“I am Chris from the dead” 1

Administrations in the past wisely set up resources to cope with the unexpected in foreign lands if and when US assets came under attack. A Foreign Emergency Support Team would be ready and quickly dispatched.

Just the thing to send when a US ambassador is in mortal danger, or a CIA center is attacked with guns and mortars.

So such a team was sent to Banghazi, Libya, on 9/11/12? Worked swiftly and decisively to save Ambassador Chris Stevens’s life? Threw off the murderous raiders from the mission compound and the CIA center?

Well, no.

It went but failed?

No.

What happened then?

It was not sent. It was not even alerted. Its commanders were not even consulted.

This is from Fox News:

Top State Department officials [including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?] decided not to send an interagency rapid response unit designed to respond to terrorist attacks known as a FEST team, a Foreign Emergency Support Team. This team from the State Department and CIA has a military Joint Special Operations Command element to it and has been routinely deployed to assist in investigations – for instance, after the USS Cole bombing and the bombings at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

“After” doesn’t sound so good, but those attacks were sudden. There was no advance warning of any kind. Unlike Benghazi, where there were warninsg of many kinds for months before the onslaught came, and on the very day (as we explain below). But the King was in his counting-house (for a moment, but left it because the figures were bad and he’s  bad at figures anyway and prefers to play golf); the Queen was in the parlor eating whole grain bread and honey; and the maids-in-waiting of the cabinet were all hung out to dry. So no one took any notice of warnings or cries for help.

At least a FEST team arriving after the attack was over could have secured the crime scene.

That team, these counterterrorism officials argue, could have helped the FBI gain access to the site in Benghazi faster. It ultimately took the FBI 24 days.

“The response process was isolated at the most senior level,” according to one intelligence source. “Counterterrorism professionals were not consulted and a decision was taken to send the FBI on its own without the enablers that would have allowed its agents to gain access to the site in Benghazi in a timely manner.” The FBI team did not get on the ground in Benghazi for several weeks after the attack and at that point any “evidence” had been rifled through by looters and journalists.

There is another resource, the need for which was anticipated by past administrations, called the Counterterrorism Security Group. It too was cut out of the loop.

Further, the Counterterrorism Security Group, or CSG, was never asked to meet that night or in subsequent days, according to two separate counterterrorism officials, as first reported by CBS News. The CSG is composed of experts on terrorism from across government agencies and makes recommendations to the deputies who assist the president’s Cabinet in formulating a response to crises involving terrorism.

The CSG has still not been consulted.

Now about the warnings. The Fox News report adds:

There were reports from eyewitnesses in Benghazi on Sept. 11 that an armed militia was gathering three hours before the attack on the consulate began at 9:47 p.m.

And this is from Foreign Policy, by Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa:

More than six weeks after the shocking assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi – and nearly a month after an FBI team arrived to collect evidence about the attack – the battle-scarred, fire-damaged compound where Ambassador Chris Stevens and another Foreign Service officer lost their lives on Sept. 11 still holds sensitive documents and other relics of that traumatic final day, including drafts of two letters worrying that the compound was under “troubling” surveillance and complaining that the Libyan government failed to fulfill requests for additional security.

When we visited on Oct. 26 to prepare a story for Dubai based Al Aan TV, we found not only Stevens’s personal copy of the Aug. 6 New Yorker, lying on remnants of the bed in the safe room where Stevens spent his final hours, but several ash-strewn documents beneath rubble in the looted Tactical Operations Center, one of the four main buildings of the partially destroyed compound. Some of the documents – such as an email from Stevens to his political officer in Benghazi and a flight itinerary sent to Sean Smith, a U.S. diplomat slain in the attack – are clearly marked as State Department correspondence. Others are unsigned printouts of messages to local and national Libyan authorities. The two unsigned draft letters are both dated Sept. 11 and express strong fears about the security situation at the compound on what would turn out to be a tragic day. They also indicate that Stevens and his team had officially requested additional security at the Benghazi compound for his visit — and that they apparently did not feel it was being provided.

Not only were two terrorist organizations, connected to each other and to al-Qaeda employed by the State Department as guards – one to protect the Ambassador and his team, the other to meet the Marines flown from Tripoli to reinforce the CIA at their secret house – but also the Libyan police were relied on for security, and the police were no more to be trusted than the terrorists:

One letter, written on Sept. 11 and addressed to Mohamed Obeidi, the head of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ office in Benghazi, reads:

“Finally, early this morning at 0643, September 11, 2012, one of our diligent guards made a troubling report. Near our main gate, a member of the police force was seen in the upper level of a building across from our compound. It is reported that this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore that this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission. The police car stationed where this event occurred was number 322.”

The account accords with a message written by [sean] Smith, the IT officer who was killed in the assault, on a gaming forum on Sept. 11. “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures,” he wrote hours before the assault.

Obeidi, the Libyan official named on one of the printouts, said he had not received any such letter, adding, “I did not even know that the U.S. ambassador was visiting Benghazi.” However, a spokesman for the Benghazi police confirmed that the ministry had notified the police of the ambassador’s visit. “We did not receive that letter from the U.S. consulate. We received a letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Benghazi asking for additional security measures around consulate during visit of the ambassador. And the police provided all extra security which was asked for,” the spokesman said.

Did they? Maybe, but were the policemen any more efficacious than a paper umbrella in a rainstorm? And were they also affiliated with al-Qaeda?

Since the fall of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime, the country’s powerful militias have often run roughshod over the police and national army — and often coopted these institutions for their own purposes. U.S. officials were certainly well aware of the sway that various militias held over Benghazi, given that the consulate’s external security was supposed to be provided by the Islamist-leaning February 17 brigade.

What exactly happened that night is still a mystery. Libyans have pointed fingers at Ansar al-Sharia, a hard-line Islamist group with al Qaeda sympathies, if not ties. Ansar al-Sharia has denied involvement, but some of its members were spotted at 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 letter concludes with a request to the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look into the incident of the policeman conducting surveillance, and the absence of requested security measures. “We submit this report to you with the hopes that an official inquiry can be made into this incident and that the U.S. Mission may receive the requested police support,” the letter reads.

A number of other documents were found on the floor inside the TOC building. They are partly covered with ash, but legible.

A second letter is addressed to Benghazi’s police chief and also concerns the police surveillance of the U.S. consulate on the morning of Sept. 11. The letter also requests an investigation of the incident, and states that the consulate “takes this opportunity to renew to the Benghazi Police the assurances of its highest consideration and hopes for increased cooperation.” Benghazi’s head of police, Brigadier Hussain Abu Hmeidah, was fired by the government in Tripoli one week after the consulate attack. However, Abu Hmeidah refused to step down and is still serving as the head of police. He is currently on sick leave, according to his office manager, Captain Seraj Eddine al-Sheikhi, and was unavailable for comment.

The man who officially was appointed to succeed Abu Hmeidah as Benghazi’s police chief, Salah Doghman, said in a Sept 19 interview with Reuters: “This is a mess … When you go to the police headquarters, you will find there no police. The people in charge are not at their desks. They have refused to let me take up my job.”

These letters were found a month and a half after the attack, despite a visit to the compound by FBI investigators. …

The continued threat to U.S. personnel in Benghazi may be the reason these documents escaped the FBI’s attention. With suspected militants still roaming the streets, FBI investigators only had limited time to check the consulate compound. According to a Benghazi resident who resides near the consulate, the FBI team spent only three hours examining the compound. …

They could have simply scooped up all documents and taken them away.

During their short visit, FBI agents apparently mapped the compound by gluing small pieces of yellow paper with different letters on it next to each room in the TOC building. Next to the room where the letters and most documents were found, a yellow paper marks it room “D.” Above the paper, somebody has carved a swastika in the blackened wall.

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.

May the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens long haunt President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and the Democratic Party!

US Ambassador Christopher Stevens murdered in Libya

  • liz

    No matter how many times I read accounts of this, I still cannot begin to fathom the utter degradation that this president and his people have brought us to. It defies comprehension!
    WHO in their right mind hires known terrorists to protect their own people???
    HELLO?????? And doesn’t even consult special teams formed specifically for the purpose of being deployed in just such situations???
    As incompetent as I know they are, I cannot believe ANYONE could be this mind-bogglingly stupid. It HAD to be purposeful, which just makes it even MORE inexcusable. Either way, they are guilty of court-martial worthy crimes.