Tapper: Who Decided There'd Be No Marines to Protect Libya Posts? Carney: Ask State Dept.

By Jon Street | September 19, 2012 | 5:28pm EDT

The scene at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on Wednesday that they should ask the State Department if they wanted to find out who decided not to station Marines at U.S. diplomatic posts in Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three others were killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

ABC White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Carney: “In the wake of the attacks on Benghazi, the Pentagon and the State Department both made statements that they then had to correct, the Pentagon involving whether or not there were Marines at the embassy in Tripoli--there were not--and the State Department regarding the presence of security firms at the Benghazi compound. Why was there such confusion and is the White House conducting any sort of internal investigation as to what went wrong”?

Carney answered, “Well, there is an ongoing investigation as to what happened in Benghazi that’s being led by the FBI --”

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“I’m not talking about the criminal act,” said Tapper. “I’m talking about the--obviously there wasn’t adequate security along the lines of what went wrong--about what the administration could have done better.”

The burned and ransacked U.S. consulate in Banghazi, Libya, which was attacked by radical Islamists on Sept. 11 and where the U.S. ambassador and three other embassy personnel were killed. (AP Photo)

Carney said, “I think I would refer you for questions about security at the Benghazi diplomatic facility and broadly speaking at diplomatic facilities, consulates, and embassies around the world to the State Department.”

Tapper followed up: “Who made the decision that there should not be any Marines at our diplomatic posts in Libya? More than half of our diplomatic posts have Marines. I understand they’re not there to protect people. They’re there to protect classified data but it doesn’t hurt to have them there. Who made the decision?”

Carney responded: “I think security at diplomatic facilities is overseen by and run by the State Department,  so I’d refer you to them about how decisions are made and what the allocation of resources was in Benghazi and elsewhere. I think they’re the best people to answer that question.”

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