Monday, October 22, 2012

Criminal Negligence: Benghazi Files Part 5

My review continues.  I'm actually skipping a couple of documents.  I think it's quite clear that anyone with a brain would know that the Libyan situation, especially in Benghazi was highly dangerous and required greater security than had been provided.  So the next document we'll review is an 'SBU' from Ambassador Stevens sent to Washington, DC (the White House, I believe) and the Secretary of State.  The subject of the document says it all, "Libya's Fragile Security Deteriorates as Tribal Rivalries, Power Plays and Extremism Intensify."  It is dated June 25, 2012.

Once again a prevailing theme is the inability of the Libyan Government to enforce law and order.  Militias were fighting each other.  Tribal violence was breaking out.  One section contains this quote, which I will use as a summary for most of the document:
The GOL has had some success in dispatching its nascent national army and high-level mediators, such Prime Minister ElKeib, Defense Minister Juwaili and TNC Chairman Mustafa Abd al-Jalil, to quell the worst of the violence and prevent it from escalating further.  These efforts have mostly focused on negotiating limited ceasefires, rather than addressing the underlying causes of the conflicts - which continued to simmer until specific events renew outbreaks of violence.

Read that entire document.

The next document is the first one directly from the Tripoli Embassy requesting more security.  If you remember, the very first post in this series pointed out that the officer in charge of Benghazi (not Ambassador Stevens, who would normally be in Tripoli) had requested more security from Tripoli but been denied.  Well, here's proof that Ambassador Stevens wanted more security for Benghazi.  So who denied it?

The document goes from pages 46 - 48.  The quality of the scan is very poor, but enough survives.  It is dated March 28th (maybe 26th- again, poor scan quality) of 2012.

The Embassy requested 12 TDY Agents for Tripoli itself, and 5 (remember- they were down to 2 agents) for Benghazi.  They requested the continuation of one of the MSD teams until another LES (local security) team could be trained.  They then proceed to lay out their case for the security request.  Once again, they note that security was "uncertain and unstable."  Again the inability of the TNC to control the militias is noted.  It then spells out the specifics of what the Ambassador was requesting.  For Benghazi the request was as follows:
-DS AGENT SUPPORT IN BENGHAZI: Post requests continued support for 5 TDY DS agents in Benghazi on 45 - 60 day rotations.  This number is required to ensure that we have an appropriate USDH presence to protect our COMSEC; support the two long-term USDH TDY'ers; and support an increasing number of program/assistance TDY's from both Tripoli and Washington.  The number of TDY'ers in Benghazi is expected to increase in the runup to the June elections.  Embassy Tripoli is in the process of recruiting four LES drivers and an RSO LES SPSS, which will support operations in Benghazi.  Post also plans to deploy a TDY RSO from Tripoli once expanded permanent staffing is established and stabilized.  once these positions are filled, Post anticipates requiring fewer TDY agents to support Benghazi.  Although an LGF contractor has begun operations in Benghazi, initial discussions regarding contractor-provided armed close protection / movement support does not appear viable based on complications regarding GOL firearms permits.  Currently, the LGF contractor is able to obtain only short-term (48 - 72 hr) firearms permits for specific VIP visits.

In March of 2012, while Benghazi was down to 2 security agents, the Embassy in Tripoli (which means Ambassador Stevens) was requesting increased security for Benghazi.  They noted the reasons that local or private security was not viable.

This report went directly to "WASHDC" (probably the White House) and "SECSTATE."  They had to have known.  And the requests were not fulfilled.

To Continue in Part 6

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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