Libyan Gun Control Left Benghazi Mission Disarmed

The events in Benghazi are in a way an all too fitting counterpart to the gun control debate today. Heavily armed Islamist militias prowled Benghazi and Libya and intimidating national and local governments that were either sympathetic to them or too afraid to fight them. The United States however faced firearms permits barriers, because Uncle Sam insists on following the law, even when the real law is a state of lawlessness.

Nordstrom worked as the State Department’s Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, from Sept. 21, 2011 until July 26, 2012. On March 28, 2012, he sent a memo from Tripoli to the State Department in Washington, D.C., outlining what he believed to be some of the department’s security needs in Libya.

The department had hired a contractor to provide local security personnel in Benghazi, and, according to Nordstrom, the Libyans hired by this contractor were only able to obtain temporary “firearms permits” when senior U.S. officials came to Benghazi for short-term visits.

“Although an LGF [local guard force] contractor has begun operations in Benghazi, initial discussions regarding contractor-provided armed close protection/movement support does not appear viable based on complications regarding GOL [Government of Libya] firearms permits,” wrote Nordstrom in a memo that the State Department released to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Currently, the LGF contractor is able to obtain only short-term (48-72 hr) firearms permits for specific VIP visits.”

More than three months later, in a July 9, 2012 memo to from Tripoli to Washington, Nordstrom said that the government of Libya had “hindered” U.S. security efforts by delaying firearms permits.

And it wouldn’t have hurt that the Muslim Brotherhood, which was making money providing security to Benghazi, had more influence in the Libyan Government than Stevens did.

  • Mary Sue

    What I wanna know is, was this a legacy policy that Khaddafi had in Libya all along, or is this something that came in after he was gone?

    • AdinaK

      The conditions in Libya, which led to Benghazigate, could not have come to pass without an assist from Obama and surrogates, chiefly Samantha Powers and Huma Abedin –

      Much of the chaos has yet to be uncovered, yet snippets are coming to the fore. An updated blog commentary is in the offing, waiting for a "go ahead" from my contacts…confirming "this and that".

      Adina kutnicki, Israel

  • EarlyBird

    This one's got everything, folks! Pillaging Islamists, terrorism, leftism and Gun Control! Hurray!

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “However, because of Libyan political sensitivities, armed private security companies were not allowed to operate in Libya,” Nordstrom said in his testimony submitted on Oct. 10. “Therefore, our existing, uniformed static local guard force, both in Tripoli and Benghazi were unarmed, similar to our static local guard forces at many posts around the world. Their job was to observe, report, and alert armed host nation security, and armed DS agents on-site.”

    Can you say dhimmi? Or are you going to tell me that those armed Islamic militias are all permitted while embassy protection is a "lower priority" for reasons other than Islam and sharia?

  • JacksonPearson

    I wonder if the white house will lead by example, by having Obama's army of secret service agents disarm, or to lower caliber weapons? And of course, environmentally, instead of traveling to and fro in a multi million dollar bullet proof vehicle, how about a low fuel consumption Prius, or Smart Car.

  • rhondajo3

    Pull out of every country that will not allow the U. S. to protect it's embassy. That is the only way that we will be able to prevent another Benghazi in any country in the world.