Fox reports another bombshell today on Benghazi. The network has obtained State Dept. documents from the House committee that held the Benghazi hearings last week. Those documents detail how well Ambassador Christopher Stevens understood the deteriorating situation around him, and how State kept rebuffing calls for more security in the months leading up to the attack in which Stevens was killed.
Writing on Aug. 8, the ambassador noted that in just a few months’ time, “Benghazi has moved from trepidation to euphoria and back as a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape.” He added, “The individual incidents have been organized,” a function of “the security vacuum that a diverse group of independent actors are exploiting for their own purposes.”
“Islamist extremists are able to attack the Red Cross with relative impunity,” Stevens cabled. “What we have seen are not random crimes of opportunity, but rather targeted and discriminate attacks.” His final comment on the two-page document was: “Attackers are unlikely to be deterred until authorities are at least as capable.”
By Sept. 4, Stevens’ aides were reporting back to Washington on the “strong Revolutionary and Islamist sentiment” in the city.
Scarcely more than two months had passed since Stevens had notified the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and other agencies about a “recent increase in violent incidents,” including “attacks against western interests.” “Until the GOL (Government of Libya) is able to effectively deal with these key issues,” Stevens wrote on June 25, “the violence is likely to continue and worsen.”
“Scarcely two months” from August takes us back to June, and to the interview Stevens gave to local Libyan media. In that interview, as one might expect, Stevens shows concern for but ultimately downplays the security problems that, behind the scenes, he was clearly growing more and more worried and vocal about.
The Obama administration wasn’t listening to Stevens’ pleas. The Obama administration wasn’t paying attention to what was happening on the ground. President Obama wasn’t even attending his daily intelligence briefings:
In the days leading up to Sept. 11, warnings came even from people outside the State Department. A Libyan women’s rights activist, Wafa Bugaighis, confided to the Americans in Benghazi in mid-August: “For the first time since the revolution, I am scared.”
In one memo, Stevens describes what he is seeing out beyond the barely secure rented consulate compound.
“Islamic extremism appears to be on the rise in eastern Libya,” the ambassador wrote, adding that “the Al-Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities …”
Let that sink in. Post-Gaddafi Libya was turning into an Islamist haven. Stevens knew that the Islamists were closing in on him. It was only a matter of time, unless Washington sent in the cavalry to help him. But Washington kept ignoring him.
With all of these warnings and security requests on hard drives and in binders somewhere, the Obama administration still had the gall to attempt lying to the American people about the nature of the attack. They tried to convince us and the world that a movie caused it all.
Obama had some reason to believe that he would get away with it. Three years ago this November, an Islamist opened fire on American soldiers and civilians at Ft. Hood, Texas, killing 12 and wounding 31. Obama’s Pentagon classified that terrorist attack as “workplace violence” and the administration has gotten away with that. For three years. Regarding a terrorist attack that took place on what is very obviously American soil.
Carrying a brazen lie for less than the two months between the Benghazi attack and the election must have looked like child’s play to Team Obama.