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August 15: State Dept.Warned Benghazi Consulate Personnel Were Sitting Ducks

August 15: State Dept.Warned Benghazi Consulate Personnel Were Sitting Ducks

Less than a month before the Sept 11 attack on Benghazi, State Department and other officials met to consider scuttling the Benghazi consulate and moving operations into the CIA annex less than a mile away. 

In a cable from an August 15 meeting, an unnamed State Department representative told those at that meeting that security was “trending negatively” and that a “daily pattern of violence would be the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future” in Benghazi. This lack of security was credited to the use of the Libyan security forces instead of U.S. security. 

Following the meeting, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton was informed that the Benghazi outpost’s redlines — or “tripwires” — were being expanded to include a “suspension of operations” option. In the event that violence got worse, operation at the Benghazi consulate were to be canceled and moved to the CIA annex less than a mile away. 

The cable also made it clear that there were at least ten “Islamist militias and Al Qaeda training camps” in and around Benghazi. The cable warned that the consulate could not be defended in the event of a “coordinated attack.”

In other words, Ambassador Stevens and others within the consulate were sitting ducks. 

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