NOVEMBER 01, 2013
The State Department paid an inexperienced and virtually unknown foreign company $794,264 for nearly 50,000 guard hours to protect the U.S. mission in Benghazi, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
Media outlets have reported an estimated amount of around $783,000 to $783,284 based on “miscellaneous” federal contract data, but the exact figure has not been disclosed until now. In fact, the Benghazi security deal was not listed as part of the large master State Department contract that covers protection for overseas embassies, according to a mainstream media outlet.
Judicial Watch obtained the files as part of an ongoing investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack and subsequent cover-up by the Obama administration. On September 11, 2012 Islamic jihadists raided the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the first diplomat to be killed overseas in decades, and three other Americans were murdered in the violent incident.
The Obama administration has worked hard to keep details of the attack—and the negligence that led to it—from the American public, but JW has gone to court and filed a number of public records requests to expose the truth. JW has also published two in-depth special reports on Benghazi, the last one on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. Read the special reports here and here.
This latest batch of documents obtained by JW includes the actual contract between the Obama State Department and the untested British firm, Blue Mountain Group, hired to secure the U.S. compound. The deal is for one year and includes very specific requirements for things like foot patrols, package inspection, contingency and mobilization planning. The total guard force was 45,880 with an additional 1,376 guards for “emergency services,” the contract shows. It also includes one vehicle and 12 radio networks.
The guards were responsible for protecting the U.S. government personnel, facilities and equipment from damage or loss, the contract states. “The local guard force shall prevent unauthorized access; protect life; maintain order; deter criminal attacks against employees; dependents and property terrorist acts against all U.S. assets and prevent damage to government property.” Clearly the firm failed miserably to fulfill its contractual obligation.
Why would the Obama administration hire this obscure and unproven British firm to protect American interests in a dangerous North African country long known to be infested with terrorists? British government sources cited in a national news story reveal that even they were unfamiliar with Blue Mountain and in fact the Brits use a different—certainly more competent—security company to protect their mission in Libya.
It’s not like the State Department wasn’t aware of the eminent dangers in Benghazi. In fact, a scathing report recently issued by an independent panel of security and intelligence experts discloses that the State Department has long known that weak security at American embassies and consulates worldwide could result in a tragedy like Benghazi yet senior officials have failed to act. Benghazi was simply the latest in a long string of security failures that date back more than a decade, according to the probe.
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