Eric Nordstrom says his Libyan security requests were ignored
With new details emerging by the day on the Libyan consulate attack I thought I’d type an update to the ongoing investigation. In addition, to the details revealed last Friday and in the last two days startling information are emerging through the Oversight Committee investigation. A State Department officer who worked in Libya has told congressional investigators he requested more security for the consulate in Benghazi months before it came under attack but that he received no reply from Washington.
Eric Nordstrom, regional security official at the Tripoli Embassy until July, told investigators he sent two memos to the State Department in March and July, requesting more diplomatic security agents for the Benghazi consulate. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., stated: “there was a clear disconnect between what security officials on the ground felt they needed and what officials in Washington approved.” Jake Tapper, ABC News Senior White House Correspondent, has learned that Eric Nordstrom has told congressional investigators that security at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was “inappropriately low” – and believed that State Department officials stood in the way of his attempts to change that.
Lt. Col. Andre Wood, a former Army Green Beret who was part of a special embassy security team in Libya, told CBS News that he met daily with Stevens and that the ambassador was worried about potential risks in the postwar turmoil. Apparently there was pressure from Washington to “reduce the number of security people there.” Even though the State Department said there wasn’t a budget cut. Wood said his 16 team members and a separate six-member State Department security force withdrew in August from Tripoli.
The State Department has said there were no protests before the Libyan attack. When asked if budget cuts had anything to do with security decisions, State Department’s Charlene Lamb said “No, sir.” When Wood heard of the September 11 attack he instantly knew it was a terrorist attack. He states he knew: “Mainly because of my prior knowledge there…I almost expected the attack to come. We were the last flag flying. It was a matter of time.”. They believed that the “safe house” was adequate protection. The ambassador ultimately was killed from a lethal dose of gas thrown into the “haven.”
Furthermore, the State Department denies linking the Libyan attack to the anti-Muslim video. Both the State Department and intelligence officers emphatically state there never was a link between the two events.
So the big questions remain:
Why did the administration deem the security detail for the ambassador as adequate in a hostile country on the anniversary of 9/11?
And, who told the administration there was a link between the attack and the video?
I’m looking forward to these answers. Hopefully we get them before the election.
*If you’d like more information on the attack you can visit these articles contributed by ABC News’ Jake Tapper:
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate