Susan's Feed
Oct 19, 2012

US intended to keep Benghazi mission open through 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Newly released government
papers show U.S. officials intended to keep open a mission in
Benghazi, Libya, for at least the rest of this year in hopes of
having a “calming effect” on the region, before the building was
overrun and burned by militants last month.

Locals in Benghazi wanted the Americans to stay permanently
in the eastern Libyan city, the cradle of last year’s revolution
against Muammar Gaddafi, according to one memo written by the
former top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman.

Oct 19, 2012

Senate intelligence leaders question Benghazi judgments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Newly government papers show U.S. officials intended to keep open a mission in Benghazi, Libya, for at least the rest of this year in hopes of having a “calming effect” on the region, before the building was overrun and burned by militants last month.

Locals in Benghazi wanted the Americans to stay permanently in the eastern Libyan city, the cradle of last year’s revolution against Muammar Gaddafi, according to one memo written by the former top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman.

Oct 17, 2012

For Benghazi diplomatic security, U.S. relied on small British firm

WASHINGTON/BENGHAZI, Libya, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The State
Department’s decision to hire Blue Mountain Group to guard the
ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, entrusted
security tasks to a little-known British company instead of the
large firms it usually uses in overseas danger zones.

The contract was largely based on expediency, U.S. officials
have said, since no one knew how long the temporary mission
would remain in the Libyan city. The cradle of last year’s
uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, Benghazi has
been plagued by rising violence in recent months.

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.