic, minimum standards required for a facility such as the one we had in Benghazi."
In answering Soledad O'Brien's question about Representative Chaffetz's role in the significant slashing of State Department funding for embassy security, he stated, "When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things."
An article in the Huffington Post on October 10, titled "Jason Chaffetz Admits House GOP Cut Funding For Embassy Security: 'You Have To Prioritize Things'," the author, Sara Bulfin, wrote, "For the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forces protecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers shaved $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012-- cutting back on the department's request by $331 million."
Chaffetz justified his vote to cut the State Department's funding for embassy security, "When you’re in Libya, after a revolution…you [have to] prioritize things." Chaffetz was criticizing the Obama administration for not prioritizing increased security for the Benghazi diplomatic mission. Obviously, Chaffetz was ignorant of the fact that the mission's physical security had been strengthened before the attack. According to The New York Times' article, "Official Tells Panel a Request for Libya Was Denied," by Michael R. Gordon, published October 10, Charlene Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, testified that "the outer wall had been raised and external lighting had been installed, along with a network of camera and security grills on windows" and the mission had met more than the minimum requirements.
Soledad O'Brien pressed Chaffetz for confirmation, reminding Chaffetz that he had voted against increased funding for embassy security "That seems like you’re saying you have a hand in the responsibility to this. The funding of the security? How am I wrong?”
Unfortunately, increased security measures were not sufficient for the large number of well-armed terrorists who attacked the mission. Had there been more adequate intelligence that would justify more personnel to safeguard the diplomatic mission and its staff, and had Representative Chaffetz not made significant cuts to the State Department's embassy security funding, any attacks on Benghazi might have been defeated. Because of the funding cuts, the State Department had to "prioritize things."
In justifying the convening of the hearings, before responsible government departments, such as the State and Justice Departments, had completed their investigations, Chaffetz said, "We [have to] get at the truth, but thus far it’s been a slippery attempt to try to get the truth because the White House and the Obama administration’s been very slow in giving us the facts."
Again, Chaffetz is being misleading. If the facts have been slow in coming from the White House, it is that President Obama likes to have the facts about such important incidents--unlike Representative Chaffetz who is fond of jumping to conclusions without, or even if spite of, the facts.