I’d like to introduce former Navy SEAL Chris Hagerman as our latest contributing editor. We’ll post a full bio for Chris shortly but he has an extensive career in Special Operations and a great reputation, we’re glad to have him on board, please join me in giving him a warm welcome.
It was a planned terrorist attack? It was not premeditated? There were angry protestors outside the consulate? There were no protestors at all? Are any Americans wondering what the hell is going on in Libya?
It appears that the United States political machine is once again confused about the events leading up to the attack in Benghazi and many are leftscratching their head wondering how something like this could happen, when the reality is that the attack was imminent.
What is known is that the four Americans killed in the attack were experienced and seasoned on the ground professionals, unlike the many politicians who have somehow become current experts in overseas security and foreign policy, those of us on the inside know that the attack in Benghazi was not spur of the moment, and that there was actionable intelligence from not only the intelligence community, but the Ambassador himself that may have mitigated or reduced the risk of an attack.
Prior to the attack, Ambassador Stevens had notified the State Department that he had immense concern in hearing of his name being added to an Al Qaeda hit list, of the growing threat and presence of Al Qaeda groups in the area, and of the overall continued security threats in Benghazi. Additionally, the Regional Security Officer at the United States Embassy in Tripoli had made repeated requests for additional security augmentation forces and security measures to be provided to both Tripoli and Benghazi.
The State Departmentdenied these requests and appears to have completely ignored their “leader on the ground.” There is also evidence that there were recommendations made to close the consulate in Benghazi due to the severe threat, however this information was never passed up the chain of command.
Counterterrorism Director Matt Olsen testified Wednesday on Capitol Hill that the attack on the United States Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack. He also stated that origin of the assault may circle back to Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, the White House is sticking to the story that the attack was not premeditated.
Senator Susan Collins, clearly not content with this false information, fired back at Mr. Olsen arguing that the attack should have been anticipated given the multiple amount of particular Al Qaeda linked groups operating in the area and the high threat in that particular environment. As it was to the Senator, it is clear to many Americans that security should have been much tighter.
As if the United States’ Government failures were not bad enough, what then does Libya have to say for itself? They are sorry that they were able to fight off a dictator and his loyal followers, but were unable to come to the defense of Americans supporting their fledgling Government. Instead, there are many reports that Libyan security personnel stood aroundpassively, retreated from attackers, and even assisted the terrorists by pointing out the location of the Ambassador in the safe house.
During a Senate committee hearing, Susan Collins asked whether there were communications between extremist elements and Libyan security guards. Mr. Olsen replied “I think it would be better addressed in the (closed, classified) session that we’re going to have tomorrow”.
Through all of the murky, politically correct red-tape, one truth is clear; these Americans fought alone for hours with no one coming to their aid, neither American troop nor Libyan security forces. They gave their lives supporting and defending each other.
Reports are that the two security personnel, both prior Navy SEALs, fought valiantly and did not give up the fight even as attackers came at them from all directions. So America, it is time to ensure that we learn from the events that took place in Libya, and honor the sacrifice of these brave warriors.
(Featured Image Courtesy: Reuters)