Fox News posted a story today that sheds some light on the reason the outpost at Benghazi was so poorly defended. It seems that decisions made by the State Department regarding security were not based on reality.
The article reports:
Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.
They spoke exclusively with Fox News for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” revealing new information that undermines the State Department’s account of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, where Islamic militants launched a 13-hour assault from Sept. 11-12 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.
The article explains that the State Department awarded the Benghazi compound security compound to a company in Wales that had no experience in diplomatic security. I need to say here that I am all in favor of allowing security companies to gain experience, but they need to start in a place that does not have a major terrorism problem.
The article continues:
According to Torres, the Blue Mountain Group came in 4 percent lower than their bid – and they challenged the decision, claiming the American company should have been preferred over the foreign one.
Torres said State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer responded that the State Department had the “latitude to apply” that preference or not.
And there was more: The Blue Mountain Group hired guards through another company who were not armed.
Problems soon arose. One month before the attack — in August 2012, with The Blue Mountain Group still in charge of compound security — Ambassador Stevens and his team alerted the State Department via diplomatic cable that radical Islamic groups were everywhere and that the temporary mission compound could not withstand a “coordinated attack.” The classified cable was first reported by Fox News.
Why would you put security in a troubled area in the hands of people who are not armed?
The article concludes:
“Let’s just say there’s been a change at management at Department of State,” Owens said. “I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there’s no longer a candidate or anything related to it, a change of administrations, that actually, we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen.”
On the fifth anniversary, Torres said he thinks about the four families who lost a father, a brother or a son in the 2012 attack, and feels sorry “for not bringing this up earlier. For not actually being there, on the ground and taking care of these guys.”
I’m not sure the politics has been taken out of the Department of State, but I definitely wish President Trump luck in his efforts to drain the swamp.