During the Democratic Primary in the last election, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debated which of them would step up to the plate when an emergency came up at 3 AM. The answer… neither of them.
The president was updated throughout the evening, and notified late Tuesday that Stevens was unaccounted for. Obama learned Wednesday that Stevens was confirmed dead Wednesday morning, the official said.
Obama had missed every every presidential briefing on national security issues since before the Democratic National Convention. Instead of putting Country First, he put his campaign first and headed to Vegas to party with his rap star pals. And then went on sleeping while American personnel were being murdered in Libya because his staffers clearly knew better than to get him out of bed.
Hillary Clinton, who holds ultimate responsibility for the situation, had known a while back that Benghazi was a danger zone and that the consulate had come under attack before.
There were plenty of warnings that something like this could and would happen…
In June, the British ambassador Dominic Asquith narrowly survived when a rocket missed him and hit the armored car carrying his security detail, two of whom were wounded. Last April a United Nations convoy carrying the envoy Ian Martin was bombed in the city, followed by attacks on the Tunisian consulate and the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Three months ago the Benghazi consulate came under lethal attack and despite that the State Department and the Obama Administration failed to tighten security and instead relied on the same local Libyan security forces who fled and/or participated in the current attack.
QUESTION: Did – have you asked for security to be tightened? And if you have done that, when did you do it? Did you do it before this bombing, after the confirmation of al-Libi’s death?
MR. TONER: Okay. Let me start, and if you have any follow-up questions, I’ll try to endeavor to answer them.
As Matt mentioned, we deplore the attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Fortunately, no one was injured in the attack. And we’ve also requested the Libyan Ministry of Interior to increase its security around U.S. facilities. In answer to your specific question, Matt, I’m not sure of the timing. I believe it was following the attack. If that’s different, I’ll let you guys know.
QUESTION: But do you have any concern that this may be – may bode very ill for the future security of Libya? I mean, there seems to be a breakdown in security on all levels.
MR. TONER: On the contrary. As I said, our local guard force acted in exemplary fashion. We believe they were very vigilant in seeing this attack as it was taking place and sounding a warning for our mission staff to seek cover. And as I said, we’ve requested additional security. As to whether this bodes ill or well for – on a larger scale, clearly Libya is in transition. It’s grappling with many different issues, important issues right now. Security is a concern, but one we’re addressing, working productively with the Libyan Government.
The State Department knew that things were very wrong in Benghazi but they chose to maintain low security to avoid offending the locals. Four Americans paid the price for their misjudgement.