UPDATED 17:19 PM EST, February 25, 2013 | BY Sara Carter
U.S. embassies and diplomatic outposts have skipped or exempted themselves from security requirements without the knowledge of the State Department in Washington, creating an ad hoc system so riddled with exceptions that the agency’s internal watchdog is raising new safety alarms just months after the deadly attack on the Benghazi consulate.
Congressional investigators have pieced together a series of decisions that led State Department officials to inexplicably draw down security in Libya last year even as threats and attacks against Western diplomats were rising in the violent, chaotic city of Benghazi where America’s ambassador was killed last Sept. 11.
Just hours before he died in a terrorist attack at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Ambassador Chris Stevens sent a cable to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton painting a chaotic, violent portrait of the eastern Libya city and warning that local militias were threatening to pull the security they afforded U.S. officials.
WASHINGTON (AP) — New Pentagon details show that the first U.S. military unit arrived in Libya more than 14 hours after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was over and four Americans, including the ambassador, were dead.
A Defense Department timeline obtained by The Associated Press underscores how far the military response lagged behind the Sept. 11 attack, due largely to the long distances the commando teams had to travel to get to Libya.
Former CIA Director Mike Hayden says the attack on Benghazi was "predictable" and he can't comprehend why the Obama administration did not have a better security posture at the time terrorists struck the U.S. consulate and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.
State Department officials said Wednesday that security levels at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were adequate for the threat level on the anniversary of 9/11 but that the compound was overrun by an "unprecedented attack" by dozens of heavily armed extremists.