Biden blames intelligence community for changing story about Libya attack
The Obama administration has been under fire for initially linking the attack on the U.S. Consulate to an anti-Islam video made in the U.S. before later acknowledging that that the attack was an act of terrorism, not a protest that turned violent.
Biden said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, was repeating what intelligence sources had told her when she blamed the video as a “proximate cause” of the violence in an interview five days after the attack.
“The intelligence community told us that,” Biden said. “As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment.”
The vice president attacked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for weighing in on the violence in Libya before it was known that Ambassador Christopher Stevens was among four Americans that had been killed.
“That's not presidential leadership,” Biden said.
Ryan said it was clear from the start that it was an act of terrorism and ripped the administration for focusing on the YouTube video in the days after the assault.
“It took the president two weeks to acknowledge this was a terrorist attack,” Ryan said. “He went to the U.N. and in his speech at the U.N. [on Sept. 25] six times talked about the You Tube video.
“Look, if we are hit by terrorists, we are going to call it for what it is: a terrorist attack.”
Biden was also questioned about statements from officials stationed in Libya who said they had repeatedly asked the administration for more security at the consulate.
"Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security there," Biden said. "We did not know they wanted more security."
Biden's statement directly contradicts the testimony of two security officers who were based in Libya earlier this year. Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the head of a 16-person Special Forces team that left in August, and State Department regional security officer Eric Nordstorm said Wednesday that they repeatedly asked for beefed up security but were turned down.