On Sept. 11, the day he was killed in what we now know was an assassination deliberately planned to coincide with the terrorist attacks 11 years earlier, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens approved a cable to the State Department warning about the deteriorating security situation in the Libyan city of Benghazi. The dispatch noted that the leaders of two militias, some of whose members were tasked with protecting the American consulate, had threatened to quit, in protest of alleged American support for a prime ministerial candidate they did not like.
Two things stand out about the cable, obtained exclusively by The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake. The first is that there is no mention of the 14-minute online video, “Innocence of Muslims,” which the administration — in league with a global army of apologists for religiously-inspired violence — blamed for a tide of anti-American protests that swept Muslim countries last month. The second curiosity is that the U.S. was subcontracting the security of its diplomats and property to Libyan militias.
Not only was the request turned out, before the attack, the administration had pulled security out of the country. Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy Newspapers) reports:
The State Department withdrew U.S. security personnel from Libya just weeks before suspected Islamist extremists killed the U.S. ambassador there despite warnings from the U.S. Embassy that the Libyan government couldn’t protect foreign diplomats, according to an email released Tuesday.
The State Department rejected requests to extend the tours of U.S. diplomatic and military security personnel in order to “normalize” embassy operations according to “an artificial timetable,” Eric Nordstrom, the embassy’s former security chief, wrote in an Oct. 1 email.
The claim is certain to fuel a growing election year furor over security at the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi at the time of the Sept. 11 assault that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Are you following this? And it gets worse. Ken Dilanian (Los Angeles Times) reports:
Also scheduled to testify is Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, a former Army Green Beret who was part of a special embassy security team in Libya. Wood told CBS News that he met daily with Stevens and that the ambassador was worried about potential risks in the postwar turmoil.
Wood said he and Stevens raised the issue with Washington but that there was "pressure to reduce the number of security people there."
Wood said his 16 team members and a separate six-member State Department security force were withdrawn from Tripoli in August.
"I felt like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers," Wood said. "There was concern among the entire embassy staff.... We felt we needed more, not less."
The White House lied to the American people. This really is unforgivable. And they sent the attack dogs after Mitt Romney for daring to criticize what happened?
That's ridiculous. Now, instead of providing answers, the administration thinks they can play dumb until after the election.
4 Americans are dead and that's on the White House. It's also on the White House that they lied about what happened. They lied repeatedly to the American people. And that's Susan Rice and it's Victoria Nuland and it's the whole stinky, ugly crew. Shame on them.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"