One of the members of the “Special Protection Unit” guarding the Benghazi consulate states that the unit had never been given shooting lessons.
A 33-year-old individual referred to only has “Ali” was part of the February 17 Brigade’s four-man team guarding the Benghazi consulate on Sept 11. He says he and his team members had received “light” and “theoretical” training inside the consulate from time to time, but never experience shooting firearms.
He says they occasionally received “practical lessons,” but these lessons were never accompanied by the “practical training” that might have left them better prepared them to do what they were asked to do.
Ali and his fellow guards paint of a picture of being abandoned at their posts. They say that after the consulate was attacked in June 2012, they requested more weapons and body protection. Yet they say they never even received handguns “or the weapons [they] requested.”
They weren’t even provided helmets.
Ali said that when the Sept. 11 attack began, it was comprised of about 50 men who were unarmed, walking behind a handful of others who were armed. Two men in the front of the group carried RPGs.
The guards say the would-be attackers cased the consulate for a time, giving the impression that they were looking for a way to get inside. Then one of the attackers opened fire and the others began trying to scale the wall. Ali and his team returned fire and called for backup in both Arabic and English, yet he says neither the Americans nor the February 17 Brigade headquarters responded.
Ali said he could hear explosions in other portions of the compound, and he kept thinking the American personnel would emerge from one of the buildings and help him and his men. But the Americans and the Special Protection Unit, of which he was part, were overrun before that scenario could play out.
To be clear, Ali says that at one point during the attack a U.S. Marine did come to him. But the Marine was unarmed and seemed somewhat confused.
The bottom line — Obama left the lives of four Americans in the hands of guards who hadn’t been trained to shoot their guns.