This shouldn’t surprise anybody; after all, in Afghanistan, trusted locals shoot our troops in the back on a near-weekly basis. And it certainly explains the comment, which went largely unremarked by incurious newspaper stenographers and DNC media flunkies, by a State Department regional security officer, Eric Nordstrom, that “the Taliban is on the inside of the building” — by which he meant Foggy Bottom.
Further, one of the ambassadorial duties, especially in third-world backwaters like Libya, is the supervision of the local CIA operation. (In real countries, that oversight is usually delegated to a consul general.) It should come as no surprise that Stevens would be actively working with Agency personnel, especially given that the “safe house” to which the consular staff tried to flee was also the CIA station.
So the real question is not political — what did the president know and when did he know it? — but geo-political. Someone in State, or its Bureau of Intelligence and Research, or in the IC (and most likely the CIA) very likely burned Chris Stevens and sent him to his death.
If the administration has a better explanation for what really happened, we’d all be very happy to hear it.
UPDATE: Hillary Clinton says the buck stops with her, sort of:
Lima, Peru (CNN) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday tried to douse a political firestorm around the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, saying she is responsible for the security of American diplomatic outposts.
“I take responsibility” for the protection of U.S. diplomats, Clinton said during a visit to Peru. But she said an investigation now under way will ultimately determine what happened in the attack that left four Americans dead…
Clinton said President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not involved in security decisions.
“I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha,” she added, noting that it is close to the election.
In other words: shut up, she explained.