Sunday, September 30, 2012

US Security Lapses in Benghazi Were Gigantic & Massive

Ambassador Stevens had confided in his diary/journal [I kept one when I was an FSO myself] that his security was lacking in Libya. Or this WaPo article downplays that aspect.
Days before the ambassador arrived from the embassy in Tripoli, a Libyan security official had warned an American diplomat that foreigners should keep a low profile in Benghazi because of growing threats. Other Westerners had fled the city, and the British had closed their consulate. Despite the security inadequacies and the warning, Stevens traveled to Benghazi to meet openly with local leaders. Eager to establish a robust diplomatic presence in the cradle of the rebellion against Moammar Gaddafi, the ousted autocratic leader, U.S. officials appear to have overlooked the stark signs that militancy was on the rise. This account of Stevens’s last days and the attack, which includes new details about security at the compound and the ambassador’s movements, was assembled from more than a dozen interviews with American officials, prominent Libyans and others familiar with the case. Most agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity. The attack marked the first violent death of a serving ambassador in a generation and has become a thorn in President Obama’s reelection bid. It also raised the prospect that a country Washington assumed would become a staunch ally as it recovered from its short civil war could turn into a haven for fundamentalists.
The background for the pre-planned attack had been building for months and everyone except the blyth and clueless Americans had ramped up security or packed up and left.
Security in eastern Libya deteriorated sharply in recent months. A string of attacks, some linked to fundamentalist groups, made clear that Westerners were no longer safe. The International Committee of the Red Cross suspended operations and evacuated staff in the east after an attack June 12 on its compound in the port city of Misrata. In Benghazi, convoys transporting the U.N. country chief and the British ambassador were attacked in April and June, respectively. The British government shut down its consulate soon afterward. The U.S. outpost had a close call of its own June 6, when a small roadside bomb detonated outside the walls, causing no injuries or significant damage. But the Americans stayed put. Geoff Porter, a risk and security analyst who specializes in North Africa, said the sudden and stark shift from “predictable violence to terrorism” in the east over the summer was unmistakable. “The U.S. intelligence apparatus must have had a sense the environment was shifting,” he said. But if Stevens was deeply worried about deteriorating security, as CNN has reported he wrote in an entry in his journal, he kept quiet, said the Libyan friend who was with him the day before the attack. “We didn’t talk about attacks,” the friend said. “He would have never come on the anniversary of September 11th if he had had any concerns.” Three days before the attack, a U.S. official in Benghazi met with security leaders to ask them about the threat level, a senior Libyan official in the east said on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The American did not disclose the ambassador’s visit. “They told him, ‘Look, if there’s going to be any foreign presence [in the city], it better be discreet,’ ” the Libyan official said.
Despite his grave concerns about his security, Stevens allowed himself to make a conquering tour of Benghazi like a returning hero----which probably energized the already angry Al Qaeda allies who were incensed at the drone killing of AQ's number two in Pakistan---Al-Libi, who had participated in the planning of 9/11. And if the attacks on the Consulate and the safe house a mile away weren't pre-planned, as US Amb Rice and Hillary in a SenFornRelCte briefing insisted, then why was the covert "safe house" accurately mortared within moments of the evacuation of the US personnel from the Consulate?
The assault on the compound was launched from three directions around 9 p.m., the Libyan official said. Guards and members of militias friendly to the United States who responded to try to repel the attackers were shot in the legs, the official said, suggesting the gunmen had been instructed not to shoot to kill. Sean Smith, 34, an information management officer, died during that phase of the attack and Stevens, 52, was trapped and mortally injured. A group of Americans managed to escape to a second compound about a mile away, according to the Libyan official and others with knowledge of the attack. The site was used by U.S. diplomatic and intelligence personnel, according to people briefed on the attack. Soon after the evacuated Americans arrived there, the second location came under attack, according to the Libyan official and a Libyan fighter who assisted in the evacuation. The fighter — a member of the militia known as the February 17th Brigade, which was friendly toward the Americans — received a call from a counterpart in Tripoli. He said the Americans at the second compound needed help and told him to get in touch with a man named Paul. When the militia leader got the American on the phone, Paul told him not to send his men. “Listen, my men have orders to shoot on sight, and the situation in the safe house is under control,” Peter told the militia leader, according to the account by the Libyan official. In a lengthy firefight at the second compound, two former Navy SEALs who had been deployed to Benghazi as security contractors were killed. Hours later, the Americans who survived managed to get to the airport and flee the city. This week, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli evacuated nonessential embassy staff, citing security risks. The Benghazi compound was an empty, burned-out husk.
The First Clown or rather Clown-in-Chief left out all of the above in his address to the UNGA. Instead, he blamed it all on a 10-min. trailer that was in itself unwatchable. And no Islamic Terrorists were mentioned by Bozo Obungler either... Even JFK must be spinning in his grave...!!!

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