Next week, on October 10, The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will open hearings into what went wrong at the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. The committee will start by calling two witnesses: Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, who was stationed in Libya from September 2011 to June 2012, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs Charlene Lamb.
Nordstrom is already spilling the beans; he has informed the committee in a private briefing that there were 13 threats made against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya during the six months before the Sept. 11 attack.
Lamb, who is involved in reviewing security requests, may be used as a scapegoat by Hillary Clinton, who is working hard to cover her own behind, saying: “No one wants the answers more than we do here at the (State) Department.”
Sure you do, Hillary.
Lamb testified in 2010 regarding the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s (DS’s) programs in Iraq:
DoS (Department of State) will face many challenges as we take on roles and responsibilities currently provided by our military colleagues, but are confident we can sustain the robust security platform required to enable our government’s foreign policy. However, in order to succeed we need to continue our use of private security contractors (PSCs). Carrying out this mission successfully will require the full utilization of all available security assets including the services of PSCs … The establishment of procedures to ensure that the U.S. Forces in Iraq (USF-I) and the Embassy are aware of and coordinate on all movements by each others’ protective details … Embassy Baghdad and USF-I established procedures to respond to and investigate serious incidents involving protective security details, in coordination with the Iraqi authorities … Currently, DS utilizes the services of approximately 2,700 PSC personnel in Iraq, comprised of roughly 900 movement security personnel under the Worldwide Personal Protective Security II (WPPS II), and an additional 1,800 guards providing perimeter security to Embassy Baghdad and related facilities in the International Zone. In contrast, DS currently employs 1,800 Special Agents (direct-hire Government employees) to meet its global responsibilities. While we will continue to rely on PSCs, we do so with the full acknowledgment of the need for comprehensive oversight and accountability regimes.”
Lamb knows the score; the question is whether she’ll be asked to take one for the team. And now that Nordstrom has acknowledged that the embassy was aware of the external threat, somebody’s head is going to roll.