There are three major stories on the Internet today dealing with the attack on the American embassy in Libya and the death of American Ambassador Chris Stevens. The stories are at the Washington Examiner, Breitbart.com, and The Daily Beast.
The Washington Examiner reports:
“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee) that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi,” Issa and Chaffetz added (my emphasis). “The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”
The committee noted 13 “security threats” in Benghazi, including an attempt to assassinate the British ambassador to Libya.
Breitbart lists the attacks prior to September 11:
- April 6, 2012 – An IED is thrown over the consulate fence in Benghazi.
- April 11, 2012 – A gun battle 4km from the Benghazi consulate.
- April 25, 2012 – A US Embassy guard in Tripoli is detained at a militia checkpoint.
- April 26, 2012 – A fistfight escalates into a gunfight at a Benghazi Medical University and a US Foreign Service Officer in attendance is evacuated.
- April 27, 2012 – Two South African contractors are kidnapped in Benghazi, questioned and released.
- May 1, 2012 – Deputy Commander of the local guard force in Tripoli is carjacked and beaten.
- May 22, 2012 – RPG rounds are fired at the Red Cross outpost in Benghazi.
- June 2012 – A pro-Gaddafi Facebook page posts photos of Ambassador Stevens making his morning run in the city of Tripoli and made a threat toward the Ambassador.
- June 6, 2012 – An IED is left at the gate of the US consulate in Benghazi.
- June 10, 2012 – RPG is fired at the convoy carrying the British Ambassador in broad daylight as he is nearing the British consulate in Benghazi. No one is killed but the British later close the consulate.
- Late June, 2012 – Another attack on the Red Cross outpost in Benghazi, this one in daylight. The Red Cross pulls out leaving the US consulate the last western outpost in the city.
- August 6, 2012 – Attempted carjacking of a vehicle with US diplomatic plates in Tripoli.
- Weeks prior to Sept. 11, 2012 – Libyan guards at the Benghazi consulate are “warned by their family members to quit their jobs” because of rumors of a “impending attack.”
The Daily Beast reports:
Security deteriorated significantly in June. On June 10, a man fired a rocket-propelled grenade in broad daylight into a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya. Later that month, the Red Cross was attacked again. By the end of June, the British Consulate and the Red Cross closed their facilities in Benghazi. By the start of July, the U.S. Consulate was one of the only Western targets left in the city.
“This was not a safe country on its way to a normalized situation. It was a very volatile situation,” Chaffetz told The Daily Beast.
The House Oversight Committee is expected to hold a hearing on Oct. 10 on the threats leading up to the attack.
Someone made some serious mistakes here in evaluating the risk to our Ambassador and other embassy employees. It seems as if common sense would have either increased the security at the embassy or at least temporarily removed the embassy from Libya.