Revealed: Extreme Negligence in Benghazi

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


The House of Representatives began its hearings on Wednesday regarding the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The picture painted by sworn testimonies is one of extreme negligence and incompetence on the part of the Obama administration in protecting our fellow citizens in the field. The Obama administration is also under fire for its embarrassing insistence that the tragedy wasn’t a pre-planned terrorist attack until a mound of evidence forced it to reverse course, long after the truth became obvious.

The need for strong security at U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya was more than apparent. The country was in a state of civil war a year ago, and violent incidents are common. The central government lacks authoritative control, and militias, including ones of jihadist orientation, are all over the war-torn country. Al-Qaeda-type terrorists are known to be organized in Libya. Ambassador Stevens himself feared that he was on an Al-Qaeda hit list. Special precautions on the anniversary of 9/11 should have been a common-sense measure.

The House heard the story of Eric Nordstrom, whose job it was to oversee security for American diplomats in Libya. In both March and July, Nordstrom urged the State Department to maintain security in Benghazi because current forces were “overwhelmed and could not guarantee our protection.” He didn’t hear back. Nordstrom says he was told by a senior State Department official that he shouldn’t request reinforcements again because “there would be too much political cost.”

Lt. Col. Andy Wood has a similar story. He led a 16-man Site Security Team in Tripoli from February 12 to August 14. He was told, “You’ve got to do with less.” He says that Stevens wanted his team to stay through August and the U.S. embassy was worried when they left.

Wood further testified that “diplomatic security remained weak” and “The RSO [regional security officer] struggled to obtain additional personnel there, but was never able to attain the numbers he felt comfortable with.” The State Department says the RSO never made a request for more forces and that Wood’s team was replaced with one of equal capability.

There was a steady stream of warnings about the situation on the ground. The consulate was actually attacked twice before with an explosive creating a hole in the gate “big enough for forty men to go through” on June 6. One memo documented 230 security incidents and said there was a “HIGH” risk of U.S. personnel coming under attack. On August 27, the State Department issued a travel advisory cautioning against trips to Libya. Stevens told a retired senior military official not to come.

On September 11, 2012, only five U.S. agents and four militiamen were protecting the consulate. The attackers broke through the perimeter in just 15 minutes. Back-up forces could not arrive in time to foil the attack and save Stevens and his colleagues.

The inability of the U.S. government to convey basic facts to the American public in the aftermath is also unsettling. It was originally claimed that there were protesters outside the consulate demonstrating against the anti-Mohammed film posted on YouTube. If that was the case, there should have been eyewitnesses, pictures, announcements promoting a rally and signs, and it probably wouldn’t have taken place at 9:40 PM. In addition, the initial reports indicated dozens of armed men carried out the attack—strongly indicating it wasn’t “spontaneous” as the administration claimed.

By September 15, the Libyan government was stating publicly that it was a pre-planned terrorist attack, almost certainly at the hands of Al-Qaeda. After all, Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri released a tape shortly before the attack honoring his former second-in-command, a Libyan who was killed in a drone strike. On September 15, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said the attack was revenge for that same strike.

The Obama administration is in serious trouble if it is discovered that the militia hired to protect the consulate included conspirators in the attack. It is reported that an electronic intercept show the militia’s leader asked his men to stand down in advance of the attack. He is a member of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood and one of his commanders is the brother of Brotherhood cleric Ali Al-Salabi. Who made the decision to hire an Islamist militia to guard an American facility?

The Arabic paper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on October 7 that the militia had complained about being inadequately prepared for an attack. One of the consulate’s Libyan guards claims that he was informed on August 28 about a possible forthcoming attack on the facility. He says he was told on September 9 that there was intelligence about an attack timed for an anniversary, believed to be related to Gaddafi’s rule. Another guard says that on the morning of September 11, the consulate sent a request for additional security and then canceled it.

The State Department has responded with unacceptable excuses. It claims that it never believed that the attack was the spontaneous work of outraged protesters. Yet, White House spokesman Jay Carney incredulously said on September 14, “These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region. We have no information to suggest it was a pre-planned attack.” U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said on September 16, “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”

It is true that President Obama immediately called it an “act of terror,” but using this as a defense is a word game. The Libyans were loudly telling us that it was a well-planned terrorist attack. The administration was saying it was a terrorist attack carried out spontaneously by protesters that we soon learned didn’t exist. Libya was right and the administration was wrong.

The State Department is holding to the line that the security at the consulate was adequate based on what was known. The attack was “unprecedented” and therefore, it could not have been reasonably anticipated. This is yet another disingenuous and unacceptable excuse from the Obama administration. Al-Qaeda has carried out similar attacks with fighters on facilities many times before. Everyone knew Al-Qaeda was in the country and had sympathetic militias available in the region. Ambassador Stevens himself felt inadequately protected from the jihadist threat howling at his door.

In the Benghazi fiasco, a wealth of warnings were available for anyone with eyes to see. Yet on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on the U.S. in recent history, our consulate in the backyard of our enemies was left pitifully fortified. Threats were not taken seriously, and four Americans were left to the wolves. The congressional hearings are crucial to exposing the extreme negligence that precipitated this tragic incident and the misguided mindset that led to these decisions.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/aquinasthegoat Rodney Giese

    At least the administration has it's priorities straight. #1. Save Big Bird (or at least keep the corporate welfare train funneling money to PBS). Real people:0 – Puppets:1

  • oldtimer

    Will this be just another Fast & Furious?

    • Lee

      Most likely.

    • Maxie

      It is 'crunch time' for the LeftStreamMedia Ministry of Propaganda. Will they stare into space pretending, as usual, that "there's nothing to see here folks" or will they do an honest job, for once, and expose this Obama/Hillary blundering incompetence and blatant cover-up? Place your bets: ten million to one they go honest and expose Oblunder and the gang.

  • pierce

    This is the most major screw up by the President, and the State Department in recent memory. Apathy will not get Barack Obama reelected. Excuses will not be tolerated. The MAN only thought he was presidential material. Will this be the last chapter of Barack's legacy? If it isn't, it should be. Incompetence shouldn't get you reelected unless the American people are stupid.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      And according to a recent CBS report the compound is still unsecured.

      It's as if they are deliberately projecting an image of weakness.

  • davarino

    Aiding and abetting the enemy, or plain stupid. Now thats a record you can stand on.

  • Mo_

    Can we get him on treason YET?

    • UCSPanther

      Give it a rest. Bush has been out of office for 4 years and is now irrelevant.

    • drbukk

      I'll discuss it. Has it occurred to you that a "moron" could never have organized such a vile, mass murder plan without a single defector in 11 years? A defector could make millions with a book. If you subscribe to the theory that bombs were placed in the towers, it is preposterous that agents could breach the security of thousands of offices undetected. Truthers feed off stupid and repulsive fantasies.

    • reader

      George Obamashington – as a young lad, George Obamashington chopped down his father's cherry tree. When his father asked him who did it, he replied, "I cannot tell a lie… Georgie Bush did it!"
      http://thepeoplescube.com/current-truth/people-s-

    • Maxie

      Typical lefty ploy – change the subject

    • Linda

      Don't you mean Clinton…Billy I mean?

  • Roger

    Forgive the O/T:

    The Daily Callers reveals that Vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz and her former husband (who now enjoys a well paid job in Obama administration) hosted Obama at their wedding.

    After the brilliant exposure of Obama in the first debate I predicted that the next ones will be tough and also ventured that, seeing who will be moderating, that the questions that will be asked may already have been leaked to Obama and Biden.

    I was right.

    • Linda

      They don't even try to hide the blatant bias anymore.

  • jacob

    This administration seems to have searched for posts for its people instead of people for the posts,
    having as it has, the biggest collection of sorcerer apprentices imaginable, starting with the President himself…
    His explanation of his administration "HOOF IN MOUTH" in what happened to our Libyan ambassador
    and the other three Americans, reminds me of (Laurel and Hardy) Hardy's explanation to the farmer
    willing to buy the horse he is selling as to why the horse is so emaciated, one can play harp of its ribs
    and Hardy tells him it is not because the horse is emaciated: it is because the inside fat pushes the
    ribs outwards….
    In other words, OBAMA and Co. takes for granted people's stupidity of this country…
    He might be right when it comes to his abjectly servile media, his lefties, "socialists" and the rest of the
    fauna who elected him plus the 60% Jews who polls say will still reelect him but not the rest of us, who are not blinded by the "brightness" emmited by this Manchurian Candidate, whose mettle could be appreciated fully at his debate with ROMNEY….
    I wonder he believed the lies broadcasted by his commercials about ROMNEY and believed as well
    he was going to debate another "Shlimazel" a la McCAIN…..
    However, I may concede the environmentalist profiteer GORE when he claimed that Denver's altitude
    must have been a factor in his poor performance….
    I hope and pray the House who decided to investigate the matter to its last consequences, holds w/o
    mercy OBAMA's and HILLARY's feet to the fire…..

  • BLJ

    Obama and Hillary showed their true colors on this one. They are both despicable creatures who need to be held accountable. Driving them out of office should just be the start.

    As far as that Raddatz woman goes, Paul Ryan can hold his own against anyone. She is just another MSM tool to be dealt with.

  • pierce

    Still, NOT TO BE TRUSTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thomas Wells

    Criminal malicious negligence .

  • fanlad

    The fix is in. After hearing from witnesses yesterday it has become obvious to me that Ms. Charlene Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Department of State, will at some point be the final scapegoat for the failure of not maintaining the cover for " The Obama Doctrine ", spearheaded by Hilary Clinton and her staff. How can you have a wonderful Arab spring when Al-Qaeda is alive and well murdering U. S. Ambassador's. The fix is in.

  • Nomadic100

    During the hearing on October 10, Lt. Col. Wood said that an attack on the U.S. consulate was "inevitable" since the consulate was the "last flag flying" in Benghazi as all other countries and even the Red Cross had pulled their staffs out of the area because of the danger. State Department official Patrick Kennedy asserted that the U.S. had to be in Benghazi "because that's where the action was" or some such nonsense.

    The question isn't whether there should have been more security personnel in Benghazi but why there were any Americans there at all. Remarkably, no Congressman challenged Kennedy on his preposterous statement.

  • Felice

    The main question: Who exactly said no to Ambassador Steven's request for more security? Did this person do so on orders? If so, from whom ? and so on -Where does the buck stop? And above all, WHY was he given no further security?

  • Ghostwriter

    The State Department and the Obama Administration really screwed up this time. Four Americans are dead and they deserve to be called out on it.

  • marios

    Obama never cares about anyone but only about himself beloved. He is selfish narcissi, incompetent but worse ideologically strong socialists/neo-communist. Socialism is dictatorship and power forever till the last sigh. He is Muslim as he never converted to Christianity ( Rev. Wright hint). He triggered all so-called "Arabs spring". Though I think that despite his obvious favoritism toward Islam he does not care about it very much. He relied that his appeasement before Islamists bring him fruits, that Islamists would in collision with him and gave him positive points as peacemakers and use it for reelection. He did not support Iran opposition in 2009 but if he would… Iran could topple radical Islamists ayatollah and Pres. Our "Messiah" betrayed us on, and on ,,,. Ambassador was raped by those barbarians before they killed him and his blood on this Pres hands. Obama and his administration from the beginning of his reign banned to even use phrase "Islamic terrorism" and led war against their own Patriots who tried to defend country. No more Obama in WH!

  • jose

    This screw up makes the obama adm. look even more foolish than they are. Thats hard to do.

  • R.C.

    This was not just negligence–but incompetence and deliberate malfeasance–they wanted to provoke trouble and they did!

  • SAM000

    Obama Appoints Iran Lobbyist to Investigate Libyan Consulate Attack.
    Look at the Daniel Greenfield's article on FPM of October 5

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