Today, the Independent is reporting shocking details about the attack on the Libyan consulate that resulted in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The details are so explosive that they will result in a Congressional investigation. In fact, they’re so explosive that they should result in the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The only question now: What did Hillary Clinton know, and when did she know it?
Yesterday, we reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was responsible under the law for the “security policies and programs that provide for the protection of all US government personnel … on official duty abroad.” Clinton herself seemed bewildered by the attacks on the Libyan consulate, asking, “How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?”
But according to the Independent, she had no reason to be puzzled. Quoting senior diplomatic sources, the paper reports, “the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted.” Nonetheless, “no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and ‘lockdown,’ under which movement is severely restricted.”
It gets worse. According to security sources, the State Department had greenlit a “health check” at the consulate I preparation for 9/11. Nonetheless, the attackers broke the perimeter within 15 minutes of the Libyan mob forming. Local guards did nothing. One witness reported, “The security people just all ran away and the people in charge were the young men with guns and bombs.” According to sources, the Ambassador died from smoke inhalation after he was trapped in a building set on fire and besieged by rioters.
The Libyan government, for all its supposed regret, seems less than troubled by the whole incident. Wissam Buhmeid, who commands the Tripoli government-sanctioned Shield Brigade, which operates as police in Benghazi, stated, “There were definitely people from the security forces who let the attack happen because they were themselves offended by the film; they would absolutely put their loyalty to the Prophet over the consulate. The deaths are all nothing compared to insulting the Prophet.”
Why wasn’t there better protection at the consulate? Because that’s the way Secretary of State Clinton wanted it; the State Department posted no Marines to the consulate. It was staffed instead by those Libyan “security” forces. The consulate also had “no bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to embassies.”
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, “I am asking my colleagues on the committee to immediately investigate what role al-Qa’ida or its affiliates may have played in the attack and to take appropriate action.”
The story isn’t over in Libya. Violence continues. And classified documents have been stolen from the consulate, reportedly including the names of Libyans working with the Americans. Safe houses across Libya are now unsafe.
Secretary of State Clinton is responsible for the security of our staff, consulates, and embassies abroad. If the Independent‘s report is correct, she has violated the most basic standard of duty. Both she and her boss, President Obama, must be held responsible.