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Thread: Diplomatic security after terrorists kill US Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya

  1. #41
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    They described the second facility as a significant and largely secret complex, housing diplomatic and intelligence personnel. Among their assignments was a high-priority inter-agency program to locate shoulder-fired missiles and other weapons loosed by Libya's 2011 revolution. That program is coordinated by the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...pe=marketsNews
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  2. #42
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default State Department account of Sept. 11/12 events in Benghazi.

    The amazing story of what happened in Libya | theAtlantic.com

    “There are real and important diplomatic-security strategy questions to answer going forward (such as why there’s been no mention so far of emergency filter or other masks in the consulate’s safe haven of the sort homeland-security officials once recommended for all Americans at home). But that doesn’t negate that what Secretary Clinton said is right: the ambassador and the others on the ground in Benghazi signed up for a dangerous job, and we should all be so lucky as to have the courage they showed on September 11 and 12.”
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  3. #43
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Hmmm, what to say here without putting my butt into the frying pan

    Just about every embassy in Africa and in Europe has several of these so-called top secret locations. Actually, they are little more than logistics and admin areas separated from the main building for several obvious reasons. This does not mean to say the security in any of the buildings is intentionally better than the others, and, I suspect, the attackers would never have gone for the admin buildings as they probably had no idea where and what those buildings were. No profile, minions and local staff working there, etc.

    On to the SAMs. It was nearly 6 years ago we were offered a cool million for a SAM. Sadly, we don’t have any. Let’s not take this out of context; it’s not cash, it is assistance money and you don’t get to choose what and where. Anyone with 5 minutes on his hands and Google can go to the State dot Gov site and figure out what all that Sierra means (or doesn't).

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  4. #44
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    The amazing story of what happened in Libya | theAtlantic.com

    “There are real and important diplomatic-security strategy questions to answer going forward (such as why there’s been no mention so far of emergency filter or other masks in the consulate’s safe haven of the sort homeland-security officials once recommended for all Americans at home). But that doesn’t negate that what Secretary Clinton said is right: the ambassador and the others on the ground in Benghazi signed up for a dangerous job, and we should all be so lucky as to have the courage they showed on September 11 and 12.”
    Hi Matt !
    There are gas masks everywhere and there are many that wouldn’t give you (the instructor) the time of day to even pay attention while teaching them how to employ the mask. Some have bad hair days and others simply will not comply. The locations of the masks, much like the fire extinguishers, are made known to the intended users. As to Secretary Clinton’s statement, I have to agree. Libya has no garden spots left (other than hiding out in the logistics buildings ), and most of those fine (first time) diplomats get to serve in a Sierra hole before they get Paris.

    Been out for a long while and will be leaving again shortly. Keep all the others in check and be a PITA (it worked for me for a short while !)
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  5. #45
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Keep all the others in check and be a PITA
    Good to hear from you and I can manage the latter, at least!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Been out for a long while and will be leaving again shortly.
    Any scuttlebutt for the Mali thread before you head back out?
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  6. #46
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    Default U.S. Senate Report on Benghazi Redacted

    http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/b...4/benghazi.pdf

    Published January 15, 2014

    U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Review of the Attacks on U.S. Facilities.

    Hopefully this report will both raise some concerns with Department of State security practices and quell the endless conspiracy theories. Mistakes were clearly made, but some mistakes have been mis-contributed to intentional action versus the fog of war.

    It clearly states there were numerous and substantiated reports of Al-Qaeda linked groups operating in Libya, and the increasing threat they posed to the U.S. facilities. The CIA acted on these threats and beefed up the security at their facilities, while the Ambassodor's request for increased security were not acted upon.

    The military was preparing to sending troops, but by the time they were prepared to deploy the folks at Benghazi were long evacuated (that is reality that most people in the military get when you're deploying from a cold start).

    It is important to acknowledge at the outset that diplomacy and intelligence collection are inherently risky, and that all risk cannot be eliminated. Diplomatic and intelligence personnel work in high-risk locations all over the world to collect information necessary to prevent future attacks against the United States and our allies. Between 1998 (the year of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania) and 2012, 273 significant attacks were carried out against U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel. 1 The need to place personnel in high-risk locations carries significant vulnerabilities for the United States. The committee intends for this report to help increase security and reduce the risks to our personnel serving overseas and to better explain what happened before, during, and after the attacks.
    The Committee explored claims that there was a "stand down" order given to the security team at the Annex. Although some members of the security team expressed frustration that they were unable to respond more quickly to the Mission compound, the Committee found no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the Chief of Base or any other party.
    The Annex was the CIA facility, their security personnel did respond as quickly as possible.

    The mortar fire was particularly accurate, demonstrating a lethal capability and sophistication that changed the dynamic on the ground that night. According to testimony by the Chief of Base, it was only after this third wave of attacks, when the mortars hit, that he decided it was necessary to evacuate the personnel from the Annex.
    At least some the attackers were well trained, this clearly wasn't poorly trained militia member casually hip firing a mortar.

    FINDING #1: In the months before the attacks on September 11, 2012, the IC provided ample strategic warning that the security situation in eastern Libya was deteriorating and that U.S. facilities and personnel were at risk in Benghazi.
    FINDING #2: The State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly in Benghazi based on the deteriorating security situation on the ground and IC threat reporting on the prior attacks against Westerners in Benghazi including two incidents at the Temporary Mission Facility on April 6 and June 6, 2012.
    On July 9, 2012, Stevens sent a cable to State Department headquarters
    requesting a minimum of 13 "Temporary Duty" (TDY) U.S. security
    personnel for Libya, which he said could be made up of DS agents, DoD
    Site Security Team (SST) personnel, or some combination of the two.
    The State Department never fulfilled this request and, according to Eric Nordstrom, State Department headquarters never responded to the request with a cable.
    In an August 16, 2012, cable to State headquarters, Stevens raised
    additional concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi
    following an Emergency Action Committee (EAC) meeting held on
    August 15, 2012, in Benghazi.

    ( 1) The Principal Officer "remarked that the security situation in
    Benghazi was 'trending negatively"' and "that this daily pattern of
    violence would be the 'new normal' for the foreseeable future
    (2) A CIA officer "briefed the EAC on the location of approximately ten
    Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi."
    (3) The Principal Officer and a CIA officer "expressed concerns with the
    lack of host nation security to support the U.S. Mission [facility]."
    I'm quite familiar with chaos and confusion in the heat of the moment, but this wasn't that. The red flag was sent up prior to the event more than once and it was ignored. I have a hard time accepting that department leadership ignored their people in harm's way when they requested a modest increase in security. The report later went on to say there was considerable confusion on who had the authority within State to make the decision.


    In contrast, the CIA, in response to the same deteriorating security situation and IC threat reporting, consistently upgraded its security posture over the same time period. Specifically, the attack on the British Ambassador's convoy by a rocket-propelled grenade on June 11, 2012, led to a CIA security audit of the Annex. As a result, CIA quickly implemented additional security measures due to the threat of continued attacks against Western personnel in Benghazi.
    The Committee has reviewed the allegations that U.S. personnel, including in the IC or DoD, prevented the mounting of any military relief effort during the attacks, but the Committee has not found any of these allegations to be substantiated. The following assets were deployed or in the process of deploying in response to the Benghazi attacks (based on a review of DoD documents and testimony before the Committee):
    - one unarmed Predator was diverted to provide surveillance coverage of the Temporary Mission Facility as it was being attacked. This Predator was subsequently replaced by another Predator to enable the first Predator to return to base for refueling
    - A seven-person security team (consisting of two DoD personnel, four
    CIA personnel, and a linguist) flew from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli to
    Benghazi and successfully helped evacuate the Americans from the
    Annex to the airport.
    - Two FAST teams were ordered to deploy, one for Benghazi, but by the time they were ready, and then add the flight time it would have been too late (post evacuation)
    - Special Operations units were ordered to deploy, but they couldn't get there until after the U.S. personnel in Benghazi were evacuated.

  7. #47
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    Bill, after the Camp Bastion attack two Marine generals get (effectively) fired.

    After this debacle it all gets swept under the carpet.

    I keep telling Africans who tell me they are confused by the actions of the US not to worry as they are not nearly as confused as the Americans themselves are.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/b...4/benghazi.pdf

    Published January 15, 2014

    U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Review of the Attacks on U.S. Facilities.

    Hopefully this report will both raise some concerns with Department of State security practices and quell the endless conspiracy theories. Mistakes were clearly made, but some mistakes have been mis-contributed to intentional action versus the fog of war.

    It clearly states there were numerous and substantiated reports of Al-Qaeda linked groups operating in Libya, and the increasing threat they posed to the U.S. facilities. The CIA acted on these threats and beefed up the security at their facilities, while the Ambassodor's request for increased security were not acted upon.

    The military was preparing to sending troops, but by the time they were prepared to deploy the folks at Benghazi were long evacuated (that is reality that most people in the military get when you're deploying from a cold start).



    The Annex was the CIA facility, their security personnel did respond as quickly as possible.

    At least some the attackers were well trained, this clearly wasn't poorly trained militia member casually hip firing a mortar.


    I'm quite familiar with chaos and confusion in the heat of the moment, but this wasn't that. The red flag was sent up prior to the event more than once and it was ignored. I have a hard time accepting that department leadership ignored their people in harm's way when they requested a modest increase in security. The report later went on to say there was considerable confusion on who had the authority within State to make the decision.

    - Two FAST teams were ordered to deploy, one for Benghazi, but by the time they were ready, and then add the flight time it would have been too late (post evacuation)
    - Special Operations units were ordered to deploy, but they couldn't get there until after the U.S. personnel in Benghazi were evacuated.
    Last edited by JMA; 01-19-2014 at 01:13 PM.

  8. #48
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    JMA,

    What frustrates me about this most isn't what our attack media focused on about the military not responding quick enough, but State ignoring the requests for help from the experts in the field.

    If decision makers in D.C. only waited two instead of four hours to give the orders for the military to deploy they still wouldn't have gotten there before the Americans in Benghazi were evacuated. I think we would all love to the Star Track capability of energizing a force anywhere in the world within minutes, but until we do we have to live real world time-distance limitations.

    This is exactly why State should have honored the Ambassador's request for more security. If it was honored, in all likelihood the temporary facility for the Ambassador was killed would have held just like the CIA annex held. The report claims there was confusion in the State Department about who had the authority to make the decision, yet they have making these types of decisions for decades, the process "was" pretty clear in the past. Someone dropped the ball, people died, and as you pointed out no one was held accountable.

  9. #49
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    Bill:

    A culture of impunity for higher ups is one the things that severely weaken various governments overseas. Yet here we have what looks an awful lot like a culture of impunity for the higher ups in the Dept. of State at least.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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