Hat tip to “Popsmoke” for providing this link. If is well worth your while to read the background briefing provided by “Senior State Department Officials” on 9 October. One of these officials appears to be the Regional Security Officer assigned to Tripoli, Libya.

As you read this you should keep in mind that this info was available to Hillary Clinton and Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy on September 12, 2012. State Department officials knew damn well that the attack was not inspired by an anti-muslim movie nor the riots in Cairo.

Office of the Spokesperson
Background Conference Call With Senior State Department Officials
Washington, DC
October 9, 2012
OPERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the State Department call on Libya. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. Should you require any assistance during the call, please press *, then 0.

I’d now like to turn the conference over to your host, [Moderator]. Please go ahead.

MODERATOR: Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining us on such relatively short notice, late on a Tuesday evening. You know that since the beginning, we’ve been working with Congress on trying to ascertain the facts and convey the facts of what happened on 9/11 in Benghazi. In the last 24 hours and in the next 24 hours, we’re going to be engaging with Congress, and we wanted to give you a sense, in the press, of what we’ve been telling them.

So joining us tonight are two Senior State Department Officials, and this will be on background, and they will be Senior State Department Official Number One, who is [Senior State Department Official Number One]; and Senior State Department Official Number Two, [Senior State Department Official Number Two].

So in any case, thank you for joining us, and I’m going to hand it over to Senior State Department Official Number One. And just a reminder before I do, again, this is on background. Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER ONE: All right. Let me proceed. I’m going to give you as much information as possible about the events of that night, but I am going to start with a scene-setter.

So let me set the stage. On April 5th, 2011, a small Department of State team headed by Chris Stevens arrives by chartered boat in Benghazi. They set up shop in a hotel. This is at a time when Benghazi was liberated, Qadhafi was still in power in Tripoli, the war was going on, our Ambassador had been expelled from Tripoli by Qadhafi, the Embassy staff had been evacuated because it was unsafe. So Chris Stevens coming back into Benghazi – coming into Benghazi on April 5th, 2011, is the only U.S. Government people in Libya at this time.

They set up shop in a hotel, as I mentioned. A few weeks later in June, a bomb explodes in the parking lot in front of the hotel. The group in Benghazi makes a decision to move to a new location. They move to a couple of places, and by August they settle on a large compound which is where the actual activity on 9/11 took place. So they’re in a large compound, where they remain.

The compound is roughly 300 yards long – that’s three football fields long – and a hundred yards wide. We need that much room to provide the best possible setback against car bombs. Over the next few months, physical security at the compound is strengthened. The outer wall is upgraded, its height is increased to nine feet.It is topped by three feet of barbed wire and concertina wire all around the huge property. External lighting is increased. Jersey barriers, which are big concrete blocks, are installed outside and inside the gate. Steel drop bars are added at the gates to control vehicle access and to provide some anti-ram protection. The buildings on the compound itself were strengthened.

The compound has four buildings on it, and you guys are going to have to get used to this, because I refer them to – as Building C, Building B, Tactical Operations Center, and a barracks. So Building C is a building that is essentially a large residence. It has numerous bedrooms and it is – it has a safe haven installed in it, and I’ll talk more about that in a minute. Building C ultimately is the building that the Ambassador was in, so keep that in your heads.

Building B is another residence on the compound. It has bedrooms and it has a cantina. That’s where the folks dine. The Tactical Operations Center, which is just across the way from Building B, has offices and a bedroom. That’s where the security officers had their main setup, that’s where the security cameras are, a lot of the phones – it’s basically their operations center. So I’ll call it the TOC from now on.

And then there was a barracks. The barracks is a small house by the front gate, the main gate of the compound. In that barracks is a Libyan security force which I’ll describe in a minute. Security on the compound consists of five Diplomatic Security special agents and four members of the Libyan Government security force, which I will henceforth call the 17th February Brigade. It is a militia, a friendly militia, which has basically been deputized by the Libyan Government to serve as our security, our host government security. In addition to all those, there is an additional security force at another U.S. compound two kilometers away. It serves as a rapid reaction force, a quick reaction security team – a quick reaction security team, okay?

Now we’re on the day of, and before I go into this discussion of the day of the events of 9/11, I’m going to be – I want to be clear to you all. I am giving you this – you my best shot on this one. I am giving you what I know. I am giving it to you in as much granularity as I possibly can. This is still, however, under investigation. There are other facts to be known, but I think I’m going to be able to give you quite a lot, as far as I know it. I have talked to the – to almost all the agents that were involved, as well as other people.

Okay. The Ambassador has arrived in Benghazi on the 10th of September. He does meetings both on the compound and off the compound on that day, spends the night. The next day is 9/11. He has all his – because it is 9/11, out of prudence, he has all his meetings on the compound. He receives a succession of visitors during the day.

About 7:30 in the evening, he has his last meeting. It is with a Turkish diplomat. And at – when the meeting is over, at 8:30 – he has all these meetings, by the way, in what I call Building C – when the meeting is over, he escorts the Turkish diplomat to the main gate. There is an agent there with them. They say goodbye. They’re out in a street in front of the compound. Everything is calm at 8:30 p.m. There’s nothing unusual. There has been nothing unusual during the day at all outside.

After he sees the Turkish diplomat off, the Ambassador returns to Building C, where the information management officer – his name is Sean Smith, and who is one of the victims – the information management officer – I’ll just call him Sean from now on, on this call – and four other – four Diplomatic Security agents are all at Building C. One Diplomatic Security agent is in the TOC, the Tactical Operations Center. All of these agents have their side arms.

A few minutes later – we’re talking about 9 o’clock at night – the Ambassador retires to his room, the others are still at Building C, and the one agent in the TOC. At 9:40 p.m., the agent in the TOC and the agents in Building C hear loud noises coming from the front gate. They also hear gunfire and an explosion. The agent in the TOC looks at his cameras – these are cameras that have pictures of the perimeter – and the camera on the main gate reveals a large number of people – a large number of men, armed men, flowing into the compound. One special agent immediately goes to get the Ambassador in his bedroom and gets Sean, and the three of them enter the safe haven inside the building.

And I should break for a second and describe what a safe haven is. A safe haven is a fortified area within a building. This particular safe haven has a very heavy metal grill on it with several locks on it. It essentially divides the one – the single floor of that building in half, and half the floor is the safe haven, the bedroom half. Also in the safe haven is a central sort of closet area where people can take refuge where there are no windows around. In that safe haven are medical supplies, water, and such things. All the windows to that area of the building have all been grilled. A couple of them have grills that can be open from the inside so people inside can get out, but they can’t be – obviously can’t be opened from the outside.

The agent with the Ambassador in the safe haven has – in addition to his side arm, has his long gun, or I should say – it’s an M4 submachine gun, standard issue. The other agents who have heard the noise in the – at the front gate run to Building B or the TOC – they run to both, two of them to Building B, one to the TOC – to get their long guns and other kit. By kit, I mean body armor, a helmet, additional munitions, that sort of thing.

They turn around immediately and head back – or the two of them, from Building B, turn around immediately with their kit and head back to Villa C, where the Ambassador and his colleagues are. They encounter a large group of armed men between them and Building C. I should say that the agent in Building C with the Ambassador has radioed that they are all in the safe haven and are fine. The agents that encounter the armed group make a tactical decision to turn around and go back to their Building B and barricade themselves in there. So we have people in three locations right now.

And I neglected to mention – I should have mentioned from the top that the attackers, when they came through the gate, immediately torched the barracks. It is aflame, the barracks that was occupied by the 17thFebruary Brigade armed host country security team. I should also have mentioned that at the very first moment when the agent in the TOC seized the people flowing through the gate, he immediately hits an alarm, and so there is a loud alarm. He gets on the public address system as well, yelling, “Attack, attack.” Having said that, the agents – the other agents had heard the noise and were already reacting.

Okay. So we have agents in Building C – or an agent in Building C with the Ambassador and Sean, we have two agents in Building B, and we have two agents in the TOC. All – Building C is – attackers penetrate in Building C. They walk around inside the building into a living area, not the safe haven area. The building is dark. They look through the grill, they see nothing. They try the grill, the locks on the grill; they can’t get through. The agent is, in fact, watching them from the darkness. He has his long gun trained on them and he is ready to shoot if they come any further. They do not go any further.

They have jerry cans. They have jerry cans full of diesel fuel that they’ve picked up at the entrance when they torched the barracks. They have sprinkled the diesel fuel around. They light the furniture in the living room – this big, puffy, Middle Eastern furniture. They light it all on fire, and they have also lit part of the exterior of the building on fire. At the same time, there are other attackers that have penetrated Building B. The two agents in Building B are barricaded in an inner room there. The attackers circulate in Building B but do not get to the agents and eventually leave.

A third group of attackers tried to break into the TOC. They pound away at the door, they throw themselves at the door, they kick the door, they really treat it pretty rough; they are unable to get in, and they withdraw. Back in Building C, where the Ambassador is, the building is rapidly filling with smoke. The attackers have exited. The smoke is extremely thick. It’s diesel smoke, and also, obviously, smoke from – fumes from the furniture that’s burning. And the building inside is getting more and more black. The Ambassador and the two others make a decision that it’s getting – it’s starting to get tough to breathe in there, and so they move to another part of the safe haven, a bathroom that has a window. They open the window. The window is, of course, grilled. They open the window trying to get some air in. That doesn’t help. The building is still very thick in smoke.

And I am sitting about three feet away from Senior Official Number Two, and the agent I talked to said he could not see that far away in the smoke and the darkness. So they’re in the bathroom and they’re now on the floor of the bathroom because they’re starting to hurt for air. They are breathing in the bottom two feet or so of the room, and even that is becoming difficult.

So they make a decision that they’re going to have to leave the safe haven. They decide that they’re going to go out through an adjacent bedroom which has one of the window grills that will open. The agent leads the two others into a hallway in that bedroom. He opens the grill. He’s going first because that is standard procedure. There is firing going on outside. I should have mentioned that during all of this, all of these events that I’ve been describing, there is considerable firing going on outside. There are tracer bullets. There is smoke. There is – there are explosions. I can’t tell you that they were RPGs, but I think they were RPGs. So there’s a lot of action going on, and there’s dozens of armed men on the – there are dozens of armed men on the compound.

Okay. We’ve got the agent. He’s opening the – he is suffering severely from smoke inhalation at this point. He can barely breathe. He can barely see. He’s got the grill open and he flops out of the window onto a little patio that’s been enclosed by sandbags. He determines that he’s under fire, but he also looks back and sees he doesn’t have his two companions. He goes back in to get them. He can’t find them. He goes in and out several times before smoke overcomes him completely, and he has to stagger up a small ladder to the roof of the building and collapse. He collapses.

At that point, he radios the other agents. Again, the other agents are barricaded in Building C and – Building B, and the TOC. He radios the other agents that he’s got a problem. He is very difficult to understand. He can barely speak.

The other agents, at this time, can see that there is some smoke, or at least the agents in the TOC – this is the first they become aware that Building C is on fire. They don’t have direct line of sight. They’re seeing smoke and now they’ve heard from the agent. So they make a determination to go to Building C to try to find their colleagues.

The agent in the TOC, who is in full gear, opens the door, throws a smoke grenade, which lands between the two buildings, to obscure what he is doing, and he moves to Building B, enters Building B. He un-barricades the two agents that are in there, and the three of them emerge and head for Building C. There are, however, plenty of bad guys and plenty of firing still on the compound, and they decide that the safest way for them to move is to go into an armored vehicle, which is parked right there. They get into the armored vehicle and they drive to Building C.

They drive to the part of the building where the agent had emerged. He’s on the roof. They make contact with the agent. Two of them set up as best a perimeter as they can, and the third one, third agent, goes into the building. This goes on for many minutes. Goes into the building, into the choking smoke. When that agent can’t proceed, another agent goes in, and so on. And they take turns going into the building on their hands and knees, feeling their way through the building to try to find their two colleagues. They find Sean. They pull him out of the building. He is deceased. They are unable to find the Ambassador.

At this point, the special security team, the quick reaction security team from the other compound, arrive on this compound. They came from what we call the annex. With them – there are six of them – with them are about 16 members of the Libyan February 17th Brigade, the same militia that was – whose – some members of which were on our compound to begin with in the barracks.

As those guys attempt to secure a perimeter around Building C, they also move to the TOC, where one agent has been manning the phone. I neglected to mention from the top that that agent from the top of this incident, or the very beginning of this incident, has been on the phone. He had called the quick reaction security team, he had called the Libyan authorities, he had called the Embassy in Tripoli, and he had called Washington. He had them all going to ask for help. And he remained in the TOC.

So at this point in the evening, the members of the quick reaction team, some parts of it, go to the TOC with the Libyan 17th Brigade – 17th February Brigade. They get him out of the TOC. He moves with them to join their colleagues outside of Building C. All the agents at this point are suffering from smoke inhalation. The agent that had been in the building originally with the Ambassador is very, very severely impacted, the others somewhat less so, but they can’t go back in. The remaining agent, the one that had come from the TOC, freshest set of lungs, goes into the building himself, though he is advised not to. He goes into the building himself, as do some members of the quick reaction security team.

The agent makes a couple of attempts, cannot proceed. He’s back outside of the building. He takes his shirt off. There’s a swimming pool nearby. He dips his shirt in the swimming pool and wraps it around his head, goes in one last time. Still can’t find the Ambassador. Nobody is able to find the Ambassador.

At this point, the quick reaction security team and the Libyans, especially the Libyan forces, are saying, “We cannot stay here. It’s time to leave. We’ve got to leave. We can’t hold the perimeter.” So at that point, they make the decision to evacuate the compound and to head for the annex. The annex is about two kilometers away. My agents pile into an armored vehicle with the body of Sean, and they exit the main gate.

Here it’s a little harder to understand because I don’t have a diagram that you can show – that I can show you. But in a nutshell, they take fire almost as soon as they emerge from the compound. They go a couple of – they go in one direction toward the annex. They don’t like what they’re seeing ahead of them. There are crowds. There are groups of men. They turn around and go the other direction. They don’t like what they’re seeing in that direction either. They make another u-turn. They’re going at a steady pace. There is traffic in the roads around there. This is in Benghazi, after all. Now, they’re going at a steady pace and they’re trying not to attract too much attention, so they’re going maybe 15 miles an hour down the street.

They come up to a knot of men in an adjacent compound, and one of the men signals them to turn into that compound. They agents at that point smell a rat, and they step on it. They have taken some fire already. At this point, they take very heavy fire as they go by this group of men. They take direct fire from AK-47s from about two feet away. The men also throw hand grenades or gelignite bombs under – at the vehicle and under it. At this point, the armored vehicle is extremely heavily impacted, but it’s still holding. There are two flat tires, but they’re still rolling. And they continue far down the block toward the crowds and far down several blocks to the crowd – to another crowd where this road t-bones into a main road. There is a crowd there. They pass through the crowd and on – turn right onto this main road. This main road is completely choked with traffic, enormous traffic jam typical for, I think, that time of night in that part of town. There are shops along the road there and so on.

Rather than get stuck in the traffic, the agents careen their car over the median – there is a median, a grassy median – and into the opposing traffic, and they go counter-flow until they emerge into a more lightly trafficked area and ultimately make their way to the annex.

Once at the annex, the annex has its own security – a security force there. There are people at the annex. The guys in the car join the defense at the annex. They take up firing positions on the roof – some of them do – and other firing positions around the annex. The annex is, at this time, also taking fire and does take fire intermittently, on and off, for the next several hours. The fire consists of AK-47s but also RPGs, and it’s, at times, quite intense.

As the night goes on, a team of reinforcements from Embassy Tripoli arrives by chartered aircraft at Benghazi airport and makes its way to the compound – to the annex, I should say. And I should have mentioned that the quick reaction – the quick reaction security team that was at the compound has also, in addition to my five agents, has also returned to the annex safely. The reinforcements from Tripoli are at the compound – at the annex. They take up their positions. And somewhere around 5:45 in the morning – sorry, somewhere around 4 o’clock in the morning – I have my timeline wrong – somewhere around 4 o’clock in the morning the annex takes mortar fire. It is precise and some of the mortar fire lands on the roof of the annex. It immediately killed two security personnel that are there, severely wounds one of the agents that’s come from the compound.

At that point, a decision is made at the annex that they are going to have to evacuate the whole enterprise. And the next hours are spent, one, securing the annex, and then two, moving in a significant and large convoy of vehicles everybody to the airport, where they are evacuated on two flights.

So that’s the end of my tick-tock.

MODERATOR: Great. Thank you so much. Given the length of that tick-tock, I would just ask before we turn it over to questions that you keep your questions very concise. And again, a reminder that this is an on-background briefing.

So, Operator, go ahead and open it up for questions.

OPERATOR: Certainly. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press * then 1. You’ll hear a tone indicating you’ve been placed in queue, and you may remove yourself at any time by pressing the # key. If you are using a speakerphone, please pick up the handset before pressing the numbers. Once again, if you have a question, press * 1 at this time. And we will limit you to one question, and you may re-queue after that. It’ll be just one moment.

First question is from the line of Anne Gearan with the Washington Post. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. You said a moment ago that there was nothing unusual outside, on the street, or outside the gates of the main compound. When did the agents inside – what – excuse me, what did the agents inside think was happening when the first group of men gathered there and they first heard those explosions? Did they think it was a protest, or did they think it was something else?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The agent in the TOC heard the noise, heard the firing. Firing is not unusual in Benghazi at 9:40 at night, but he immediately reacted and looked at his cameras and saw people coming in, hit the alarm. And the rest is as I described it. Does that help?

MODERATOR: Great. Next question?

OPERATOR: The question is from Andrea Mitchell, NBC News. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. When did you finally find Ambassador Stevens? And do you know now how he got to the hospital? Was it definitely Libyans? Were they the militia, the February 17th militia? What can you tell us about it?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: We do not know exactly how the Ambassador got to the hospital. That is one of the issues that we are – that we hope to resolve in the ongoing reviews and the information we are still seeking. We know he got to the hospital at some point. The hospital picked a cell phone out of his pocket, and we believe just started calling numbers that were on the cell phone that had received calls, and that is how we got the information that he was there.

MODERATOR: Okay, next question.

OPERATOR: The next question is from the line of Michael Gordon with the New York Times. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes. Could you tell me, please – and I know you mentioned this – when was the Tripoli reinforcements requested? How long did it take them to get to Benghazi, how many of them were there, and did it represent all of the available security personnel from Tripoli?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER TWO: The calls were made to Tripoli at the moment that the – at the same time the agent in the TOC sounded the alarm and then proceeded to make calls. I’m not going to go into any details about the number of security personnel who moved.

MODERATOR: Okay. Next question, please.

OPERATOR: The question is from the line of Eli Lake, with Newsweek’s Daily Beast. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, thanks so much for doing this. Do you have any response from the charge from Erik Nordstrom, the Regional Security Officer who left this summer, who is set to testify tomorrow to say that it was a mistake to begin to normalize security operations and reduce security resources in accordance with an artificial timetable? That’s from a letter he sent earlier this month to the oversight committee.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I don’t know what Erik is going to fully testify on tomorrow. That’s something that will come out in the hearing. We could have a different discussion about all the security measures we had taken, but that’s a different question.

MODERATOR: Okay, next question, please.

OPERATOR: The next question is from the line of Margaret Brennan, CBS News. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, thanks for doing this. The timeline here begins around 8:30 p.m., but we had heard in response to some reports where reporters had found paperwork documents on the grounds of the compound that secure materials, that confidential paperwork had actually been secured earlier in the day, therefore there wasn’t any compromised material found at the compound. When did that occur? At 8:30 at night? When were those documents secured or shredded or burned or whatever?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Because of the – this was a post and not a – and we – this post held no classified documents. They had computer communications with Washington, but the material would arrive on the screen and you would read it on the screen, and then that was it. There was no classified paper, so there was no paper to burn.

MODERATOR: All right, thank you. Next question, please.

OPERATOR: The next question is from the line of Brad Klapper with AP. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, yes. You described several incidents you had with groups of men, armed men. What in all of these events that you’ve described led officials to believe for the first several days that this was prompted by protests against the video?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: That is a question that you would have to ask others. That was not our conclusion. I’m not saying that we had a conclusion, but we outlined what happened. The Ambassador walked guests out around 8:30 or so, there was no one on the street at approximately 9:40, then there was the noise and then we saw on the cameras the – a large number of armed men assaulting the compound.

MODERATOR: Okay, thank you. We’re ready for the next question, please.

OPERATOR: The next question is from the line of Toby Zakaria with Reuters. Please, go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. Do you know what the threat level for Benghazi was the day before the attack? And also, did anyone suggest to the Ambassador that it might not be prudent to go to Benghazi on 9/11?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Taking your questions in reverse order, ambassadors travel, ambassadors must travel, ambassadors must get out and meet with a variety of individuals, especially in countries that have multiple centers of energy or power. That’s just – it just must happen.

But secondly, as Official Number One said earlier, the Ambassador did events in the city on the 10th. He had plans to do events in the city later in the week. But on the 11th, he remained in the compound.

As in terms of the – of any kind of security threat, the – both ODNI spokesman and the DNI have been correctly quoted as saying that there was no actionable intelligence of any planned or imminent attack.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you. Next question, please.

OPERATOR: The next question comes from the line of David Lerman with Bloomberg News. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi. Did the Ambassador – before the attack, did the Ambassador request that security be increased in Benghazi? And if so, did anything ever come of it?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER TWO: The – when the Ambassador traveled to Benghazi, he traveled with two additional security agents over and above the complement of three who were assigned to post. So there were five agents with him there rather than the two who are normally assigned there – the three who are normally assigned. So they were up two.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you. Next question, please.

OPERATOR: The next question comes from the line of Jo Biddle with AFP. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. The two people who died in the compound – in the annex, excuse me – were they part of the five security agents you’ve mentioned, or were they separate to that? And how many people did you have to evacuate that night from the annex?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER TWO: Because – since unfortunately we couldn’t fit everything on one compound, we had two – the principle compound and the annex. We had – therefore, had our security professionals divided between the two compounds.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you. Time for just a few more questions.

OPERATOR: The next question comes from the line of Jonathan Karl with ABC News. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah, hi. Just two quick follow-ups – I want to be clear on one thing. You said as soon as they heard the noises outside, they went to look and saw armed men assaulting the compound. That was the very first thing that they saw after hearing the noise outside?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER ONE: They heard noises, firing, and an explosion. The agent in the TOC looked at his camera and saw people coming through the front gate.

QUESTION: Okay. So there was –

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you. Next question, please.

OPERATOR: The next question –

MODERATOR: Sorry, we’re trying to keep it moving along here.

OPERATOR: – from the line of Kim Ghattas with BBC. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes, thank you for taking the call. I just wanted to clarify a little bit whether – with the rundown that you just gave us, whether it is possible to now say clearly that this was very much a preplanned attack, and if so, whether you can explain why there was no actionable intelligence.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER TWO: This – that subject is now under review by both the FBI and potentially the Accountability Review Board based on whatever information the FBI or the intelligence community collects.

MODERATOR: Right, okay. Thank you. Just a couple more questions.

OPERATOR: The next question is from the line of Shaun Waterman, Washington Times. Please go ahead.

MODERATOR: Shaun? Let’s go to the next question, and maybe Shaun can go next. Maybe he’s not off mute.

OPERATOR: The next question is from Dion Nissenbaum with Wall Street Journal. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Thanks for taking the call. I was – just wanted to get a little more clarity about the annex attack and when the attack started on the annex. Was it before the convoy arrived or as they arrived or –

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER ONE: It started after they arrived and went on intermittently for several hours.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thanks. I think we have one more question, then. Time for one more question.

OPERATOR: Certainly. Our next question is from the line of Chuck Todd, NBC News. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Can you at least explain the process by which if a request for more security comes in, how that’s – how you go about determining resources, so in the instance of the reports that more security was requested by the folks in Libya, can you sort of walk through how that process works?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER TWO: Certainly. The – this is sort of an iterative process, a discussion between the field and Washington, back and forth; the field identifying what their needs are, Washington working very, very closely with them. We always attempt to mitigate our risk. We cannot eliminate them. Sometimes the post – any post in the world might come in and say, “We need A, B, and C,” there would be a dialogue, and instead of sending them A, B, and C, we would send them B, C, and D because in this discussion process, we go to functionality, and when we determine the functionality that gets us the maximum – a maximum possible security, then we – that is what we deliver to the post.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you. I feel like I just ignored Shaun. I know you dropped off. If you’re still on, you get last chance here, buddy.

OPERATOR: And our last question does come from Shaun Waterman, Washington Times.


MODERATOR: Yes, Shaun. Go ahead, buddy.

QUESTION: Oh, hey. Okay. Thanks, man. So could – I mean, just in view of what you are now saying about the attack and the intensity of it and the numbers of people involved, what – can you say what kind of security presence might have been needed to repel an attack like that? I mean, what – I mean, if the criticism is there wasn’t enough security, how much would you have needed to protect the compound from this attack?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL NUMBER TWO: It is difficult to answer hypothetical questions, but let me just put it this way. The lethality and the number of armed people is unprecedented. There had been no attacks like that anywhere in Libya – Tripoli, Benghazi, or elsewhere – in the time that we had been there. And so it is unprecedented. In fact, it would be very, very hard to find a precedent for an attack like that in recent diplomatic history.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you, and glad we got that question in. Thanks to all of you for joining us so late this evening. We do appreciate it, and we will keep in touch with all of you as we move forward. Again, thank you.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • Bill O’Reilly

    Where is the link? I don’t see any link to verify all this commentary you posted above.

    What is the point of this post? All it says is there remains a lot of confusion about what exactly happened and by who and that it is all still under investigation.

    • Hokma

      chirp chirp chirp chirp

  • Popsmoke

    Like I said the protection issue is secondary. The Ambassador would have needed a mike force to repel this type of attack…

  • Popsmoke
  • Popsmoke
  • HObama HObamanana

    Will wonders never cease? I’m not making this up, the LA Times has an op-ed that isn’t very flattering toward Obama and gang concerning the Libya debacle.

    Last time around, much of the focus was on whether President Obama called it a “terrorist” act. The evidence on this score is ambiguous: In a Rose Garden statement on Sept. 13, the president did decry “acts of terror,” but it was not clear whether he was referring to Sept. 11, 2001, in the United States or Sept. 11, 2012, in Libya, and after his remarks, other administration spokesmen preferred to ascribe the attack to spontaneous demonstrations over an anti-Islam video.

    But one issue is unambiguous: There has been a crippling and dangerous lack of security in Libya since Moammar Kadafi was overthrown last year with the help of NATO airstrikes. This was an issue that many observers worried about while the war was ongoing: Was there a plan to create security and governance after Kadafi’s downfall?

    And they are just getting started. Let’s just say that they compare Obama’s foreign policy with the mistakes of the Bush foreign policy. That should be enough in itself to have you read the whole thing.

  • jrterrier

    haven’t been able to follow this too well. what if anything has Gen Petraeus said? Has there been an official statement from CIA?

    • MrLynn

      Petraeus, he lay low. He ain’t gonna get stuck on de same tar-baby dat his boss done got tangled up with. Nosiree, he stay mighty quiet.

      /Mr Lynn

  • jrterrier

    there are so many important takeaways from this disaster. what does it say about our intelligence capabilities, if there was no actionable intelligence about this? from what is described above, this was a carefully planned and well-armed attack.
    after this briefing, the media should be in the administration’s face about this but instead we have candy crowley defending the president during the debate.

  • Popsmoke

    I chuckle over Rogers screaming no fair while Issa does basically the same thing. What bullshit… The main issue here is not just who knew what and when or protection. Both are seconday issues.

    The big issue is the “to arm or not to arm” policy issue.

    But Romney can’t throw Obama under the bus without throwing McCain under the same bus..

    • jrterrier

      I hope that Romney doesn’t pull punches. let those responsible take responsibility for their naivete.

  • HObama HObamanana

    During the last debate Obama made a special effort to pretend as if he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terrorism. Now his campaign appears to be backtracking on that claim in an effort to support the already debunked claim that this was a spontaneous demonstration of a stupid video that got out of hand.

    I’m trying to determine why they keep changing the story. It may be that they hope that enough contrary theories of their own making will confuse the electorate so that they lose interest and give Obama a break. Or it may also be an effort to keep Romney off balance so that he doesn’t know how to prepare for the subject during the debate.

    • YoJoLo

      That’s what I was thinking. What can Romney throw at Obama that will stick? If he accuses Obama of saying for 2 weeks it was due to the video he can counter with “it was the video. Didn’t you see the story in the Washington Post?” If Romney says it was an act of terror Obama can say “no it wasn’t. It was the video after all.” He can do all this because the media is now pushing the meme for the administration that it was the video after all. See my post below.

      • HObama HObamanana

        I think that Romney can make his points without directly engaging Obama. That will remove the opportunity for Obama to cry foul, feign offense or whatever other bullshit he has planned again.

        Romney should make a special effort to defend his original statement about the statement from the Cairo Embassy. He should leave Obama out of it and explain why he was right and why it is important that when under attack to project strength. He should say that our flag was removed from our Embassy and burned and that was not the time to apologize to any nation for any reason whatsoever.

        • jrterrier

          i agree. the bigger question here is that there was a terrorist attack on our embassy; on 9/11; by islamist terrorists (probably Al Qaeda or those with links to Al Qaeda) & the president went to a fundraiser and on the Letterman show & on the view & other inane shows without yet addressing the nation seriously about the events of that night.

          why was there not more protection. why didn’t the cavalry ride in to save the ambassador and the other 3 americans; and if not to save them, then to kill the attackers. DC was notified immediately; got a drone there; have forces very close by. the hell with the rules of engagement — when our consulate is attacked, with an ambassador in deadly danger, those rules should immediately change to fire at will.

    • circadia

      Yeah, they’re trying to undercut every argument they think Romney might make in the debate. But in doing so, I think they’ve hurt themselves. Whereas before, it might’ve come across as political pettiness to argue over whether or not Obama actually used the word terrorism in reference to the Benghazi attack, it’s now looking like the administration is running scared — trying to bury the truth of a much bigger story.

  • YoJoLo

    Did anyone see how Obama is trying to wiggle out of this once again? It was on FOX news and covered by http://www.therightscoop.com
    OBAMA ADMIN LEAKING CIA DOCUMENTS TO GIVE OBAMA COVER IN FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE ON BENGHAZIThis White House is unbelievable. According to Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge, she’s been informed by House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rodgers that there is “a concerted campaign by people within the administration with specific leaks to the media to try and bolster the statements of people like Ambassador Susan Rice.” Herridge goes on to say that it’s a very one-sided leaking, that they aren’t going to leak documents that undercut this idea that it was a protest.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      What was the CIA doing preparing “talking points” for the UN Ambassador for the Sunday talks shows, anyway? Are they a PR shop now? Romney should ask this question.

      • HObama HObamanana

        Considering that the CIA got caught by an angry mob of completely unorganized protestors that just happened to have RPGs and mortars with them and absolutely no connection whatsoever to Al Qaeda, they are hardly in any position to be providing talking points to anyone else.

    • jrterrier

      how can anything bolster the garbage from Ambassador Rice after the briefing quoted above?

  • JohnnyTwoDog

    It sounds like State is doing CYA and pointing at White House while White House is doing CYA and pointing at State.

    State pointing at WH:
    There was no evidence in the events that it was anything other than an attack, and not a protest over a video.

    State CYA: There was no actionanble intel, and the attack was unprecidented. Could not have been anticipated.

    White House CYA: We had no knowledge of requests for security, those would have gone to State. The intel was not clear.

    Glad AP asked about the video and protests.
    The question from David Lerman about requests for more security was dodged.

    • HObama HObamanana

      State can claim there was no actionable intel but there was certainly a mountain of circumstantial evidence that any reasonable person would realize was not a coincidence or totally unrelated spontaneous events. So saying that what happened could not have been anticipated is reasoning under the influence of a lobotomy with blinders on.

      If the White House did not know that there were no requests for additional security then they didn’t pay ANY attention to a serious problem that THEY created. I’m surprised they haven’t also claimed that they had no idea there were missing weapons in Libya and had no idea whatsoever that the militias were running wild and completely out of control in Benghazi. Considering that Obama didn’t take the time to attend his daily security briefings they might even have a point.

  • Hokma

    I hope tomorrow night that Romney dispells one more myth about himself that Obama has invented.

    What Romney commented out in the early hours of those demonstrations was the ONLY the U.S. Embassy reaction in Cairo which was an apology about the video. He did not comment at all on events in Benghazi because they had not yet been reported.

    Obama and his Pravda media have invented the fact that Romney was commented on Benghazi which is false.

    And, of course, we know that during that Benghazi massacre Obama was busy packing his bags to enjoy himself in Vegas.

    • Hokma

      Saw Mike Baker early on Fox and he was speechless as to why they used zero assets to try and save these people.

      As much as i would like to see Obama crucified tomorrow night over this, Romney has to appear Presidential and not be a litigator.

      What I hope he does is raise rhetorical questions about all these events and enough that brings Obama’s policies into question.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Nominal POTUS Obama seems to like to name the people to be killed with drones thousands of miles away. Did he actually watch it happen in the White House Situation Room, or was he too busy preparing for his Las Vegas fundraiser. After all, it did go on for seven hour, and the situation room knew about it within minutes, and were probably watching it live within a half an hour. WTF?

      • HObama HObamanana

        Obama was probably spending time with his family since he has said that he absolutely demands that he have family time when he is home. Jarrett probably watched it all in private, cheering the whole time.

        • Retired_from_SPOnaj

          Well, four more Americans will never go home and spend time with their families again–ever.

          • HObama HObamanana

            It makes me so angry and so sad that this pretender we call a President is perfectly at ease joking about bumps in the road and not optimal days.

  • TeakWoodKite

    Very interesting. On backround means not for publication, yes?
    How does one get invited to be on a conference call like this one?

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      It doesn’t seem to have stayed “on background” very long. Perhaps the reason that Fox wasn’t invited was so they wouldn’t have to abide by the “on background” restriction and could get the story out to the public, Who has a broader viewership than Fox?
      This is the “revenge of the careers,” the career Foreign Service Officers who are not going to go quietly as a group under that O-bus. These guys are not stupid, they spend their lives manuevering and manipulating. Obama has met his match in playing hardball (with apologies to Chris Matthews).

      • Popsmoke

        Wonder what faction of Foggy Bottom is going to win that battle?

      • TeakWoodKite

        ol’Tingles needs no apoligizin to now, ain’t hardball if you didin.

  • DianaLC

    What a way to start a Sunday morning–reading this. I am completely in awe of the ambassador and of all the American men (I didn’t hear of a woman there) who risked their lives doing what they thought was in our country’s best interest. I am, of course, not making a judgment about whether it was or wasn’t in our interest. I am just humbled by what they did/do.
    All I can ever do is sit back here and pray. Makes all my personal worries seems nonsense.
    I feel shell shocked just reading this account. But I do have to say this: the description given certainly is not of a “spontaneous demonstration.”

    • DianaLC

      And by that last sentence I am indicating my extreme anger over Susan Rice’s statement and against the person who sent her out to give it. I hate being lied to by our government.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      And there others all over the world in equally dangerous situations–out there for us 24/7/365. The person that they look to for leadership is the President. We will decide who that man is on November 6th.

  • piattq

    Bret Baier’s special on Behghazi this week-end incorporates most of this report and is tellingly and relentlessly put together. Not sure where they got this info but the whole scene of what was actually happening and the buildup to that back with the arrival of Stevens in Libya is almost exactly this report—just with vivid accompanying video.

  • Hokma

    Semi- OT

    Senator Dick Durtbag of Illinois was just on FoxNews Sunday seeding the idea that the sanctions against Iran are working because iran now wants to have talks with us about their nuclear enrichment. This is an event that is unknown to Israel or to our allies.

    This clearly is a shameless manufactured attempt by Obama desperately tryting to use his media Pravda to deflect attention was the scandal of Benghazi and his need to have an Otober susprise.

    • piattq

      Breaking news last night on Fox citing NYTimes story that talks would take place between US and Iran 0ne on one . after election. This was quickly denied by WH. See Breitbart TV also.

      • Hokma

        They denied that it was firm but they did not deny it possibly happening.

        Now you have Axelgrease using the possibiity to build on the myth that the sanctions on iran are working.

        This is all bull with the help if Obama’s Pravda.

        • Retired_from_SPOnaj

          All the result of the “quiet” talks in Qatar.

          • Hokma

            So quiet talks are generally Obama gives up intervening in Syria as well as halting Iran sanctions in exchange for election eve agreement for talks by Iran.

            Iran has denied it. Israel and U.S. allies have no knowledge of this. It appears that while there may have been talks, this may be a leak of desperation on the eve of the foreign policy debate.

            What do you think?

            • Retired_from_SPOnaj

              Of course Iran has denied it. But what credibility does a denial from Iran have? Don’t kid yourself about Israel having no knowledge of this; think about it: Who would Israel rather have in power in Syria? Assad, who as the leader of a 25% Alawite minority has to concentrate most of his efforts on internally suppressing his 75% Sunni majority, or a Sunni jihadi replacement government, who can incite the 75% majority in Syria to attack Israel? Discontinuing the jihadi infilitration of Syria to overthrow Assad is in Israel’s pragmatic interest. Of course they are going to deny knowledge.

          • TeakWoodKite

            You had mentioned this 5 weeks back, it then appeared in WND a week ago and then the NYT picks the up the thread.
            You’re a man ahead of the times and I thank you for your insights.
            The WND article reports that the Iranians “trust” Jarrett. Because she Iranian or because she was a personal dispatch of BO? I don’t trust either of them, why should the Iranians, unless it is immaterial to thier goals? Why do I feel like Obama is selling out American national security interests for his own political gain?
            Iran has for many years played us like a diplomatic fiddle and did what they wanted to do by any means nessasary, no “trust but verify” is possible with them.

            • Retired_from_SPOnaj

              Jarrett is seen by the Iranians as a “helpful fool,” i.e., someone who is willing to help them for altruistic, ideological reasons that they consider to be nonsense in the context of their own theocracy. But if she helps them, why not?

              • TeakWoodKite

                By extention then, so is Obama since he sent her.
                But isn’t that the crux of the food chain? Obama thinks he’s at the top of it. Big Mistake.

                • NellieS

                  You have been raising some really great points the past few months. Your posts are a pleasure to read and ponder.

                  • TeakWoodKite

                    What I find very disturbing are the conclusions being reached by experts and novice alike. I am certianly a novice with no professional experience. Many others with decades of the “been there done that” type of experience are are arriving at the same conclusions as a simple kite is. Perhaps there is a reason that this is so. I thank you any way and find your comments likewise. all the best. :)

      • jrterrier

        Given the open mike comment to the russian president that Pres Obama would be more flexible after the election this report isn’t going to help Pres Obama; it’s going to scare any thinking person.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      He must”ve been reading my posts on this (LoL).

    • MrLynn

      Michael Ledeen explains “The October Surprise”:


      “Even if the story turns out to be true, I don’t think it will help him. ‘We’re going to talk to the Iranians!’ isn’t a very sexy headline.

      “So what is happening? The most likely explanation is that Obama is still desperately seeking his grand bargain, the one that would validate his (and the Nobel Committee’s) claim to be a talented peace maker. That deal is not available, because the Iranians don’t want it. But he wants something to show for his efforts, so he settled for a big nothingburger: an agreement to talk some more.”The one (mildly) interesting feature is why the story was leaked. Did the leaker(s) think it would help the campaign? Or was the leaker trying to stop yet another embarrassing wasted effort?”Give it a few days, maybe we’ll actually learn something interesting. Maybe it’ll even come up in Monday’s debate…”[/quote]

      “Nothingburger” sounds about right.

      /Mr Lynn

      • jrterrier

        and i’ve also read reports that Egypt has now turned to Iran asking for help with a nuclear program. this is more than a disaster; it’s the beginning of armaggedon — pun intended.

        • HObama HObamanana

          You have to wonder though, with all the persecution brought upon the Shiites for so many centuries by the Sunnis, would Iran be willing to share with someone that is actually an enemy. One also has to wonder why Egypt would not request such technology from Pakistan.

          • jrterrier

            is it possible that they would put aside their centuries-old animosities to go after Israel? the rise of all these populist movements seems to have just allowed islamists to take power almost everywhere. or am i being too simplistic?

            • HObama HObamanana

              I honestly haven’t a clue whether “getting Israel” is enough to unite them, however briefly. As to your other question, I defer to the resident experts.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      And after Chris Wallace got done with him, they threw him on the grill. Medium rare with melted cheese, please!

    • HObama HObamanana

      It’s probably completely inappropriate, but I think he should be called DICK Dirty Douchebag.

    • TeakWoodKite

      I heard that as I waited for an Sunday root canal, I looked like a freakin chipmonk….
      I heard Dicky get cornered on Rice and his only response was to say that a bunch of marines got blown up under Reagan.. like that made it ok. Dick.
      He says Obama built a great coalition and sanctions are working, all the while having Jarret negotiate in secret without the notification to the Hill.
      Dick actually said he, Dick Durbin, was channeling Candy Crawly at one point…after Graham ran down the litany of Obama fails.

  • HObama HObamanana

    The Administration’s “story” that this was a spontaneous attack does not explain how the attackers spontaneously discovered the CIA “annex” and the route to it from the Consulate from which other attacks were launched.

    • HARP2

      When, if ever, have you seen a protest START at night ?

      • HObama HObamanana

        Never seen one, but I can imagine that if OWS was protesting a Rave it would probably take place at night.

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        Only a candlelight march…

  • MrLynn

    It’s surprising that no one asked whether Washington had ordered assistance from other assets in the region (including the Sixth Fleet), in addition to help from the embassy in Tripoli. It might not have arrived in time to help Ambassador Stevens, but if no effort were made, to me that would be the real scandal here.

    /Mr Lynn

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      The Obama administration panicked. They have desperately been trying to conceal this, first with some bullshit cover story about a video tape, but people are beginning to sense their bullshit, and are getting tired of it.

  • HARP2

    At the next debate, rather than Romney getting into the weeds with this Libya thing, he should just announce that on his first day in office he will announce a bipartisan blue ribbon committee to investigate the whole damn thing.

    If he tries to get specific at the debate, Jarret will just have the intelligence community change something to make Mitt look like an idiot.

    • piattq

      Watch the Bret Baier special—Death and Deceit in Benghazi. really puts this whole thing together. I think they are running it twice today.

  • Dave L.
    • http://twitter.com/PickledPeach PickledPeach

      I saw this story right after attack. also had seen something that the 2 Seals were there trying to track down weapons that might have gotten into the wrong hands after liberation, another that they were trying to recruit “freedom fighters” from Libya to go into Syria. Had seen another that their role was not security. I think we need to know what their mission was. Were they CIA? Where had the Ambassdor been up until Sept 10?

      • HARP2

        It`s looking more and more like this was the plan.

        Let`s face it. They sure as Hell didn`t go there for a vacation.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      I think it is garbage. If that was the case they would have held on to Stevens body. They did not. Plus, the linked article gets the facts of the SEALS death wrong. They died at the CIA base from a mortar strike. They were not “fighting to save the Ambassador.”

      I’m not disparaging their bravery or courage. Just pointing out that they died in a defensive position and didn’t expect to get taken out by a mortar.

      • TeakWoodKite

        Why is it that the security team did not have respirators for smoke? A basic one would have increased the odds of escape from a building set on fire. Wouldn’t one want some ability to operate in a smoke filled environment, considering the variety of weapons available on the street? Ak’s for daze, rpg, mortors, pams….and gasoline…
        Can anyone with actual “been there done that” tell me why that was not available in the “safe” area?
        Even a mini- fireman’s air tank to go with the M4 is too much to ask for?
        It’s really sad that Obama treated the requests for increased security from the vary same people in charge of said security… he treated ’em like Oliver Twist askin for more.

        • Retired_from_SPOnaj

          Interesting point, a smoke-defeating respiration system was typical in places where I worked that we equipped with safe havens, and that was twenty years ago.

  • Justine00

    Interesting media names. Wonder if Fox News was invited…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hank-DeCat/100001190387982 Hank DeCat

      Actually I watched Bret Baier “Special Report” and Greta “On the Record” on FOX that day (10/9) and both announced that the call took place and that FOX News was *not* invited to participate but that the State Dept. later apologized for the oversight. Greta was kind of cynical about it & Bret seemed none too happy about it. Both Bret & Greta had “rough notes” of the call that they read from (I think another person in the media who was on the call shared — I can’t remember). Anyway, it was a bunch of b.s. because FOX (Bret & Greta in particular) was the only one chasing the story at that time.

      • HObama HObamanana

        The fact that FOX was the media actually chasing the story is the very reason they were not invited to the call.

    • http://twitter.com/skymominmass SkymomInMass

      This was the one that Fox News was specifically left out of. The State Dept gave a lame apology after the fact, but when you see the list of who was there, it strains credulity.

  • Fred82


    Any thoughts on this?


    “No evidence found of Al Qaeda role in Libya attack.”
    It sounds as if the MSM and possibly others are attempting to whitewash this whole thing.

    • HARP2

      I believe one of the cables sent to Washington mentioned Al Qaeda flags flying over certain buildings.

    • piattq

      LA Times has become a worthless Dem rag. Actually used to be a good newspaper about 20 years ago.

    • HObama HObamanana

      It sure sounds to me as if anonymous “officials” are trying to redact the truth. So I wouldn’t call it a whitewash, a blackwash is much more appropriate to the facts. Apparently a spontaneous mob carried mortars and RPGs with them to “protest” some offensive video and just as spontaneously this completely uncoordinated “mob” that didn’t plan a thing in advance managed to best an elite team of special forces. Apparently they also spontaneously figured out where the CIA annex was and equally spontaneously precisely targeted it, as well as all routes to it from the consulate. That’s an awful lot of spontaneous, completely unplanned dumb luck on the part of offended uncoordinated protestors.

  • akaPatience

    It seems that even IF there’d been more security in Benghazi, it may not have been enough to effectively thwart an attack of this sort. So the party line about the Youtube video makes even less sense. I’m usually loathe to subscribe to conspiracy theories but it’s beyond bizarre that the administration tried so assiduously to miscast blame.

  • HoosierinDixie

    Doesn’t it seem a bit fishy that just the 4 Americans were killed and only one other (nationality unknown) was wounded?

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      No. Why do you believe it was “fishy?”

      • HoosierinDixie

        Look I could be wrong but I just find it hard to believe that only the Americans were killed when they were all involved in such a sustained attack. The two Seals were killed on the roof right? Was anyone killed or hurt inside or around the building as it was taking heavy fire? It sounds to me as if they knew exactly where the Americans were standing when they fired that rpg or whatever it was.

        • TeakWoodKite

          Isn’t a roof top vulnerable to such weapons and this is just an aside, why would you not expect mortar fire?
          It’s a trade off ? I am curious how an Ambassador can travel in a hostile environment without drone tech. We use drone tech over Mexico why not Benghazi?
          From Obama’s floppy ears to his self described “bonehead”, I’ll wager that was a req that got denied. Why would you not want the best awareness when the extent of your surveillance are cameras at the gate??

          • HoosierinDixie

            Teak I do not begin to claim I know anything about military assault methods or anything like it. I think you, Larry and RetiredSP may have misinterped what I am trying to say. I believe the intel people did their job before and after the attack. What I do not believe is the story from the adminstration that this was a spontaneous event as a result of a bad video. Nor was it carried out by some misguided youths on their way to a soccer game or some other such nonsense. I think it was a highly planned attack and these 4 Americans were specifically targeted. After reading this thread, I now question if a person or persons inside the compound and annex may have helped to set it all up. Even Sean Smith sent word he was concerned about one of the guards taking pictures prior to the attack.

            • TeakWoodKite

              I don’t claim to know jack shite or jill sh sh sh shia pet … when it come to this stuff. I agree that there is always the gardner who doesn’t want to get wacked by a fellow countryman just for a job. I am unable to understand why if Obama wanted to”normalize” relations , he would equate that with dropping trouser and bending over.
              Even in NYC, on embassey row it was easy to spot the muscle from various country involved. It should have been Americans, not contracted inside the walls. That said it doesn’t sound like a 900 by 300 yard compound with is that hard to look at.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Not if the intent was to attack America.

      • HoosierinDixie

        Yes the intent was to attack America. But how do we explain their (bad guys) ability to distinguish the Americans from the others in a chaotic night time attack. Seems to me the so called “friendly” miltia was very lucky in that regard.

  • jd g

    That was a nice fairy tale before bed.

  • mgm

    Larry, did you happen to see the program on FOX at 9pm hosted by some rather unpleasant, voluable woman judge? I can’t recall the name of the general she had on, or the names of the three CIA agents (retired?), but all of them were in a heightened state of outrage over Bengazi. Essentially called Obama a liar. If a transcript is available, it would be well worth getting a hold of, as these men all gave the impression of knowing what they were talking about.

    • felizarte

      justice with jeanine

      • mgm

        Yes, that’s it. I saw it only because I couldn’t get to the remote to change the channel. The relevant section was about halfway through the program. Is it possible to post it–I don’t know how–but it’s worth hearing as it adds a new dimension to the ever-morphing Bengazi story.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hank-DeCat/100001190387982 Hank DeCat

      Is this what you want?


      Judge Jeanine had three former CIA officers on her show tonight that described something called a “Critic”, short for critical incident, which is a report fired off in a crisis by a Chief of Station that goes to everyone in the intelligence community in real time. They describe it like a flare being fired off in an emergency, that it tells everyone that something critical is going on and they have to take action immediately:

      I was a Chief of Station three different times so
      I’ve done this before. That report, a Flash or a Critic going back to Washington D.C. goes to CIA headquarters but it also goes to the situation room in the White House. It goes to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the State Department. It goes to the military committee– it goes to all of them. … When you’re a Chief of Station and you’re in a crisis, you fire out to the entire community and they all get it immediately.

      Full video at link:

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hank-DeCat/100001190387982 Hank DeCat

        There was also another part that was interesting — the White House is coordinated targeted, specific leaks to bolster the b.s. story that Susan Rice shilled on the Sunday talk shows while hiding the intel that really undercuts that story (also with video –and a link to the WaPo story posted today of the story the White House coordinated to support Rice):


        • HObama HObamanana

          The Obama Administration has a well documented modus operandi of leaking documents to benefit the political position it wishes to exude. So none of this is particularly news to me. I am a little surprised that they have chosen to revisit the old “spontaneous demonstration” that got out of hand lie that has been thoroughly debunked by actual documented statements and accounts. I think that most people can see right through the lie.

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        This was Gary Berntsen, the author of “Jawbreaker.” Larry and I both know him.

      • mgm

        Yes, that’s what I was referring to. But the General, who came on before the CIA men, had even more damning comments on Obama.

    • TeakWoodKite

      Heard it on Sirrus, they were three congressmen. Two from the house oversite and one from the select committe on on Intelligence. There was a navy SEAL who was a personal friend to one of the SEALS.