State Department Didn’t Respond To Requests For Extra Security In Benghazi
A U.S. security officer twice asked his State Department superiors for more security agents for the American mission in Benghazi months before an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, but he got no response.
The officer, Eric Nordstrom, who was based in Tripoli until about two months before the September attack, said a State Department official, Charlene Lamb, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low,” according to a memo summarizing his comments to a congressional committee that was obtained by Reuters.
Nordstrom also argued for more U.S. security in Libya by citing a chronology of over 200 security incidents there from militia gunfights to bomb attacks between June 2011 and July 2012. Forty-eight of the incidents were in Benghazi.
The lack of a protest outside the US embassy prior to the attacks undermines the Obama administration’s initial spin the attack, which is that it was the result of Muslim outrage over a YouTube clip. Obviously, that narrative is better for President Obama than what is shaping up to be the reality, which is that Benghazi was an attack for which the United States had received advanced warning, up to and including requests for additional security from local officials who were on the scene.
“[T]his is incompetence that borders on the criminal,” writes Ed Morrissey. “It shows that this administration created a situation in eastern Libya that it failed to comprehend, and has allowed al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists their first real victory over the US since the original 9/11 — and that the administration has been trying to cover it up ever since.”Tags: Barack Obama, eric norstrom, libya, tripoli, War On Terror