"Security Was Weak" Says Ex-Head of Military Team in Libya
WASHINGTON (AP) -- State Department officials are telling Congress that security levels at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya were adequate for the threat level on the anniversary of 9/11. But they also said the compound was overrun by an "unprecedented attack" by dozens of heavily armed extremists.
Testifying before an election-season congressional hearing on alleged security failures at the consulate that led or contributed to the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, senior officials said the number of U.S. and local security guards at the compound was consistent with what had been requested by the post.
Deputy Secretary of State Charlene Lamb told the panel, quote, "We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11."
She's the State Department official in charge of protecting American embassies and consulates around the world."
The former head of a 16-member U.S. military team in Libya said Wednesday the consulate in Benghazi, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed, never had the forces it needed to protect itself.
Lt. Col, Andrew Wood told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that U.S. security was so weak that in April, only one U.S. diplomatic security agent was stationed in Benghazi.
The committee hearing followed assertions Tuesday night by the State Department that it never concluded that the Sept. 11 attack stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in what the administration now says was a terrorist attack.comments powered by Disqus