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September 21, 2012

A Detailed Account Of Benghazi Attack And State Department Proves It Is Clueless

Via Robert Caruso (a good Twitter follow for national security news and rants). Bottom line thus far seems to be an overly optimistic view of Libyan security forces.

There are some truly stupid remarks by officials in this piece.

State Department officials said security for the consulate was frequently reviewed and was deemed sufficient to counter what U.S. officials considered to be the most likely threat at the time: a limited hit-and-run attack with rocket-propelled grenades or improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

There was a string of attacks in Benghazi in the months before Sept. 11, including a June 6 IED explosion outside the consulate compound. "These types of incidents were the ones that were our principal concerns," a senior State Department official said. Based on the outcome of the June 6 attack, in which a perimeter wall was damaged but no Americans hurt, a second State Department official added: "Our security plan worked."

It never occurred to these "experts" that the bad guys would notice that their tactics weren't working and that they'd step up their efforts? Have we learned nothing in over a decade of war in Muslim countries? Of course these terrorists learn and adapt. What did the State Department think? That they'd give up attacking us?

This is our history, we get smug in our superiority and we defend against the last attack as if the enemy doesn't learn and evolve. All the proof you need of this is a quick trip to your local airport. We've spent billions of dollars on manpower and machinery, inconvenienced hundreds of millions of passengers, all to stop the last attack (which by the way, used weapons that were legal to carry on at the time).

But wait! There's more!

A State Department official said Washington doesn't control the travels of ambassadors within countries where they are posted. But some current and former U.S. officials say it was a mistake for the administration to put so much faith in the Libyans to provide adequate security so soon after the revolution, and questioned why more robust contingency plans weren't in place.

One senior State Department official described the Benghazi consulate as a "temporary office" that security officers treated as a "subsidiary" of the embassy in Tripoli, where more strenuous procedures and precautions were in place. "So Tripoli had the plan and the idea was that these people would just fall back on Tripoli, which they did in this situation, so it worked," the official said.

"It worked"? Is Janet "The System Worked" Napolitano moonlighting at State now? In what way can a plan that left a consulate burned and looted and 4 dead Americans, including the Ambassador be said to have worked? What the hell would "the plan failed" have looked like?

How is this acceptable thinking? How can people who think this way be left in charge to devise the next plan? No wonder we were caught flatfooted.

Notable for what's not in this story? Any mention of a protest that either got out of hand or that the terrorists used as cover for their attack. Quite the opposite in fact.

Ethan Chorin, an American development economist working with U.S. and Libyan officials on a hospital in Benghazi, said he spoke by phone to Mr. Stevens about an hour before the assault, and the ambassador told him there was "no indication of trouble" following the protests in Egypt. Mr. Chorin said a subsequent conversation he had with the ambassador's security officer was cut short by what the officer said was a serious problem. Several minutes later, he could hear explosions from his hotel room across town as the assault began.

So there was no "trouble" at the Consulate an hour before the attack but we're to believe one sprang up and then from that sprang a complex and heavily armed attack?

From the changing stories about the bin Laden raid to the "leaks" over our efforts against Iran to Benghazi, this administration simply can not be trusted to tell the truth about national security.

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posted by DrewM. at 09:22 AM

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