British Security Firm Stonewalls Press Inquiries on Benghazi Mission
On Wednesday, Breitbart News spoke with an employee of Blue Mountain Group, the British firm that was hired by the State Department to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi where four Americans were murdered on September 11, 2012. The employee, who identified herself only by her first name, "Zoe," was polite before she abruptly hung up on me as I attempted to ask a question:
"My job is to provide you with no information, unfortunately all communication that has come to Blue Mountain Group from the media is being held by us here until we are able to provide more detailed responses. We never provide any information with regards to any of our security
"Unfortunately I can't attach my last name to my responses due to security concerns.
"I'm just a lowly administrative girl.
"At the moment there's nobody here or any security manager at present who can respond to your questions."
I pressed the interview further, and asked if she worked out of a real office with other employees, or if she was simply a phone answering service. Here's how "Zoe" responded:
Answer: I'm answering the phone on behalf of Blue Mountain Group. I am located in their offices.
Question: With regards to those offices, is it one room with you on the phone?
Answer: You're very good
Within seconds, "Zoe" hung up on me, before I could ask additional questions or provide a phone number for the security managers at Blue Mountain Group to call back.
Prior to hanging up, "Zoe" had acknowledged the receipt by email of these four questions I sent to Blue Mountain Group on Monday:
This is Michael Patrick Leahy, a Breitbart News Contributor. We're a US based news site.
1. Can you confirm or deny that Blue Mountain has provided security at the American mission in Benghazi for several months?
2. Can you confirm or deny that the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya that are conditions of your contract prohibit the local Libyan security guards you hire to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi from using live ammunition while on duty?
3. Can you confirm or deny that the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya that are conditions of your contract prohibit the local Libyan security guards you hire to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi are from using guns of any kind while on duty?
4. Can you provide us with a copy of the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya contained in your contract with the US State Department?
Michael Patrick Leahy
Here is the fifth question I was about to pose to Blue Mountain Group's "Zoe" when she hung up on me:
5. Can you confirm or denied the Wired.com Danger Room report from Monday September 17 that:
The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside.
Contrary to Friday’s claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya,” the department inked a contract for “security guards and patrol services” on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only “foreign security awardees” as its recipient.
The State Department confirmed to Danger Room on Monday that the firm was Blue Mountain, a British company that provides “close protection; maritime security; surveillance and investigative services; and high risk static guarding and asset protection,” according to its website. Blue Mountain says it has “recently operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Caribbean and across Europe” and has worked in Libya for several months since last year’s war.
Breitbart News continues to seek official confirmation from either the State Department or Blue Mountain Group that the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya under which Blue Mountain Group operated in Benghazi prohibited that firm from allowing the Libyan national security guards they hired to carry weapons with bullets.
On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland was forced to admit that she had "made an error," when she denied on Friday that any private security firms had been hired by the State Department in Libya. In her admission, she identified Blue Mountain Group as the firm that had been hired to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi, but refused to identify it as a British firm.
The stonewalling from the State Department and Blue Mountain Group on the release of this important document has reached levels unsurpassed since the Nixon administration's Watergate cover up.