WSJ: SECURITY LAPSES LED TO DEADLY LIBYAN MISSION ATTACK
By VICTORIA JONES
Talk Radio News Service
WASHINGTON – The Wall Street Journal has a detailed report on security in Benghazi. The report says the deadly assault on the mission was preceded by a succession of security lapses and misjudgments, compounded by fog-of-battle decisions, that raise questions about whether the scope of the tragedy could have been contained.
U.S. officials issued alerts and ordered security precautions in neighboring Egypt ahead of protests and violence on September 11, but largely overlooked the possibility of trouble at other diplomatic postings in the region, the report says. It says the State Department chose to maintain only limited security in Benghazi, despite months of sporadic attacks there on U.S. and other Western missions.
And while the U.S. said it would ask Libya to boost security there, it did so just once, for a one-week period in June, according to Libyan officials.
The U.S. didn’t seriously consider sending in the military during the attack, the journal reports. It summoned rapid-response teams of Marines only after the U.S. ambassador was dead.
State Department officials said they doubted the Pentagon could have mobilized a rescue force quickly enough to make a difference during the fighting. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, the Journal reports, waited for guidance from State, which is responsible for diplomatic security, a senior military official said.
Adding a new dimension to the chain of events, the siege also engulfed what officials now describe as a safe house used by American officials and security personnel involved in sensitive government programs after last year’s Libyan revolution. Even when that building came under attack, U.S. officials were reluctant to divulge its existence, and the secrecy complicated the Libyan response and the eventual American evacuation, according to Libyan security officials.
U.S. officials say evidence still indicates it was a spontaneous response to protests in Cairo over the anti-Islamic video
But a detailed review based on interviews with more than a dozen U.S. and Libyan officials shows months of ominous signs suggesting the need for better security, along with missed chances for delivering it.
Short URL: http://reportergary.com/?p=27717