Susan's Feed
Oct 15, 2012

Exclusive: U.S. officials unhappy with handling of Benghazi suspects in April attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State Department officials suspected that two Libyan guards hired by its own security contractor were behind an April incident in which a homemade bomb was hurled over the wall of the special mission in Benghazi, according to official emails obtained by Reuters.

But the men, who had been taken into custody the day of the attack, were released after questioning by Libyan officials because of a lack of “hard evidence” that could be used to prosecute them, the State Department emails show.

Oct 15, 2012

U.S. officials unhappy with handling of Benghazi suspects in April attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State Department officials suspected that two Libyan guards hired by its own security contractor were behind an April incident in which a homemade bomb was hurled over the wall of the special mission in Benghazi, according to official emails obtained by Reuters.

But the men, who had been taken into custody the day of the attack, were released after questioning by Libyan officials because of a lack of “hard evidence” that could be used to prosecute them, the State Department emails show.

Oct 12, 2012

Biden rekindles controversy over administration’s Libya statements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s latest verbal bungle over the chain of events leading to the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, rekindled the controversy over the incident on Friday and offered new ammunition to Republican opponents.

In Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden insisted that “we weren’t told they wanted more security” at the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens died.

Oct 12, 2012

Analysis: Biden rekindles controversy over administration’s Libya statements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s latest verbal bungle over the chain of events leading to the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, rekindled the controversy over the incident on Friday and offered new ammunition to Republican opponents.

In Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden insisted that “we weren’t told they wanted more security” at the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens died.

Oct 11, 2012

U.S. security at Benghazi mission called “weak”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At a partisan and at times rancorous congressional hearing on events leading to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, security officers on Wednesday described uphill bureaucratic battles for resources to protect U.S. personnel and facilities.

At the same hearing, senior State Department officials said that as long as the United States sent diplomats into danger zones such as Benghazi, there would be no fail-safe protection.

Oct 10, 2012

U.S. security in Benghazi ‘a struggle’ – ex-security officer

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Diplomatic security for the
U.S. mission in Benghazi was “a struggle” and security teams in
Libya were drawn down ahead of last month’s fatal attack, the
former head of a U.S. security team in Libya told lawmakers on
Wednesday.

“The security in Benghazi was a struggle and remained a
struggle throughout my time there,” Lieutenant Colonel Andrew
Wood told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
during Congress’ first hearing on the assault that killed U.S.
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Oct 10, 2012

US security in Libya drawn down before attack -testimony

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Diplomatic security in Libya
was drawn down ahead of last month’s fatal attack on the U.S.
mission in Benghazi and U.S. officials did not have enough
protection, the former head of a U.S. security team in Libya
told lawmakers on Wednesday.

“The security in Benghazi was a struggle and remained a
struggle throughout my time there … Diplomatic security
remained weak,” Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood told the House
Oversight and Government Reform Committee in written testimony.

Oct 9, 2012

U.S. officer got no reply to requests for more security in Benghazi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. security officer twice asked his State Department superiors for more security agents for the American mission in Benghazi months before an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, but he got no response.

The officer, Eric Nordstrom, who was based in Tripoli until about two months before the September attack, said a State Department official, Charlene Lamb, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi “artificially low,” according to a memo summarizing his comments that was obtained by Reuters.

Oct 9, 2012

U.S. diplomatic security unit under scrutiny after Libya attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi on September 11 has sharpened congressional scrutiny of a State Department office that protects diplomats in the world’s most dangerous corners, as lawmakers ask whether it fatally misjudged the dangers of post-revolution Libya.

The little-known Bureau of Diplomatic Security saw its budget expand about tenfold in the decade after the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Contributing to that growth were the U.S.-launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, with more diplomats moving into hostile territory.

Oct 5, 2012

Washington rejected U.S. embassy request for plane in Libya

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State Department officials in May denied a request from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli to allow a security team to continue using an official U.S. DC-3 aircraft, suggesting they could charter a plane instead, an unclassified email obtained by Reuters shows.

The email dated May 3, carrying the subject line “Termination of Tripoli DC-3 Support,” was copied to Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed with three other Americans in an attack on the Benghazi mission on September 11 this year.