A Damning Indictment of State Department Security in BenghaziThere's no other way to look at it. Ambassador Chris Stevens was left there to die.
By Helle Dale, The Foundry
Last Friday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released 120 pages of documents on the situation in Benghazi, Libya, from March 2011 to September 2012. In light of these documents, the denial of additional U.S. security personnel in Libya is shocking. The documents provide plenty of new material for tonight’s presidential debate.
Emails describe concerns over unstable security; weekly Benghazi reports detail growing violence; and specific requests for more temporary duty (TDY) security personnel from Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom and Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself show that they were keenly aware of the danger.
A final report from Ambassador Stevens on concerns over violence was sent on the fateful day of September 11, hours before armed terrorists attacked the embassy and killed the ambassador and three members of his small security staff.
First is an Action Memo addressed to Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy sent in December 2011 requesting an extended presence in Benghazi through the 2012 calendar year. Of the two recommendations given was that Kennedy approve “a combined footprint of 35 U.S government personnel in Benghazi, including eight State Department and USAID and two TDY beds.”
Both recommendations were signed in the affirmative. Background information, however, states that, due to budget constraints, Diplomatic Security’s (DS) permanent presence was reduced to five, down from 17.
According to a thread of emails from Nordstrom to various State Department personnel, as early as February of 2012 there were concerns regarding the lack of security resources in Benghazi. Nordstrom went on to say that because there were only 2 DS agents supplied on the ground, it “severely limits operations in Benghazi” and the problem couldn’t be rectified because he had “been advised that DS isn’t going to provide more than 3 DS agents over the long term.” [link]
He died. A most horrible death. One that could - and should - have been prevented.
Yet life in Washington goes on as if nothing happened.
Heads should roll. Heads should roll.