Ambassador Chris Stevens died because he was working in a terrorist-riddled pseudo-country out of an interim facility that had been granted a waiver to have less security than the State Department usually requires.
The U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was operating under a lower security standard than a typical consulate when it was attacked this month, according to State Department officials.
The mission was a rented villa and considered a temporary facility by the agency, which allowed a waiver that permitted fewer guards and security measures than a standard embassy or consulate, according to the officials.
There was talk about constructing a permanent facility, which would require a building that met U.S. security and legal standards, the officials said.
Allowing a waiver would have been a decision made with input from Washington, Libyan officials and the ambassador, according to diplomatic security experts.
“Someone made the decision that the mission in Benghazi was so critical that they waived the standard security requirements, which presents unique challenges to the diplomatic security service as you can imagine,” said Fred Burton, vice president for Intelligence at STRATFOR, an intelligence analysis group.
While standards were lower at the compound, security had been enhanced at the post after a number of incidents this year that included a failed bombing attempt against the compound in June, according to sources.
After IED attacks during the summer, security was enhanced to deal with IED attacks. Commando style assaults were, apparently, not considered a threat.
The protections in place reflected the State Department’s understanding of the threat, which did not suggest a swarming attack by a militia, the officials said.
They were stuck planning for the last war. And in their blindered way of thinking, their security plan worked.
By trying to do everything for everyone, our government become genuinely capable of nothing.