One of the many lies we’ve been told about the Benghazi attack was that nobody anticipated it. We now know there were a series of attacks and threats on the consulate for months, and that Stevens thought it was leading up to something on the anniversary of 9/11. And now we’re finding out how much of a paper trail he left.
Breaking from Fox News:
Across 166 pages of internal State Department documents — released Friday by a pair of Republican congressmen pressing the Obama administration for more answers on the Benghazi terrorist attack — slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and the security officers assigned to protect him repeatedly sounded alarms to their superiors in Washington about the intensifying lawlessness and violence in Eastern Libya, where Stevens ultimately died.
On Sept. 11 — the day Stevens and three other Americans were killed — the ambassador signed a three-page cable, labeled “sensitive,” in which he noted “growing problems with security” in Benghazi and “growing frustration” on the part of local residents with Libyan police and security forces. These forces the ambassador characterized as “too weak to keep the country secure.”
In the document, Stevens also cited a meeting he had held two days earlier with local militia commanders. These men boasted to Stevens of exercising “control” over the Libyan Armed Forces, and threatened that if the U.S.-backed candidate for prime minister were to prevail in Libya’s internal political jockeying, “they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi.”
Roughly a month earlier, Stevens had signed a two-page cable, also labeled “sensitive,” that he entitled “The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya.” Writing on Aug. 8, the ambassador noted that in just a few months’ time, “Benghazi has moved from trepidation to euphoria and back as a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape.” He added, “The individual incidents have been organized,” a function of “the security vacuum that a diverse group of independent actors are exploiting for their own purposes.”
This will not be going into the binder marked “Optimal.”
P.S. The mother of Sean Smith, one of the other murdered diplomats, responds to Obama’s interview with Jon Stewart yesterday: “My son is not very optimal. He is also very dead.”