Amidst the government shutdown, Sen. Rand Paul drew a distinction between security at the WWII Memorial and at the US compound in Benghazi.
On Tuesday, military veterans had to force their into the WWII Memorial on the National Mall in Washington which was "closed" owing to the government shutdown.
Groups of veterans from around the country are in Washington or on their way there as part of the "Honor Flight" program. A group of Ohio veterans were even told that they risked arrest by the US Park Police if they went ahead with their trip to visit the WWII Memorial. Yesterday the National Park Service backed down and said that no one would be barred from the venue even during the government shutdown.
In commenting on the WWII memorial situation Tuesday night, Sen. Rand Paul said "If Harry Reid and the president want to keep the parks closed -- I mean did you read the story today? Some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades so they couldn't see the monument. People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument because they're trying to play a charade."
Paul yesterday afternoon tweeted about the situation, and then further explained his thinking behind the tweet last night on FNC (see embed above): "It's kind of serious and kind of sad; there was a time during the attack in Benghazi when there were five people there protecting four people and the ambassador...there weren't many people protecting him, and today there were seven people trying to keep the WWII vets from seeing the monuments."
Paul added that it was his belief that the attempt block the veterans from entering the monument was a political statement by the Obama administration, "but in the end it's stupid to try to block an open monument."
On September 11, 2012, four Americans were murdered at the US embassy compound in Benghazi -- Ambassador Christopher Stevens, embassy official Sean Smith, and security officers Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods (both former Navy SEALS) -- when the Obama administration allegedly failed to send rescue teams despite pleas for help. The investigation by the House Oversight Committee is ongoing but the administration has been accused of stonewalling the probe.
According to the Washington Examiner, the House and Senate are still gridlocked over ending the government shutdown: "Senate Democrats blocked four resolutions to fund government programs, including paying the National Guard and opening national parks, as Republicans offered the limited measures in an attempt to win the government shutdown fight by financing popular programs and leaving those they oppose untouched."
. @BarackObama sent 7 security guards to #WWIIMemorial this AM to keep out our vets. Sadly, that is 2 more than were present in Benghazi.
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) October 2, 2013