Classified Cable From Benghazi Warned That Consulate Couldn’t Withstand a ‘Coordinated Attack’ (UPDATE!!!)
Let me get this straight. A month before the attack in Libya, an Aug. 16th secret cable was sent to Sec Hillary Clinton and others in the State Department from the senior security officer that said the Benghazi consulate could not be protected, and the mainstream media is completely ignoring it? Imagine for a moment if Bush was President. It would be on a 24/7 news loop on all networks, including the news that Pres. Obama misled Americans on purpose on why the attack happened at Benghazi by blaming it on a video over and over. This cable also tells us that the administration lied about not having any warning of this attack. Our Ambassador and four other Americans are DEAD, and our media (other than Fox News) doesn’t see this as newsworthy. The mainstream media doesn’t want anything to hurt Obama re-election campaign, and that is why true journalism is dead.
Yes, Fox New’s opinion shows are conservative, but no matter what part of the political spectrum you fall into, if you want ALL the news, you should be watching Fox News.
The U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack,” according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.
Summarizing an Aug. 15 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Aug. 16 cable marked “SECRET” said that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.
“RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound,” the cable said.
The details in the cable seemed to foreshadow the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. compound, which was a coordinated, commando-style assault using direct and indirect fire. Al Qaeda in North Africa and Ansar al-Sharia, both mentioned in the cable, have since been implicated in the consulate attack.
In addition to describing the security situation in Benghazi as “trending negatively,” the cable said explicitly that the mission would ask for more help. “In light of the uncertain security environment, US Mission Benghazi will submit specific requests to US Embassy Tripoli for additional physical security upgrades and staffing needs by separate cover.”
While the administration’s public statements have suggested that the attack came without warning, the Aug. 16 cable seems to undercut those claims. It was a direct warning to the State Department that the Benghazi consulate was vulnerable to attack, that it could not be defended and that the presence of anti-U.S. militias and Al Qaeda was well-known to the U.S. intelligence community.
In a three-page cable on Sept 11, the day Stevens and the three other Americans were killed, Stevens wrote about “growing problems with security” in Benghazi and “growing frustration” with the security forces and Libyan police. The ambassador saw both as “too weak to keep the country secure.”
The State Department has refused to comment, of course.
Catherine Herridge, who gave this report has a stellar reputation. She graduated from Harvard and has a Master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was originally was a London based correspondent for ABC News. She has received many awards for her work in journalism, including a Bronze World Medal from the New York Festivals for excellence in communications media. Too bad ABC, CBC, CNN, and NBC don’t seem to have this type of stellar reporting.
UPDATE!!! From Foreign Policy Magazine regarding documents recently discovered in the wreckage of the consulate:
The document also suggests that the U.S. consulate had asked Libyan authorities on Sept. 9 for extra security measures in preparation for Stevens’ visit, but that the Libyans had failed to provide promised support.
“On Sunday, September 9, 2012, the U.S. mission requested additional police support at our compound for the duration of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens’ visit. We requested daily, twenty-four hour police protection at the front and rear of the U.S. mission as well as a roving patrol. In addition we requested the services of a police explosive detection dog,” the letter reads.
“We were given assurances from the highest authorities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that all due support would be provided for Ambassador Stevens’ visit to Benghazi. However, we are saddened to report that we have only received an occasional police presence at our main gate. Many hours pass when we have no police support at all.”
The concerns about police surveillance exhibited in the letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Benghazi police chief cast further doubt on early reports that a spontaneous protest was to blame for the attack on the U.S. consulate — reports that the State Department has disavowed. They also appear to contradict an Oct. 9 State Department briefing on the consulate attack, during which a senior State Department official claimed that there had been no security incidents at the consulate that day. “Everything is calm at 8:30 p.m,” the official said. “There’s nothing unusual. There has been nothing unusual during the day at all outside.”
This piece ends with this chilling discovery:
Villa C, which was used as Stevens’ residence during his stay in Benghazi, is located 50 meters from the TOC building. Here, an open window leads to the safe haven — a sealed-off part of Villa C where Stevens and Smith suffocated to death. On the destroyed bed lay the Aug. 6, 2012, copy of the New Yorker. The magazine’s cover carries a label with Stevens’s name and his diplomatic mailing address.
A few meters to the right is the safe haven’s bathroom. Everything here is blackened by smoke. One of the two white toilets is covered with bloodstains. On the mirror in the bathroom, an unknown person has written a macabre text in a thin layer of ash. “I am Chris from the dead,” it reads.