I eat my R1
Join Date: Jun 2008
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The number of State Department security agents at the compound in Benghazi fluctuated, sometimes dipping to as few as two. Five American security agents were at the compound on Sept. 11 — three stationed there and two traveling with Mr. Stevens.
In addition to the Americans, there were several armed Libyans who served as a quick-reaction force. The Americans were also able to call on the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, a militia supportive of the Libyan government. Yet another small group of Libyan guards stood watch at the gates and perimeter of the compound, but this group was unarmed and equipped with only whistles and batons.
When it came to weapons, the American security team was outgunned. The Americans were equipped with M4 rifles and side arms. But Libya was rife with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, mortars and AK-47s.
At one point, Mr. Nordstrom, the regional security officer, proposed establishing guard towers, but the State Department rejected that on the grounds that it would make the compound more conspicuous.
On June 6, a bomb was planted near the American Mission’s outer wall, blowing out a 12-foot-wide hole.
On June 11, the lead vehicle of the British ambassador’s convoy was hit by an armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenade, wounding a British medic and driver.
The British envoy left Benghazi the next day, and the British post in the city was closed on June 17. About the same time, the Red Cross in the city pulled out after it was attacked a second time.
The embassy had also established a series of “trip wires,” classified benchmarks about intelligence on attack preparations or escalating unrest that would prompt the United States to evacuate the Benghazi compound. But the trip wires were not set off.
New security cameras with night vision capability were shipped to the Benghazi compound but were still sitting in crates when the September attack occurred.
By early September, some Libyan officials in Benghazi were echoing the same security warnings as Mr. Stevens was relaying to Washington.
“I was extremely pleased with the planning to get us into Libya,” Mr. Nordstrom said. But after the initial security teams began rotating out of Libya months later, he said, “there was a complete and total absence of planning.”
And the email itself; look at the date and time -