In last night's debate, after all the revelations which have been coming out of the Benghazi attack, Joe Biden, when challenged, stated "We didn't know about any security requests." In essence, he was saying that the State Department had not informed the White House of those requests (since we know the State Department had received them).
I think the White House immediately saw that was a problem, and spin has been coming out all morning. At this point, I'm tempted to quote Yeats, "Things fall apart, the center does not hold."
So we have two separate and competing lines of spin, both seemingly coming from the White House.
First line: "Joe Biden Lied." Now, the Hill (per Ace of Spades) is spinning that as "What Biden said was true," but the actual article says, basically, "Oh, when he said 'we' he meant 'I'." That is, when Joe Biden said "The White House" ("We") he was lying "because he was only speaking for himself, not for the White House."
Second line: Joe Biden Totally Wasn't Lying. Reported by other outlets (man can that Jay Carney perform some rhetorical acrobatics) is the idea that, yes, the State Department knew about the requests, but they hadn't forwarded them on to the White House, so Biden was telling the absolute truth that the White House didn't know.
First off, I don't believe either line. I believe Joe Biden knew about the requests. I don't necessarily think he made, or even helped make, the decision not to provide additional security, but I think he knew.
Secondly, if one of these is true it is a stinging indictment of the White House. In the first case, it means that Barack Obama does not trust his own Vice President, and that he has instructed the staff not to brief Biden on issues of National Security. In the second case, is means that the State Department has gone rogue and is not keeping the White House apprised of important National Security matters. How is either of those good?
Here is what we know- there was already chatter about a terrorist attack prior to 9/11/2012. September the 11th is the anniversary of the worst terror attack in US History. Libya was known to have active terrorist cells. An attack on the embassy building had forced the embassy staff temporarily into a less secure building. Terrorists love them some anniversaries. Ambassador Chris Stevens had requested additional security. Those requests were not approved.
Now we can either believe that Hillary Clinton, or someone over whom she should have control, rejected those requests on her (their) own recognizance, or we can believe that the White House was informed and rejected those requests. In either case, the Administration is directly responsible.