Susan's Feed
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.

Oct 2, 2012

U.S. officials sought security before Libya attack: lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials in Washington denied repeated requests from Americans in Libya for more security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi before last month’s attack that killed four Americans there, two Republican lawmakers said on Tuesday.

U.S. Representatives Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding details of the requests for more security – which they said were made amid numerous attacks on Westerners in Libya in recent months.

Sep 19, 2012

New picture emerging of ‘terrorist attack’ in Benghazi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi apparently was not troubled at first by a smattering of protesters on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks last week, but that changed abruptly at 9:35 p.m. when it sent a message that the building was under heavy assault, U.S. government sources said.

New information emerging a week after attackers launched rocket-propelled grenades and mortars and killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, suggests that the protests at the outset were so small and unthreatening as to attract little notice.

Sep 17, 2012

Amid unrest, Clinton to lobby lawmakers on Mideast aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lobby lawmakers this week on the need to keep billions of dollars in aid flowing to Egypt and other countries caught up in a spasm of violent anti-American protests across the Muslim world.

The State Department said Clinton intended to meet with Congress later this week to discuss the protests, which saw U.S. diplomatic missions attacked and the U.S. ambassador to Libya killed amid fury over a film produced in the United States that many saw as an insult to Islam.

Sep 10, 2012

US probes reported record-shredding of fuel buys for Afghan army

WASHINGTON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Investigators are probing
reports of record-shredding by officials in the U.S.-led NATO
command that trains the Afghan army after learning that records
of fuel purchases for the Afghans totaling nearly $475 million
are gone.

The training command has also not been tracking whether the
fuel it delivers to the Afghan army is actually used or stored,
leaving officials unable to determine whether any of it was
stolen, said an interim report by the Special Inspector General
for Afghan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.

Sep 7, 2012

Analysis: Charlotte company illustrates stimulus ups and downs

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) – Few companies in the U.S. South have gotten as much nurturing by President Barack Obama’s administration as Charlotte-based Celgard LLC. Obama and two of his Cabinet secretaries visited the plant and praised its successes after it was awarded $48.7 million in stimulus grants.

But as Obama prepared to deliver his speech at the Democratic National Convention just 14 miles away on Thursday night, Celgard stands as an example of how the jobs, industrial development and green energy policies the president has implemented since taking office in January 2009 are no guarantee of success.