A source with personal knowledge of the security situation in Benghazi told Breitbart News that Senators who listened to closed door testimony about the Benghazi attack were shocked to learn State Department security personnel agents were not immediately armed.
Additionally, agents separated from Ambassador Chris Stevens left to retrieve their M4 weapons in a separate building. Only one returned to protect the Ambassador, while the other two hunkered down in the barracks, the source relayed.
“From the accounts I read, those guys were not ready. When the attack came that night, they had to go back to the other room and grab their weapons. Then the worse part about it was they never even returned to be with the Ambassador. One returned to be with the Ambassador with his rifle. The other two went back to where there were [sic] barracks. And two stayed in that same building where there were radios and other weapons and the safe and other stuff was there.
There were no shots fired in return. On the embassy property, just the embassy property, none of those security agents blasted a single bullet from a single pistol or rifle at all in defense of the Ambassador–nothing.”
Questions as to why the consulate security force was unarmed within the confines of the consulate will likely be asked of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She will be appearing in front of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs according to Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
The source went on to describe, “The Senate hearing was very, very concerned about that and Senator Feinstein (D-CA) was very inquisitive as to what in the Hell was going on,” the source said. “She wanted to know did they issue orders for [the security agents] not to shoot. Now they denied that to her in that meeting and they said, ‘No, we never did that. We never did that. We never issued orders that they should do that.’ “
Up until August, U.S. military forces supplemented State Department security agents at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Standard operating procedure for U.S. military forces guarding the consulate was that men would carry their weapons, a rifle and a side pistol, all day and all night.
If military forces heard a loud explosion or machine gun fire, they could easily grab their rifle, put on their body armor and walk out to their assigned position around the consulate. The situation changed when U.S. military guarding the consolate were forced out of Libya in August.
The source described, “Part of the problem was they never really wanted to fully staff it [consulate], and so the numbers were really low.” He then added, “At one point in time they only had one State Department (security) personnel there in Benghazi. That was in April.”
State Department Security personnel at the Benghazi embassy were each armed with M4 long guns and side pistols. In October, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb testified on Capitol Hill to the House Oversight Committee that during the attack, security agents raced to a separate building to get their weapons and tactical gear but only one of the agents could return to the Ambassador, thereafter.
“Gunfire was heard from multiple locations on the compound. One agent secured Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, the information management officer, in the safe haven, “she said. “The other agents retrieved their M4 submachine guns and other tactical gear from Building B. When they attempted to return to the main building, they encountered armed attackers and doubled back to Building B,” Lamb added.
According to the Breitbart News source, the State Department security agents are “six week temporary duty assignments.”
The source explained, “When they’re there, they are not working together. They don’t know one another. They probably all got there and one guy had been there for two weeks another guy had been there for four and then another three came in from Tripoli. None of them ever worked with each other before. So when a shooting incident occurs, they hunker down and hope and pray that it goes away instead of reacting like a military trained force.”
Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) spokesman responded to these allegations by issuing the following statement. “I’ll just note that Senator Graham wants answers to what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack on our Consulate.”