The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans has dealt the Central Intelligence Agency a major setback in its intelligence-gathering efforts at a time of increasing instability in the North African nation.
Among the more than two dozen American personnel evacuated from the city after the assault on the American mission and a nearby annex were about a dozen C.I.A. operatives and contractors, who played a crucial role in conducting surveillance and collecting information on an array of armed militant groups in and around the city.
“It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss,” said one American official who has served in Libya and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the F.B.I. is still investigating the attack. “We got our eyes poked out.”
Shockingly enough, that story appeared in the New York Times.
Our intel in Libya has never been all that good. We didn’t even know who was who when we were leading that war from behind.
As a national security matter, that attack on the consulate was and still is a disaster for the US. But a CBS political director admitted Sunday that it won’t be used by the media against President Obama. Romney will have to find a way to use the issue in the campaign.
JOHN DICKERSON: Governor Romney jumped in the middle of the violence in the Middle East and he broke a little bit of a tradition by inserting himself. They he disappeared on the issue. We’ve since learned that this administration first thought this uprising in Libya was just a kind of– something that bubbled up from the ground. Well, now they are calling it a terrorist attack. What went wrong there? What did you get wrong in the first place? Why weren’t you securing the embassy the way you should have been? These are points that a Republican could make that Mitt Romney need to make because he knows the press isn’t necessarily going to make that case for him.He can’t make it because he was the one who jumped in and said hey this is a very serious issue. But instead he hasn’t really come back to it.