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Judicial Watch Benghazi Special Report

Judicial Watch Benghazi Special Report

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Judicial Watch Special Report:
The Benghazi Attack September 11, 2012
Analysis Further Questions from Diplomatic Security Service
Regional Security Officer and Special Agent
January 22, 2013
Judicial atch 425 Street, Suite 800 ashington, 20024
Tel: 202-646-5172 www.JudicialW info@ judicialw
Judicial	 Watch	 promotes	 transparency,	 integrity	 and	 accountability	 government,	 politics	 and	 
the	 law.	 carry	 out	 mission	 through	 investigations,	 research,	 litigation	 and	 public	 education.	 	 From	 
time	 time	 produce	 Special	 Reports	 important	 public	 policy	 matters	 illuminate	 the	 operations	 government	 way	 that	 informs	 the	 public	 and	 holds	 our	 trusted	 public	 servants	 accountable.	 have	 prepared	 this	 Special	 Report	 with	 the	 analysis,	 insights	 and	 expertise	 Mr.	 Raymond	 
Fournier,	 recently	 retired	 Diplomatic	 Security	 Service	 Special	 Agent	 with	 more	 than	 thirty	 years	 
extraordinary	 experience	 managing	 all	 aspects	 security,	 include	 being	 Regional	 Security	 Officer	 
United	 States	 Embassies	 such	 countries	 as:	 Honduras,	 Sierra	 Leone,	 Belgium,	 and	 Lebanon	 well	 
other	 sensitive	 overseas	 postings	 include	 Afghanistan	 and	 Israel.	 Specifically,	 Mr.	 Fournier	 possesses	 
expertise	 in:	 assessing	 and	 managing	 risk;	 developing	 and	 executing	 security	 budgets	 and	 plans;	 
organizing	 dignitary	 protection	 details;	 well	 technical,	 procedural	 security	 development	 and	 
implementation	 augment	 physical	 security.	 	 Mr.	 Fournier	 assistance	 has	 been	 invaluable.	 
Judicial	 Watch	 has	 opened	 its	 own	 investigation	 the	 Benghazi	 attack.	 	 Our	 staff	 
investigators	 and	 researchers	 includes	 former	 intelligence	 officers,	 analysts,	 military	 officers,	 attorneys,	 
and	 journalists.	 	 Judicial	 Watch	 has	 more	 than	 ten	 (10)	 Freedom	 Information	 Act	 (FOIA)	 requests	 
pending	 with	 various	 Executive	 departments	 and	 agencies	 seeking	 all	 manner	 records	 relating	 the	 
attack.	 are	 prepared	 file	 lawsuits	 the	 United	 States	 District	 Court	 for	 the	 District	 Columbia	 
compel	 the	 Obama	 administration	 comply	 with	 the	 FOIA	 law	 and	 release	 the	 records	 seek.	 the	 
interim,	 pursue	 additional	 avenues	 investigation	 effort	 provide	 the	 American	 people	 with	 
complete,	 accurate,	 factual	 information	 concerning	 deadly	 attack	 costing	 the	 lives	 United	 States	 
Ambassador	 Christopher	 Stevens	 and	 three	 additional	 brave	 Americans.	 
Thomas	 Fitton	 	 
January	 22,	 2013	 
Background	 9:40	 p.m.	 the	 evening	 September	 11,	 2012,	 group	 approximately	 150	 heavily	 armed	 
Islamist	 militia	 members	 attacked	 the	 United	 States 	 diplomatic	 mission	 Benghazi,	 Libya.	 	 The	 ensuing hour	 assault	 the	 Special	 Mission	 Compound	 (SMC,	 and	 hereafter:	 Compound	 and	 the	 nearby	 CIA	 
annex	 claimed	 the	 lives	 four	 Americans:	 Ambassador	 Christopher	 Stevens,	 U.S.	 Foreign	 Service	 
Specialist	 Sean	 Smith,	 and	 former	 Navy	 SEALS	 Glen	 Doherty	 and	 Tyrone	 Woods.	 	 Stevens,	 who	 had	 
previously	 served	 the	 U.S.	 Special	 Envoy	 the	 Libyan	 Transitional	 National	 Council,	 was	 the	 first	 
Ambassador	 killed	 the	 line	 duty	 since	 the	 1979	 shooting	 Ambassador	 Adolph	 Dubs	 Kabul,	 
Afghanistan.	 the	 aftermath	 the	 attack,	 President	 Obama	 and	 senior	 administration	 officials	 were	 quick	 identify	 Muslim	 outrage	 over	 obscure	 Internet	 video	 mocking	 Mohammed	 the	 motivation	 for	 
the	 attacki.	 September	 12th	 statement	 about	 the	 incident,	 the	 President	 remarked,	 Since	 our	 
founding,	 the	 United	 States	 has	 been	 nation	 that	 respects	 all	 faiths.	 reject	 all	 efforts	 denigrate	 
the	 religious	 beliefs	 others.	 September	 14,	 2012	 event	 honoring	 the	 four	 victims,	 Secretary	 State	 Hilary	 Clinton	 
stated,	 seen	 the	 heavy	 assault	 our	 post	 Benghazi	 that	 took	 the	 lives	 those	 brave	 men.	 seen	 rage	 and	 violence	 directed	 American	 embassies	 over	 awful	 Internet	 video	 that	 had	 
nothing	 with. iii	 	 	 
Those	 Libya	 did	 not	 share	 this	 theory.	 	 During	 September	 15th	 television	 interview,	 Libyan	 
President	 Mohamed	 al- Magarief	 observed	 that,	 clear	 from	 the	 timing	 September	 11th	 and	 from	 
the	 detailed	 planning	 the	 attacks	 that	 behind	 there	 were	 experienced	 masterminds.	 was	 not	 
spontaneous	 act	 protest	 movie.	 	 This	 has	 been	 prepared	 for	 long	 time	 this	 specific	 day.	 
you	 take	 into	 account	 the	 weapons	 used,	 like	 RPGs	 and	 other	 heavy	 weapons,	 proves	 that	 was	 
preplanned.	 dirty	 act	 revenge,	 and	 has	 nothing	 with	 religion.	 
Nevertheless,	 top	 administration	 officials	 continued	 claim	 that	 the	 attack	 was	 spontaneous	 
and	 the	 result	 the	 video.	 	 During	 September	 16th	 television	 interview,	 U.S.	 Ambassador	 the	 
United	 Nations	 Susan	 Rice	 infamously	 assessed	 the	 situation	 follows:	 
 There	 was	 hateful	 video	 that	 was	 disseminated	 the	 Internet.	 had	 nothing	 with	 the	 
United	 States	 government	 and	 its	 one	 that	 find	 disgusting	 and	 reprehensible.	 Its	 been	 
offensive	 many,	 many	 people	 around	 the	 world.	 	 That	 sparked	 violence	 various	 parts	 the	 
world,	 including	 violence	 directed	 against	 western	 facilities	 including	 our	 embassies	 and	 
consulates.	 That	 violence	 absolutely	 unacceptable,	 its	 not	 response	 that	 one	 can	 ever	 
condone	 when	 comes	 such	 video.	 And	 have	 been	 working	 very	 closely	 and,	 indeed,	 
effectively	 with	 the	 governments	 the	 region	 and	 around	 the	 world	 secure	 our	 personnel,	 
secure	 our	 embassy,	 condemn	 the	 violent	 response	 this	 video.	 September	 18,	 2012	 press	 conference,	 White	 House	 spokesman	 Jay	 Carney	 told	 reporters	 
that,	 based	 what	 knew	 the	 time,	 knew	 initially,	 what	 know	 now,	 the	 facts	 that	 have,	 
the	 video	 was	 precipitating	 cause	 the	 unrest	 the	 region	 and	 specifically	 Libya.	 	 	 
President	 Obama	 continued	 link	 the	 attack	 the	 video	 September	 25th,	 telling	 his	 
audience	 the	 United	 Nations,	 time	 when	 anyone	 with	 cell	 phone	 can	 spread	 offensive	 views	 
around	 the	 world	 with	 the	 click	 button,	 the	 notion	 that	 can	 control	 the	 flow	 information	 
obsolete.	 The	 question,	 then,	 how	 respond?	 	 And	 this	 must	 agree:	 There	 speech	 
that	 justifies	 mindless	 violence.	 There	 are	 words	 that	 excuse	 the	 killing	 innocents.	 Theres	 video	 
that	 justifies	 attack	 embassy. vii	 
Eventually,	 the	 administration	 was	 forced	 acknowledge	 what	 many	 observers	 knew	 from	 the	 
beginning- 	 that	 the	 attack	 Benghazi	 was	 neither	 spontaneous	 nor	 the	 result	 Internet	 video.	 
September	 28th,	 the	 Office	 the	 Director	 National	 Intelligence	 reported	 that	 their	 revised	 
assessment	 had	 determined	 be,	 deliberate	 and	 organized	 terrorist	 attack	 carried	 out	 
extremists 	 and	 that,	 some	 those	 involved	 were	 linked	 groups	 affiliated	 with,	 sympathetic	 al- 
Qaida. viii	 
ARB	 Report/Summary	 Findings	 required	 the	 Omnibus	 Diplomatic	 and	 Antiterrorism	 Act	 1986,	 the	 State	 Department	 
convened	 Accountability	 Review	 Board	 (ARB,	 and	 hereafter	 Board	 investigate	 the	 attack	 
October	 2012.ix	 Secretary	 Clinton	 chose	 former	 Ambassador	 Thomas	 Pickering	 chair	 the	 board.	 	 
Pickering	 also	 member	 the	 advisory	 board	 the	 National	 Iranian	 American	 Council	 (NIAC)x,	 left- 
wing	 advocacy	 group	 that	 opposes	 the	 imposition	 economic	 sanctions	 against	 Iran	 and	 that,	 the	 
estimation	 national	 security	 expert	 Kenneth	 Timmerman,	 has	 been	 lobbying	 Congress	 win	 support	 
for	 agenda	 that	 mirrors	 the	 goals	 the	 Tehran	 regime.	 2009,	 former	 FBI	 counterterrorism	 
agent	 Kenneth	 Piernick	 reported	 that	 the	 group,	 may	 lobbying	 behalf	 Iranian	 government	 
interests.	 	 Were	 running	 the	 counterintelligence	 program	 the	 bureau	 now,	 would	 have	 cause	 
look	 into	 this	 further. xii	 her	 2009	 paper	 Rise	 the	 Iran	 Lobby,	 published	 the	 Center	 for	 Security	 Policy,	 former	 CIA	 
officer	 Clare	 Lopez	 wrote	 that,	 Ambassador	 Pickering	 positions	 Iran	 include	 calls	 for	 bilateral	 talks	 
without	 preconditions	 and	 plan	 for	 multinational	 uranium	 enrichment	 consortium	 Iran.	 Iran	 has	 
proposed	 similar	 plan	 the	 Security	 Council.	 Ambassador	 Pickering	 advocates	 process	 leading	 
mutual	 diplomatic	 relations	 between	 Iran	 and	 the	 United	 States.	 also	 cites	 positive	 experiences	 
tourist	 Iran,	 where	 recalls	 that	 ordinary	 Iranians	 the	 streets	 expressed	 friendliness	 towards	 
him. xiii	 
The	 other	 members	 the	 Board	 were	 former	 Chairman	 the	 Joint	 Chiefs	 Staff	 Admiral	 
Michael	 Mullen,	 former	 United	 Nations	 Undersecretary	 for	 Management	 Catherine	 Bertini,	 former	 State	 
Department	 Interim	 Director	 Overseas	 Building	 Operations	 Richard	 Shinnick,	 and	 former	 Deputy	 CIA	 
Director	 Hugh	 Turner.	 	 Despite	 State	 Department	 regulations	 requiring	 that	 Board	 members,	 must	 
possess	 expertise	 that	 will	 contribute	 the	 work	 the	 Board,	 e.g.,	 knowledge,	 experience	 
training	 areas	 such	 foreign	 affairs,	 law,	 security,	 embassy	 construction,	 intelligence,	 and	 other	 
areas	 appropriate	 the	 Board	 work, xiv	 security	 professionals	 were	 selected	 the	 board	 
convened	 investigate	 the	 Benghazi	 attack.	 December	 18th,	 the	 Board	 released	 the	 unclassified	 version	 its	 final	 report	 regarding	 the	 
attack	 Benghazi.	 	 The	 report	 highlights	 myriad	 failures	 State	 Department	 officials	 and	 contains	 
five	 key	 findings:	 The	 attacks	 were	 security	 related,	 involving	 arson,	 small	 arms	 and	 machine	 gun	 fire,	 and	 the	 
use	 RPGs,	 grenades,	 and	 mortars	 against	 U.S.	 personnel	 two	 separate	 facilities	 	 the	 SMC	 
and	 the	 Annex and	 route	 between	 them.	 Systemic	 failures	 and	 leadership	 and	 management	 deficiencies	 senior	 levels	 within	 two	 
bureaus	 the	 State	 Department	 resulted	 Special	 Mission	 security	 posture	 that	 was	 
inadequate	 for	 Benghazi	 and	 grossly	 inadequate	 deal	 with	 the	 attack	 that	 took	 place.	 Notwithstanding	 the	 proper	 implementation	 security	 systems	 and	 procedures	 and	 
remarkable	 heroism	 shown	 American	 personnel,	 those	 systems	 and	 the	 Libyan	 response	 fell	 
short	 the	 face	 series	 attacks	 that	 began	 with	 the	 sudden	 penetration	 the	 Special	 
Mission	 compound	 dozens	 armed	 attackers.	 Intelligence	 provided	 immediate,	 specific	 tactical	 warning	 the	 September	 attacks.	 Certain	 senior	 State	 Department	 officials	 within	 two	 bureaus	 demonstrated	 lack	 
proactive	 leadership	 and	 management	 ability	 their	 responses	 security	 concerns	 posed	 
Special	 Mission	 Benghazi,	 given	 the	 deteriorating	 threat	 environment	 and	 the	 lack	 reliable	 
host	 government	 protection.xv	 	 
Notably,	 the	 report	 contradicts	 the	 earlier	 claims	 administration	 officials	 that	 the	 attacks	 
resulted	 from	 protest	 that	 escalated	 into	 violence.	 	 The	 Board,	 concluded	 that	 there	 was	 protest	 
prior	 the	 attacks,	 which	 were	 unanticipated	 their	 scale	 and	 intensity. 	 
Despite	 its	 finding	 that	 security	 the	 Compound	 was,	 grossly	 inadequate, 	 that	 State	 
Department	 officials	 demonstrated	 lack	 proactive	 leadership	 and	 management	 ability, 	 and	 that	 
 systemic	 failures	 and	 leadership	 and	 management	 deficiencies 	 led	 the	 inadequacy	 the	 security	 
posture	 the	 compound,	 the	 board	 incredibly	 reported	 that	 it,	 did	 not	 find	 reasonable	 cause	 
determine	 that	 any	 individual	 U.S.	 government	 employee	 breached	 his	 her	 duty. 	 
The	 extent	 which	 the	 unclassified	 version	 the	 report	 that	 was	 released	 the	 public	 omits	 
pertinent	 information	 about	 the	 attack	 has	 also	 drawn	 congressional	 scrutiny.	 	 Shortly	 after	 its	 release,	 
House	 Oversight	 and	 Government	 Reform	 Committee	 Chairman	 Rep.	 Darrel	 Issa	 told	 reporters	 that	 
was,	 deeply	 concerned	 that	 the	 unclassified	 report	 omits	 important	 information	 the	 public	 has	 right	 know.	 	 This	 includes	 details	 about	 the	 perpetrators	 the	 attack	 Libya	 well	 the	 less- than-	 
noble	 reasons	 contributing	 State	 Department	 decisions	 deny	 security	 resources.	 Relevant	 details	 
that	 would	 not	 harm	 national	 security	 have	 been	 withheld	 and	 the	 classified	 report	 suffers	 from	 
enormous	 over- classification	 problem.xvi	 
Advance	 Warning	 
Congressional	 testimony	 senior	 State	 Department	 officials	 and	 other	 evidence	 that	 has	 come	 light	 since	 September	 demonstrate	 that,	 the	 months	 before	 the	 attack,	 the	 government	 had	 ample	 
reason	 believe	 that	 the	 security	 situation	 Benghazi	 was	 deteriorating	 rapidly.	 	 The	 Board	 report	 
identified	 specific	 security	 incidents	 involving	 the	 Compound,	 international	 organizations,	 non- 
governmental	 organizations,	 and	 other	 diplomatic	 facilities	 2012.	 	 These	 include	 bomb	 being	 thrown	 
over	 the	 perimeter	 wall	 the	 Compound	 April,	 improvised	 explosive	 device	 (IED)	 attack	 against	 
the	 motorcade	 the	 Special	 Envoy	 Libya,	 RPG	 attack	 against	 Red	 Cross	 facility,	 the	 
kidnappings	 several	 aid	 workers,	 and	 RPG	 attack	 against	 the	 British	 Ambassador	 convoy.	 June	 2012,	 IED	 attack	 targeting	 the	 Compound	 blasted	 large	 hole	 its	 exterior	 wall.	 security	 
contractor	 the	 U.S.	 African	 Command	 presciently	 reported	 July	 2012,	 Benghazi	 has	 seen	 notable	 
increase	 violence	 recent	 months,	 particularly	 against	 international	 targets.	 	 These	 events	 point	 
strong	 anti- Western	 sentiments	 among	 certain	 segments	 the	 population,	 the	 willingness	 Salafi- 
jihadi	 groups	 the	 city	 openly	 engage	 violence	 against	 foreign	 targets,	 and	 their	 capacity	 carry	 
out	 these	 attacks. xvii	 addition	 these	 overt	 incidents,	 U.S.	 intelligence	 agencies	 issued	 numerous	 classified	 reports	 
documenting	 the	 dangerous	 situation	 Benghazi	 the	 months	 preceding	 the	 attack.	 	 The	 Senate	 
Committee	 Homeland	 Security	 and	 Governmental	 Affairs 	 December	 30,	 2012	 report	 regarding	 
Benghazi	 noted,	 
 The	 Committee	 has	 reviewed	 dozens	 classified	 intelligence	 reports	 the	 evolution	 threats	 Libya	 which	 were	 issued	 between	 February	 2011	 and	 September	 11,	 2012.	 are	 precluded	 this	 report	 from	 discussing	 the	 information	 detail,	 but	 overall,	 these	 intelligence	 reports	 (as	 
the	 ARB	 similarly	 noted)	 provide	 clear	 and	 vivid	 picture	 rapidly	 deteriorating	 threat	 
environment	 eastern	 Libya one	 that	 believe	 should	 have	 been	 sufficient	 inform	 
policymakers	 the	 growing	 danger	 U.S.	 facilities	 and	 personnel	 that	 part	 the	 country	 
and	 the	 urgency	 them	 doing	 something	 about	 it. xviii	 
State	 Department	 personnel	 Libya	 were	 well	 aware	 the	 escalating	 violence	 Benghazi	 and	 
the	 potential	 threat	 posed	 the	 U.S.	 Diplomatic	 mission	 there.	 several	 occasions,	 our	 diplomats	 Libya	 requested	 additional	 security	 resources	 address	 the	 growing	 threat;	 tragically,	 those	 requests	 
were	 not	 honored.	 October	 2012	 letter	 Secretary	 Clinton,	 House	 Oversight	 and	 Government	 
Reform	 Committee	 Chairman	 Rep.	 Darrell	 Issa	 (R- CA)	 and	 Subcommittee	 National	 Security,	 
Homeland	 Defense,	 and	 Foreign	 Operations	 Chairman	 Rep.	 Jason	 Chaffetz	 (R- UT)	 wrote	 that,	 multiple	 
U.S.	 federal	 government	 official	 have	 confirmed	 the	 Committee	 that,	 prior	 the	 September	 
attack,	 the	 U.S.	 mission	 Libya	 made	 repeated	 requests	 for	 increased	 security	 Benghazi.	 	 The	 mission	 Libya,	 however,	 was	 denied	 these	 resources	 officials	 Washington. xix	 
The	 State	 Department	 was	 clearly	 aware	 the	 security	 situation	 Libya,	 evidenced	 the	 
fact	 that	 the	 danger	 pay	 allowance	 for	 diplomats	 stationed	 there	 was	 increased	 from	 percent	 
percent	 July	 15,	 2012.xx	 	 Nevertheless,	 the	 ARB	 found,	 the	 number	 Bureau	 Diplomatic	 
Security	 (DS)	 security	 staff	 Benghazi	 the	 day	 the	 attack	 and	 the	 months	 and	 weeks	 leading	 was	 inadequate,	 despite	 repeated	 requests	 from	 Special	 Mission	 Benghazi	 and	 Embassy	 Tripoli	 for	 
additional	 staffing.	 Board	 members	 found	 pervasive	 realization	 among	 personnel	 who	 served	 
Benghazi	 that	 the	 Special	 Mission	 was	 not	 high	 priority	 for	 Washington	 when	 came	 security- 
related	 requests,	 especially	 those	 relating	 staffing.	 
Despite	 the	 self- evident	 fact	 that	 the	 security	 resources	 dedicated	 the	 Compound	 Benghazi	 
were	 insufficient,	 State	 Department	 officials	 continued	 defend	 their	 staffing	 decisions	 the	 
aftermath	 the	 attack.	 	 Under	 questioning	 Rep.	 Darrell	 Issa	 during	 House	 Oversight	 and	 
Government	 Reform	 Committee	 hearing	 investigating	 the	 attack,	 State	 Department	 Deputy	 Assistant	 
Secretary	 for	 International	 Programs	 Charlene	 Lamb	 asserted,	 had	 the	 correct	 number	 assets	 
Benghazi	 the	 time	 9/11. xxi	 	 According	 published	 reports,	 the	 Regional	 Security	 Officer	 Libya,	 
Eric	 Nordstrom,	 told	 Congressional	 investigators	 that	 Lamb,	 wanted	 keep	 the	 number	 U.S.	 
security	 personnel	 Benghazi	 artificially	 low. xxii	 
The	 day	 after	 the	 release	 the	 Board	 report,	 numerous	 media	 outlets	 reported	 that	 four	 
State	 Department	 officials	 responsible	 for	 the	 management	 and	 security	 the	 Compound	 Benghazi	 
had	 resigned.	 	 Three	 were	 identified	 Assistant	 Secretary	 State	 Eric	 Boswell,	 Charlene	 Lamb,	 and	 
Deputy	 Assistant	 Secretary	 State	 Raymond	 Maxwell.xxiii	 the	 weeks	 that	 followed,	 however,	 
became	 unclear	 whether	 the	 officials	 had	 really	 resigned	 even	 faced	 any	 significant	 disciplinary	 
measures.	 December	 26th,	 the	 New	 York	 Post	 reported	 that,	 The	 highest- ranking	 official	 caught	 the	 scandal,	 Assistant	 Secretary	 State	 Eric	 Boswell,	 has	 not	 resigned	 from	 government	 service,	 
officials	 said	 last	 week.	 just	 switching	 desks.	 And	 the	 other	 three	 are	 simply	 administrative	 leave	 
and	 are	 expected	 back.xxiv	 	 	 
The	 uncertainty	 over	 the	 situation	 has	 outraged	 least	 one	 member	 Congress.	 the	 day	 
the	 Posts	 report,	 House	 Foreign	 Affairs	 Committee	 Chairwoman	 Rep.	 Ileana	 Ros- Lehtinen	 (R- FL)	 told	 
reporters,	 State	 Department	 officials	 proclaimed	 the	 world	 that	 heads	 would	 roll	 after	 the	 deception	 
related	 the	 deceitful	 video	 excuse	 and	 the	 non- existent	 spontaneous	 protest	 outside	 the	 consulate.	 
Now	 see	 that	 the	 discipline	 lie	 and	 all	 that	 has	 happened	 the	 shuffling	 the	 deck	 chairs.xxv	 
The	 State	 Department	 has	 given	 only	 vague	 and	 evasive	 descriptions	 the	 officials	 current	 
status,	 reporting	 that	 Boswell	 had	 resigned	 Assistant	 Secretary	 Diplomatic	 Security	 but	 declining	 
comment	 his	 current	 duties.	 	 According	 State	 Department	 spokesman,	 The	 Secretary	 has	 
accepted	 Eric	 Boswells	 decision	 resign	 Assistant	 Secretary	 for	 Diplomatic	 Security,	 effective	 
immediately.	 The	 other	 three	 individuals	 have	 been	 relieved	 their	 current	 duties.	 All	 four	 individuals	 
have	 been	 placed	 administrative	 leave	 pending	 further	 action.xxvi	 	 
Additional	 Questions	 Raised	 
The	 degree	 which	 State	 Department	 officials	 are	 guilty	 the	 systemic	 failures	 and	 
leadership	 and	 management	 deficiencies	 Benghazi	 just	 one	 the	 unresolved	 issues	 regarding	 the	 
event.	 	 According	 analysis	 conducted	 exclusively	 for	 Judicial	 Watch	 former	 State	 Department	 
Diplomatic	 Security	 Special	 Agent	 Raymond	 Fournier,	 the	 Board	 report	 leaves	 number	 critical	 
questions	 unanswered.	 Who	 the	 Department	 State	 was	 responsible	 for	 opening	 and	 continuing	 the	 operation	 the	 
 Special	 Mission	 Compound	 the	 unstable	 environment	 Benghazi,	 overriding	 physical	 security	 
standards	 for	 diplomatic	 facilities?	 Special	 Agent	 Fourniers	 assessment,	 the	 most	 critical	 error	 leading	 the	 deadly	 attack	 
Benghazi	 was,	 the	 Departments	 unexplained	 decision	 create	 new	 category	 diplomatic	 structure,	 
i.e.	 the	 Special	 Mission	 Compound,	 for	 the	 purpose	 of,	 skirting	 the	 established	 physical	 security	 
standards	 for	 embassies	 and	 consulates	 around	 the	 world.	 describes	 the	 level	 security	 the	 
Compound	 as,	 meeting	 slightly	 exceeding	 the	 established	 security	 standards	 for	 residence	 (not	 
diplomatic	 mission	 workplace)	 high	 critical	 threat	 environment.	 	 	 
Diplomatic	 personnel	 Benghazi	 were	 apparently	 aware	 these	 shortcomings.	 August	 16,	 
2012	 cable	 summarizing	 emergency	 meeting	 held	 the	 previous	 day	 reported	 that	 the	 State	 
Departments	 Regional	 Security	 Officer,	 expressed	 concerns	 with	 the	 ability	 defend	 Post	 the	 event	 coordinated	 attack	 due	 limited	 manpower,	 security	 measures,	 weapons	 capabilities,	 host	 nation	 
support,	 and	 the	 overall	 size	 the	 compoundxxvii	 
The	 unique	 designation	 our	 diplomatic	 outpost	 Benghazi	 and	 the	 inadequate	 security	 
posture	 that	 designation	 allowed	 posed	 unique	 concerns	 with	 regard	 the	 safeguarding	 classified	 
information.	 	 Fournier	 notes	 that,	 one	 can	 reasonably	 assume	 that	 the	 Compound	 contained	 classified	 
documents	 and/or	 classified	 communications	 equipment.	 	 However,	 self- evident	 that	 the	 
Compound	 failed	 meet	 security	 standards	 required	 all	 diplomatic	 facilities	 regarding	 the	 minimum	 
stand- off	 time	 required	 for	 cleared	 American	 staff	 destroy	 classified	 holdings	 and	 equipment.	 	 The	 
Board	 report	 contains	 details	 regarding	 the	 classified	 documents	 and	 equipment	 that	 may	 have	 been	 
lost	 during	 the	 attack.	 
Regarding	 the	 consequences	 the	 unique	 SMC 	 designation	 applied	 the	 Compound	 
Benghazi,	 the	 Board	 report	 notes	 that,	 
Another	 key	 driver	 behind	 the	 weak	 security	 platform	 Benghazi	 was	 the	 decision	 treat	 
Benghazi	 temporary,	 residential	 facility.	 even	 though	 was	 also	 full	 time	 office	 facility.	 
This	 resulted	 the	 Special	 Mission	 Compound	 being	 excepted	 from	 office	 facility	 standards	 and	 
accountability.	 comprehensive	 upgrade	 and	 risk- mitigation	 plan	 did	 not	 exist,	 nor	 was	 there	 comprehensive	 security	 review	 conducted	 Washington	 for	 Benghazi	 2012.	 The	 unique	 
circumstances	 surrounding	 the	 creation	 the	 mission	 Benghazi	 temporary	 mission	 
outside	 the	 realm	 permanent	 diplomatic	 posts	 resulted	 significant	 disconnects	 and	 support	 
Because	 the	 Benghazi	 mission	 appears	 have	 been	 designated	 SMC 	 something	 
anomalous	 amongst	 the	 Departments	 inventory	 approximately	 285	 embassies	 and	 consulates	 
worldwide- 	 for	 the	 purpose	 evading	 appropriate	 security	 protocols,	 the	 question	 what	 State	 
Department	 official	 authorized	 the	 leasing	 the	 house	 utilized	 the	 Compound	 critically	 
important.	 	 The	 Board	 reported	 that	 State	 Department	 Undersecretary	 for	 Management	 Patrick	 
Kennedy,	 approved	 one	 year	 continuation	 the	 U.S.	 Special	 Mission	 Benghazi	 December	 2011.	 Fournier	 points	 out,	 however,	 	 
the	 Board	 failed	 identify	 the	 person	 persons	 within	 the	 Department	 responsible	 for	 leasing	 
the	 unsecured	 house	 otherwise	 known	 SMC	 Benghazi	 the	 first	 place,	 i.e.,	 before	 its	 
operation	 was	 continued	 December	 2011.	 	 Arguably	 the	 organizational	 entity	 within	 the	 
department	 that	 had	 the	 authority	 continue	 the	 U.S.	 Mission	 Benghazi	 was	 the	 same	 entity	 
that	 initiated	 the	 mission	 leasing	 the	 house.	 review	 the	 Departments	 organizational	 
chart	 reflects	 that	 the	 Undersecretary	 for	 Management	 has	 the	 Bureau	 Diplomatic	 Security	 
and	 the	 Bureau	 Overseas	 Buildings	 under	 its	 authority.	 	 Therefore,	 can	 reasonably	 assume	 
that	 Undersecretary	 Kennedy	 approved	 the	 initial	 lease.	 
Fournier	 also	 questions	 the	 Departments	 decision	 depart	 from	 accepted	 practice	 
contracting	 with	 local	 militia	 group	 loosely	 connected	 central	 government	 forces	 provide	 
security	 for	 the	 Compound.	 	 The	 militia,	 February	 Martyrs	 Brigade,	 had	 been	 one	 several	 militias	 
that	 participated	 the	 overthrow	 the	 Qaddafi	 regime.	 	 This,	 according	 Fournier,	 led	 Department	 
officials	 use	 old	 paradigm,	 enemys	 enemy	 friend,	 trust	 the	 February	 Martyrs	 
Brigade	 protect	 American	 lives	 and	 property.	 	 During	 the	 attack,	 however,	 the	 militia	 members	 
failed	 respond	 repeated	 calls	 for	 assistance.	 Did	 the	 Director	 Diplomatic	 Security	 his	 immediate	 subordinates	 have	 authority	 countermand	 
the	 Department	 desire	 open	 SMC	 Benghazi?	 noted,	 the	 decision	 lease	 the	 Compound	 Benghazi	 and	 the	 approving	 authority	 for	 
security	 and	 staffing	 decisions	 was	 Undersecretary	 Kennedy.	 	 What	 remains	 unknown,	 however,	 
whether	 security	 professionals	 within	 the	 State	 Department	 advised	 against	 this	 action;	 what	 their	 initial	 
recommendations	 for	 appropriate	 security	 measures	 were;	 the	 extent	 which	 Department	 
management	 took	 those	 recommendations	 under	 advisement;	 and,	 whether	 the	 Director	 Diplomatic	 
Security	 had	 the	 authority	 prevent	 the	 opening	 the	 Compound.	 
After	 almost	 two	 decades	 Diplomatic	 Security	 Agent,	 Fournier	 identifies	 systemic	 cultural	 
problems	 within	 the	 Department	 that	 hinder	 the	 efforts	 the	 security	 professionals	 keep	 our	 
diplomats	 safe:	 far- reaching	 idea	 touched	 upon	 the	 Board	 report	 suggested	 that	 the	 Department	 
reexamine	 reorganization	 with	 emphasis	 span	 control	 for	 security	 policy	 planning	 
for	 all	 overseas	 U.S.	 diplomatic	 facilities.	 Although	 good	 recommendation	 matter	 
academic	 discussion,	 the	 reality	 that	 the	 Department	 has	 historically	 not	 seen	 equal	 
partners	 the	 day- to- day	 pursuit	 diplomacy.	 Frequently,	 security	 policy	 and	 standards	 are	 set	 
aside	 inconvenient,	 restraining,	 time- consuming	 simply	 less	 important	 relative	 loftier	 
foreign	 	 policy	 goals	 prosecuted	 the	 Departments	 elite.	 One	 need	 further	 than	 Benghazi	 see	 example	 the	 aforementioned	 managerial	 arrogance	 within	 the	 Department.	 Why	 did	 Ambassador	 Stevens	 travel	 Benghazi,	 close	 the	 anniversary	 the	 September	 11,	 
2001	 attacks?	 noted	 above,	 the	 extreme	 risk	 anti- Western	 violence	 Benghazi	 was	 well	 know	 State	 
Department	 officials	 the	 months	 before	 September	 11th.	 July	 18,	 2012	 worldwide	 travel	 caution	 
advisory	 the	 Department	 reported	 that,	 Credible	 information	 indicates	 terrorist	 groups	 also	 seek	 
continue	 attacks	 against	 U.S.	 interests	 the	 Middle	 East	 and	 North	 Africa.xxviii	 August	 27th,	 the	 
Department	 issued	 travel	 warning	 specific	 Libya	 that	 read	 part,	 The	 Department	 State	 warns	 
U.S.	 citizens	 against	 all	 but	 essential	 travel	 Libya.	 Political	 violence	 the	 form	 assassinations	 and	 
vehicle	 bombs	 has	 increased	 both	 Benghazi	 and	 Tripoli.xxix	 	 And,	 course,	 the	 Department	 was	 well	 
aware	 the	 increased	 threat	 terrorist	 activity	 significant	 anniversary	 dates.	 	 The	 travel	 warning	 
issued	 advance	 September	 11,	 2011	 noted	 that,	 U.S.	 citizens	 should	 aware	 that	 al- Qaeda	 
affiliates	 and	 allies	 have	 demonstrated	 the	 intent	 and	 capability	 carry	 out	 attacks	 against	 the	 United	 
States	 and	 our	 interests	 around	 the	 world.	 the	 past,	 terrorist	 organizations	 have	 occasion	 planned	 
their	 attacks	 coincide	 with	 significant	 dates	 the	 this	 context,	 the	 decision	 for	 Ambassador	 Stevens	 travel	 Benghazi	 that	 date	 seems	 
odd.	 	 According	 the	 Board	 report,	 his	 travel	 was,	 timed	 part	 fill	 the	 staffing	 gaps	 between	 TDY	 
[temporary	 duty]	 principal	 officers	 well	 open	 American	 Corner	 local	 school	 and	 
reconnect	 with	 local	 contacts.	 also	 known	 that	 the	 Ambassador	 met	 with	 the	 Turkish	 Consul	 
General	 Ali	 Sait	 Akin	 the	 evening	 the	 attack.	 	 The	 purpose	 that	 meeting	 has	 not	 been	 disclosed.	 October,	 Fox	 News	 reported	 that	 Stevens,	 was	 Benghazi	 negotiate	 weapons	 transfer,	 effort	 get	 SA-	 missiles	 out	 the	 hands	 Libya- based	 extremists.xxxi	 	 	 
Some	 experts	 believe	 that	 the	 Ambassadors	 work	 Benghazi	 may	 have	 been	 related	 
Administration	 efforts	 transfer	 arms	 Syrian	 opposition	 groups.	 former	 Deputy	 Assistant	 
Secretary	 State	 and	 President	 the	 Center	 for	 Security	 Policy	 Frank	 Gaffney	 wrote,	 One	 the	 
places	 Libya	 most	 awash	 with	 weapons	 the	 most	 dangerous	 hands	 Benghazi.	 now	 appears	 
that	 Stevens	 was	 there	 particularly	 risky	 day,	 with	 security	 speak	 and	 despite	 now	 
copiously	 documented	 concerns	 about	 his	 own	 safety	 and	 that	 his	 subordinates	 	 for	 another	 
priority	 mission:	 sending	 arms	 recovered	 from	 the	 former	 regime	 stocks	 the	 opposition	 Syria.xxxii	 	 Former	 CIA	 Officer	 Clare	 Lopez	 has	 characterized	 U.S.	 activities	 Benghazi	 gun	 
running	 and	 reported	 that	 Administration	 officials	 were,	 working	 with	 the	 very	 same	 al- Qaeda	 linked	 
relationships	 Libya	 gather	 and	 buy	 back	 and	 collect	 weapons	 from	 Gaddafis	 stockpile	 that	 were	 
missing	 from	 the	 revolution	 Libya	 last	 year	 and	 what	 looks	 like	 that	 they	 were	 shipping	 them	 
onwards	 Syria.xxxiii	 	 
Further	 substantiating	 the	 theory	 that	 the	 Obama	 administration	 was	 involved	 arms	 transfers	 Syrian	 groups	 Times	 London	 report	 published	 September	 14,	 2012,	 Syrian	 Rebels	 Squabble	 
Over	 Weapons	 Biggest	 Shipload	 Arrives	 from	 Libya. xxxiv	 According	 the	 report:	 Among	 more	 than	 
400	 tonnes	 cargo	 the	 vessel	 was	 carrying	 were	 SAM-	 surface- to- air	 anti- aircraft	 missiles	 and	 rocket- 
propelled	 grenades	 (RPGs),	 which	 Syrian	 sources	 said	 could	 game- changer	 for	 the	 rebels. 	 	 The	 
connection	 Benghazi	 was	 established	 The	 Times	 through	 examination	 the	 ship	 port	 
authority	 papers,	 The	 Times	 was	 shown	 the	 Libyan	 ship,	 The	 Intisaar	 The	 Victory,	 the	 Turkish	 port	 Iskenderun	 and	 papers	 stamped	 the	 port	 authority	 the	 ship	 captain,	 Omar	 Mousaeeb,	 Libyan	 
from	 Benghazi	 and	 the	 head	 organisation	 called	 the	 Libyan	 National	 Council	 for	 Relief	 and	 Support,	 
which	 supporting	 the	 Syrian	 uprising.	 Why	 were	 two	 unmanned	 aerial	 vehicles	 requested	 record	 the	 deadly	 events	 they	 unfolded	 
Benghazi	 while	 more	 lethal	 air	 support	 options	 were	 not	 station?	 
According	 the	 Board	 report,	 United	 States	 Africa	 Command	 (AFRICOM)	 deployed	 two	 
unmanned	 aerial	 vehicles	 survey	 the	 events	 Benghazi	 	 one	 the	 Compound	 and	 the	 other	 the	 
airport	 during	 the	 evacuation	 American	 personnel.	 	 However,	 the	 report	 gives	 description	 the	 
images	 captured	 the	 UAVs.	 addition,	 the	 involvement	 AFRICOM	 the	 response	 raises	 the	 
important	 question	 why	 lethal	 air	 support	 other	 military	 assets	 were	 not	 deployed	 response	 
the	 attack.	 
According	 the	 Department	 Defense,	 there	 was	 not	 sufficient	 time	 deploy	 resources	 
Benghazi	 once	 the	 attack	 began.	 addition,	 Secretary	 Defense	 Leon	 Panetta	 later	 claimed	 that	 
officials	 lacked	 sufficient	 real- time	 information	 about	 the	 situation	 commit	 troops,	 saying,	 You	 dont	 
deploy	 forces	 into	 harms	 way	 without	 knowing	 whats	 going	 on.xxxv	 	 	 
Conclusion	 the	 Boards	 report	 makes	 clear,	 the	 September	 11,	 2012	 attack	 Benghazi	 resulted	 from	 
wide	 range	 strategic	 and	 tactical	 failures	 State	 Department	 officials.	 	 Chief	 among	 them	 were	 the	 
fateful	 decision	 circumvent	 established	 security	 regulations	 designating	 the	 diplomatic	 post	 
Benghazi	 Special	 Mission	 Compound,	 ignoring	 repeated	 requests	 for	 additional	 security	 resources	 
Diplomatic	 Security	 personnel	 the	 ground,	 and	 entrusting	 the	 security	 the	 Compound	 local	 
militia	 group	 with	 suspected	 ties	 radical	 Islamists.	 Special	 Agent	 Fournier	 notes	 his	 assessment	 the	 tragedy,	 there	 were	 also	 long- standing	 cultural	 problems	 within	 the	 Department	 State	 that	 
hinder	 the	 ability	 Diplomatic	 Security	 agents	 adequately	 protect	 our	 diplomats	 overseas.	 
Even	 after	 the	 Board	 report	 and	 separate	 investigations	 the	 House	 Oversight	 and	 
Government	 Reform	 and	 Senate	 Homeland	 Security	 and	 Governmental	 Affairs	 committees,	 numerous	 
questions	 remain:	 	 	 
Who	 the	 State	 Department	 authorized	 the	 lease	 the	 house	 utilized	 mission	 
facility	 Benghazi?	 	 	 
What	 input	 from	 the	 Bureau	 Diplomatic	 Security	 did	 the	 authorizing	 State	 
Department	 official	 receive,	 and	 was	 that	 input	 acted	 upon?	 	 	 
Have	 the	 officials	 responsible	 for	 the	 systemic	 failures	 and	 leadership	 and	 
management	 deficiencies	 identified	 the	 Board	 been	 disciplined,	 and	 what	 
positions,	 any,	 they	 now	 hold	 the	 State	 Department?	 	 	 
What	 was	 the	 purpose	 Ambassador	 Stevens	 travel	 Benghazi	 the	 
anniversary	 the	 worst	 terror	 attack	 American	 history?	 the	 administration	 involved	 transporting	 weapons	 from	 Libya	 Syrian	 
opposition	 forces?	 	 	 
Hopefully,	 Secretary	 Clinton	 will	 forthcoming	 addressing	 these	 issues	 during	 her	 scheduled	 
Congressional	 testimony.	 
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