Monday, October 22, 2012

Criminal Negligence: Benghazi Files Part 6

My continuing review of the Benghazi documents dropped by Republicans on Friday continues. 

The next document begins on page 49 and continues through page 51.  This is a direct request signed by Ambassador Stevens to extend the TDY security personnel.  As with the previous document, scan quality is not optimal. The request is dated July 9, 2012, and again is addressed for action to "WASHDC" and "SECSTATE."

As with the other documents, this is divided into numbered sections.  The very first is the "Summary and Action Request."  It begins thus: "Embassy Tripoli requests continued TDY security support for an additional 60-days, through mid September 2012."  It then spells out the specific resources the Ambassador is requesting.

The second section is particularly damning against the State Department and, ultimately, the President:
Conditions in Libya have not met prior benchmarks established by Post, the Department, and AFRICOM, for a complete drawdown of TDY security personnel.  Overall security conditions continue to be unpredictable, with large numbers of armed groups and individuals not under control of the central government, and frequent clashes in Tripoli and other major population centers.  National parliamentary elections have been delayed from 6/19 to 7/7, with post expecting an increased likelihood of election related political violence during and after the election period.

"Have not met prior benchmarks."  "Security conditions continue to be unpredictable."  There is no excuse or justification for security in Libya to be as understaffed as it was.

Section 3 continues, and my be the most damning one in the document (note: some of this is guesswork, the scan quality was particularly poor on this paragraph):
While post has made a number of procedural security enhancement and physical security upgrades, our efforts to normalize security operations have been hindered by the acts of host nation security support, either static or response, and increse in violence against foreign targets, and long delays in issuing firearms permists for our LES close protection bodyguard unit.  [Unreadable...] physical security upgrades to improve both the temporary Embassy and [unreadable].  Recognize the growing challenges to Libya's fragiel security environment, the Department increased Post's danger pay allowance from [unreadable 25?] percent to [unreadable 30?] percent on July 1st.

The Libyan government was responsible for some of the poor security.  Those firearms permits were only required for private security firms; thus the request to extend TDY assignments: US Military and Government Security would not require firearms permits.  "Increase in violence against foreign targets," that is: the US staff, as well as members of other nations' delegations.  Despite the clinical tone of the request, Libya was obviously becoming ever-more dangerous for diplomatic personnel.

The next section of particular interest is section 7.  It essentially says, again, that the Embassy was getting no help from the Libyan Government.  "However, despite assurances of support from throughout the MoI, to include from the Minister directly, the reality is that the GoL remains extremely limited in its ability to sustain a security support presence at USG compounds (REFTEL B)."  Promises of support, but none forthcoming.

As we are beginning to see, not only was Ambassador Stevens well aware of the need of increased security, he was doing everything in his power to ensure that the White House and Secretary of State knew as well.  And they did nothing to provide that needed support.

To continue in Part 7

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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