Despite Threats, No Marines Guarded U.S. Consulate In Libya
On a target date like the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, it is quite the jaw-dropping revelation to learn that there were no Marines guarding the U. S. consulate where Chris Stevens, our ambassador to Libya, was brutally murdered yesterday:
Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Kendra Motz said that Marines were not posted to the consulate, unlike the embassy in the capital, Tripoli.
A defense official told POLITICO on Wednesday that the Pentagon is sending an elite team of about 50 additional Marines, called a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, to reinforce the embassy.
A senior administration official Wednesday called the Benghazi consulate “an interim facility,” which the State Department began using “before the fall of Qadhafi.” It was staffed Tuesday by Libyan and State Department security officers. The consulate came under fire from heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at about 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday. By the time the attack ended several hours later, four Americans were dead and three others had been injured.
The Benghazi consulate had “lock-and-key” security, not the same level of defenses as a formal embassy, an intelligence source told POLITICO. That means it had no bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to embassies. The intelligence source contrasted it with the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt – “a permanent facility, which is a lot easier to defend.” The Cairo embassy also was attacked Tuesday.
This is startling and troubling news, especially in light of the fact that the day before yesterday's attacks, September 10, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri made direct threats against Americans in Libya to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a high-ranking al-Qaeda official taken out by an American drone attack last June.
Here you have al-Queda making explicit threats against Americans in Libya and little to no protection for our consulate -- and as a result, four Americans are dead.
Moreover, just hours before the attack ...
[Sean] Smith sent a message to Alex Gianturco, the director of "Goonswarm," Smith's online gaming team or "guild."
“Assuming we don’t die tonight,” the message, which was first reported by Wired, read. “We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”
Within hours of posting that message, Smith, a husband and father of two, was dead. Gianturco, who could not be reached for further comment, got the word out to fellow gamers, according to Wired.
The media will never demand answers for this horrifying news, but hopefully a Congressional investigation will.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC