PunditFact: Lack of funding led to Benghazi attacks?

St. Petersburg, Florida - Nancy Pelosi has named five Democrats to the special committee charged with investigating the Benghazi attacks. This comes as some Democrats say the attack against the complex shouldn't be a surprise because inadequate funding causes these kinds of tragedies.

10 News anchor Allison Kropff teams up with PunditFact to check the facts behind the funding.

On MSNBC, host Ronan Farrow talked about former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's concerns in 2011 that lack of funding from Congress would hurt national security.

This topic came about because of news of another Benghazi investigation.

Here's what he said: First on his show he asked Rep. Adam Schiff of California if House Republicans "erred" in 2011 when they "cut $128 million from the administration's request for embassy security funding, that really laid the foundation." Then, Farrow said both parties are at fault because "in 2010, Democrats cut $142 million from those security requests.

He then went on to say "So this is really a back and forth, and it actually seems like, in my view, if you look at the history, both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of this, passing the buck. It's easy to gain political plaudits by saying 'spend less around the world,' and then it leads up to these tragedies."

PunditFact looked into security funding over recent years. Fact-checkers found he's defining a cut a bit differently.

"He's defining cuts as the difference between what the Obama Administration asks for and what Congress gave, but that's just the natural push and pull of our separation of powers," says Katie Sanders with PunditFact.

They found spending is actually way up compared to what it was before September 11th.

The bigger problem fact-checkers found with his argument is that countless reviews did not fault budget cuts in the Benghazi attacks, rather they faulted management failures.

"One of the big issues was that Benghazi is not a traditional embassy. It's not even like a traditional consulate or other kind of facility. It was a temporary facility and that was a decision by management to keep it temporary," says Sanders.

While it's true Congress didn't fully fund embassy security requests, reviews have shown it wasn't because of the budget.

So PunditFact rates Farrow's claim, MOSTLY FALSE.

Farrow's executive producer at MSNBC defended him, saying that their reporting is thorough and they are diligent in mentioning how existing resources can be used.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment