The PJ Tatler

Intel Committee Member: Benghazi Security Lax Because Admin Wanted to 'Look Like We Weren't Afraid'

A member of the House Intelligence Committee said one of the mysteries still remaining for members of Congress about the Benghazi attack is exactly what Ambassador Chris Stevens was doing in the Libyan city.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) said lawmakers have learned that the CIA did inform people at the diplomatic facility “that there’s been a lot of chatter.”

“We want you on high alert. And, you know, they shared that information with the RSOs over at the temporary facility, even invited the guys over to spend the night with them,” he said on Fox.

“And I don’t know why in the world the ambassador would have been making that trip. He made a — we understand that he did go to the opening of a school or something there in Benghazi. And two of the CIA agents were asked to go along with him on that for extra protection. But what other than that he was doing there, we really don’t know.”

Congress heard testimony during the Benghazi hearings that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was interested in opening a consulate there, but numerous theories have been floated since the Sept. 11, 2012, assault about Stevens’ actual reason for the visit.

“What’s interesting is that when we heard this testimony that when they arrived at the facility, that none of the RSOs or the regional security officers that were there were armed. In fact, one of them was barefoot. We had one individual testify that he saw two of them riding around in a Land Cruiser,” Westmoreland said.

“And so, you know, none of them had a weapon. As far as they know, no shots were fired. And so, I mean, that is completely inadequate especially in Libya at the time of September the 11th. And so we don’t understand exactly what kind of preparations these gentlemen have. Now, what we understand is the guy that was leading the thing had just graduated from the school there at the State Department and had been in Benghazi less than 10 weeks.”

Westmoreland said he believes that much of it boils down to “they wanted us to, you know, look like we weren’t afraid, that we were trying to be part of the neighborhood and that was just not the case.”

“And the security that was even sent down with the ambassador was very light. And in fact, they took the same route that the British ambassador had been fired upon about three months earlier,” he said. “So I don’t know how much really preliminary work they had done on preparing for the ambassador to be there.”