ABC News‘ Jake Tapper – who once again reveals his refusal to follow the MSM election plan – reports on how folks on the ground in Libya wanted more security for diplomatic personnel, only to be rebuffed by an “oblivious” State Department:
ABC News has learned that Eric Nordstrom, the former Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Libya, has told congressional investigators that security at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was “inappropriately low” – and believed that State Department officials stood in the way of his attempts to change that.
Nordstrom and the commander of a 16-member Security Support Team, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood, heard that foreign fighters were flowing across the Egyptian border and were making their way across the border to the Libyan city of Derna – which is to the east of Benghazi — and from there were making their way to Benghazi. But State Department officials seemed oblivious to their Benghazi post’s vulnerability.
Apparently, the folks at Foggy Bottom were convinced that local Libyan security was junk hunky-dory – never mind that the “merchants and shopkeepers before the war” had been paid by their local bosses “in months.”
Deputy Assistant Secretary for international programs Charlene Lamb, in Nordstrom’s view, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low,” according to a memo for Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.
Wood, a former Green Beret, told ABC News that he and other members of the Security Support Team wanted to remain in Libya past their deployment was scheduled to end in August, and that Ambassador Stevens wanted them to remain as well. Nordstrom has said that Lamb told him not to request for the Security Support Team to be extended again.
“I do recall one conversation with her where she (Lamb) said that since we now had a residential safe haven in Benghazi that she didn’t seem to have a problem with having no agents on the compound because if something happened then personnel could simply go to that residential safe haven,” Nordstrom told investigators.
Tapper himself provides the telling rejoinder: “That safe haven proved a deathtrap.”
Tapper also notes that the State Department is now acknowledging there was no movie protest – or any protest at all – outside the Benghazi consulate.
Only an hour before gunmen methodically and deliberately stormed the post, the streets were empty and everything seemed calm.
So, just to recap, the Obama Administration:
- Refused repeated requests from staff on the ground in Libya for more security.
- Put out an incorrect (and I’m being very charitable here) story about how and why the consulate was attacked
- Minimized al Qaeda’s threat in the region
- Gave the impression that free speech is no longer an American priority
- Thoroughly defamed the Libyan people – who most Americans probably think went nuts over a movie trailer when in fact they did no such thing
Nordstrom is to testify before Congress today.
Cross-posted to Bearing Drift