Sacking of Benghazi consulate “a catastrophic intelligence loss”

posted at 12:01 pm on September 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Among the more obvious catastrophes of the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi — the loss of a dedicated diplomat in J. Christopher Stevens and three brave Americans who tried to defend the station — is perhaps a more significant loss for our counter-terrorism operations in the region.  The New York Times reported last night that the CIA considers the loss of the Benghazi consulate as “a catastrophic intelligence loss,” which prompts even more questions about security for the site:

The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans has dealt the Central Intelligence Agency a major setback in its intelligence-gathering efforts at a time of increasing instability in the North African nation.

Among the more than two dozen American personnel evacuated from the city after the assault on the American mission and a nearby annex were about a dozen C.I.A. operatives and contractors, who played a crucial role in conducting surveillance and collecting information on an array of militant armed groups in and around the city.

“It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss,” said one American official who has served in Libya and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the F.B.I. is still investigating the attack. “We got our eyes poked out.”

Before we go farther, has the FBI actually begun investigating the scene of the “crime”?  According to CBS News this morning, the answer is no:

State won’t answer questions, and the FBI hasn’t gotten to the scene.  However, reporters can apparently comb the rubble and come up with sensitive material and use it for broadcast.  Shouldn’t that raise a few questions about the American response to this attack, too, that State can ignore?

The NYT analysis of this attack shows even further how silly the initial administration spin was.  The station had been compromised, something Stevens apparently knew, as was their fallback safe house, which he discovered far too late.  That strongly suggests that the terrorist network(s) that conducted this attack had significant data on the American mission in the eastern part of Libya, and attacked it not just for reasons of prestige.  These networks have begun operating much more openly since the US-led NATO military mission deposed Moammar Qaddafi, and the CIA needed to keep track of groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb and Ansar al-Sharia.

Now that we know that this station was critical to American intelligence efforts in an area rife with the kind of terrorist networks we have been fighting for the last eleven years, one has to ask why it was left so poorly secured.  That question was relevant even without the CIA connection, as the terrorist networks had already made Benghazi an unsafe place for the US to conduct normal diplomatic tasks.  If this was as critical an intelligence post as the NYT report suggests, the weak security arrangements can only be seen as staggeringly incompetent — and worthy of a major Congressional investigation.

The bottom line, though, is that we’ve lost an important post to keep track of the radical Islamists set loose by the NATO intervention Obama championed.  It’s nothing short of a “catastrophe” for American security.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Ed loves a good meme.

How is it an ‘intelligence failure’ when they knew in ADVANCE????

This is a squirrel to deflect blame from Obama.

faraway on September 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Bishopppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!

PolAgnostic on September 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

you’re getting awfully close to racist territory with your words here, Ed. I’d walk it back a bit if I were you.

abobo on September 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Hey, Jay-Z & Beyonce aren’t going to play second fiddle to national security.

rbj on September 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The bottom line, though, is that we’ve lost an important post to keep track of the radical Islamists set loose by the NATO intervention Obama championed. It’s nothing short of a “catastrophe” for American security.

We should level the embassy and 100 mile radius just to be sure.

VegasRick on September 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Before we go farther, has the FBI actually begun investigating the scene of the “crime”?

No, but CNN were more than happy to comb the building for evidence.

portlandon on September 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

A pattern emerges for those who perhaps have not taken notice yet. At every turn where intelligence regarding Islamic militants is involved the Obamanation Administration constantly finds itself loosing valuable intelligence.

When Bin Laden was killed, massive amounts of intelligence gathered was rendered useless when the Obamanation Administration informed the entire world of the existence of that information in an effort to spike the ball in the end zone.

Now we see that again an enormous amount of intelligence is lost due to the incompetence of the Obamanation Administration, a more cynical individual might be drawn into considering that these information losses might not be mere incompetence and coincidence.

SWalker on September 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Now that we know that this station was critical to American intelligence efforts in an area rife with the kind of terrorist networks we have been fighting for the last eleven years, one has to ask why it was left so poorly secured.

Why is team Romney so silent about this massive disaster?

the_nile on September 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

So they wanted to use the consulate to gather intel but Barry/Hillary wanted to keep a low-profile in the neighborhood and acted like gun-control nuts, thinking that keeping the guns away would keep them all safe.

On the 1-to-10 failure scale, this registers a 15.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM

The “FBI investigation” of the Benghazi site is a scam. The scam is used as an excuse any questions asked of little Bammie’s administration, even though such a concept has no legal basis.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

These networks have begun operating much more openly since the US-led (from behind) NATO military mission deposed Moammar Qaddafi, and the CIA needed to keep track of groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb and Ansar al-Sharia.

FIFY

rogaineguy on September 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

State won’t answer questions, and the FBI hasn’t gotten to the scene

Two weeks and they still haven’t gotten there? Can someone explain to me why the FBI is investigating an act of war?

JPeterman on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Expectations … unexpected.

RedManBlueState on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

State won’t answer questions, and the FBI hasn’t gotten to the scene. 

No big deal: Anderson Cooper has got the 4-1-1 on Benghazi, and the NYT has all the news not fit for Congress on the rest of the road bumpmthat is our Libya policy.

MTF on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

47%!!!!1111!!! did you hear that? 47%!!!!

DanMan on September 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Two weeks and they still haven’t gotten there? Can someone explain to me why the FBI is investigating an act of war?

JPeterman on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I’ve been wondering this same thing. This is the Clinton-style of dealing with terrorism. Treat as a law-and-order issue rather than an act of war.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Where is Petraeus in all of this?

Cody1991 on September 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Why is team Romney so silent about this massive disaster?

the_nile on September 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

They are not…they are talking about it on the campaign trail but the press won’t cover it…..besides

Why interrupt Obama from commiting political suicide on this all by himself. u know if Romney said anything like in a speech, the press would say it’s all about how wrong Romney is.

gracie on September 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Can someone explain to me why the FBI is investigating an act of war?

JPeterman on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Because Obama wants to send his man over to find out what Hillary screwed up.

This is a Hillary vs. Obama civil war.

faraway on September 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM

“It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss,” said one American official who has served in Libya and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the F.B.I. is still investigating the attack. “We got our eyes poked out.”


Hmmmmmm…..
The NYT publishes an intelligence failure of a Democratic administration …

… that is kind of surprising, especially considering this item:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/opinion/sunday/douthat-washington-versus-america.html?_r=1

and Drudge is highlighting this Politico story:

POLL: ROMNEY TAKES 14-PT LEAD AMONG MIDDLE CLASS …

and the Gallup poll lst week showed 60% of Americans openly distrust the LSM.

It’s almost like the rats are deserting a sinking ship and trying to be … less rat-like … and be a little more appealing in order to improve their own chances of survival …

PolAgnostic on September 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

If this was as critical an intelligence post as the NYT report suggests, the weak security arrangements can only be seen as staggeringly incompetent — and worthy of a major Congressional investigation

SMAAAAAAARRRRRRT POOOOOOWWWWWWWEEEEEERRRRRRR!

Aka, obumbling.

KMC1 on September 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Gutsy Call!

the_nile on September 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Meanwhile……………………

September 24, 2012
U.S. Approval Eroding in MENA Before Film Controversy

Two in 10 adults across 12 countries express approval
*****************************************************

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Approval of U.S. leadership in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was already slipping before the recent wave of anti-U.S. protests across the region. An average of 20% of adults across 12 MENA countries Gallup surveyed between January and May 2012 approved of the job performance of the leadership of the U.S. This rating was down from 22% in 2011 and 25% during the first two years of President Barack Obama’s term.
(More….)
===========

http://www.gallup.com/poll/157610/approval-eroding-mena-film-controversy.aspx?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=gallupnews&utm_campaign=syndication

canopfor on September 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Gutsy Call!

the_nile on September 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I’m going with Putzy Call.

VegasRick on September 24, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Two weeks and they still haven’t gotten there? Can someone explain to me why the FBI is investigating an act of war?

JPeterman on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

.
Already done

The “FBI investigation” of the Benghazi site is a scam. The scam is used as an excuse any questions asked of little Bammie’s administration, even though such a concept has no legal basis.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

.
Or phrased more simply, the FBI investigation was used as a justification on why the SCOAMF’s administration was not going to be answering anymore questions regarding the “incident”.

PolAgnostic on September 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Why is team Romney so silent about this massive disaster?

the_nile on September 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

When your enemy is busy destroying himself, don’t interrupt him.

Mitoch55 on September 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Meanwhile, Obama has skipped the gerneral Assembly meeting for a taping of The View.

Obama doesn’t need the Intelligence community…he already knows everything…or so we are told.

Smartest guy in the room?

Yeah, if he is visiting an infant day care center, and even then, it is no slam dunk.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM

These networks have begun operating much more openly since the US-led NATO military mission deposed Moammar Qaddafi, and the CIA needed to keep track of groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb and Ansar al-Sharia.

This is the point that I was making up in the Headlines (Although like everyone else, I can’t seem to spell Qaddafi’s name correctly).

Rotten as Qaddafi was as a despot, he did put a lid on the radical Islamists. He warned Obysmal as much, but Preezy Hubris went ahead without Congress’s approval to initiate a “kinetic action” with no plan for the aftermath.

Just as BJ Clinton weakened the CIA in the ’90′s, Obysmal is doing his part now on behalf of America’s enemies.

onlineanalyst on September 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Neither was heavily guarded, and the annex was never intended to be a “safe house,” as initial accounts suggested.

That’s new news.

faraway on September 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Oh, Ed.

There is “spin” here, and it’s “silly”?

Sportswriters (absurdly) use far more serious language when describing (by definition meaningless) athletic contests.

Just another bump in the road, I guess.

IceCold on September 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The “FBI investigation” of the Benghazi site is a scam. The scam is used as an excuse any questions asked of little Bammie’s administration, even though such a concept has no legal basis.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

This.

petefrt on September 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Two weeks and they still haven’t gotten there? Can someone explain to me why the FBI is investigating an act of war?
JPeterman on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Solely so that the Obama can refuse to answer questions because the matter is “under investigation”.

tommyboy on September 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

The hits just keep on comin.

Planning and policy decisions are largely predicated upon one’s worldview. If your worldview leads you to believe that you are the savior of Libya, a liberator, and people there love you, then of course there is little need to develop an in-depth security plan for your peeps there, because you and, by extension, your assets are adored. **Ahh, smell the Utopia.**

However, if your worldview is more aligned with Dick Cheney’s in that there are people out there, no matter the greater geopolitical and Kaddafi butt raping situation, who want to kill and maim Americans, then you will walk softly and roll with heavily armed Marines with their eye on the street and thumb on the selector lever. Keyed in security personnel could have successfully repelled this onslaught and saved American lives.

Now, as a result of Obama’s failed worldview and policy decisions which emanated from them, the US will be forced to retool its entire N. African intel plan in response to the loss of Benghazi consulate. This was no bump in the road, this was Obama’s car in the ditch again—wait, that makes me think of Slurpee./

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Having a “safe house” inside a consular facility or as part of one, is simply stupid.

Every local national observed by local national employees of the consulate were compromised as soon as they entered the compound.

What the hell happened to basic simple tradecraft?

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

State won’t answer questions, and the FBI hasn’t gotten to the scene. However, reporters can apparently comb the rubble and come up with sensitive material and use it for broadcast. Shouldn’t that raise a few questions about the American response to this attack, too, that State can ignore?

State won’t answer questions because Obama will not make them answer questions. No one in the media will make Obama make them answer questions. The FBI hasn’t shown up because, as JPeterman said, this was an act of war, not a crime. What about the clusterf*ck of a rescue after the attack? I haven’t heard anything since the original report. Why did our people have no idea how many people they were coming to get?

Night Owl on September 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

the FBI will be investigating this just like they investigated Solyndra….

“Hey boys, ya’ll see anything in there (as car rolls by on the street)?”

“nahh, boss. We don’t see nuttin’.…..”

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

What about all the documents that were in the safe? Didn’t letting those fall in Al Queda hands represent an intelligence loss?

theCork on September 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

However, reporters can apparently comb the rubble and come up with sensitive material and use it for broadcast.

Apparently, when it all pays the same, why work harder????????

/State dept site security “team”…..

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM

A bump in the road? This incident is an “Act of War!” This Administration is so inept, they don’t realize we are on the precipice of a major conflagration in the Midddle East! Iran is all over the place, continues to move toward nuclear weapons and threatening to rid the world of Israel and Zionism…..just a bump in the road!

Everyone, but BHO and Hillary’s State Department is paying attention.Par for the course these days.

tomshup on September 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Oh did we say the FBI? We meant the new Super Intelligence Squad, the FIB. It is comprised of the cream of Obama’s brain trust like Stef Cutter, Jay Carney, Bill Gibbs, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and a whole host of media personalities willing to take a hit for the Obama truth team. So the next time someone flashes a badge and tells you to move along, nothing to see, you’ll know you’re dealing with an agent of FIB

CitizenEgg on September 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Why was the diary laying in the dirt for some reporter to find it, more than a week later? Did no one secure the facility after the attack?

We still don’t know the minute by minute details of what happened, do we? Has anyone seen a report that details exactly how the ambassador died and whether he was tortured?

cep on September 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

theCork on September 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

If the station (or base) in Benghazi had any documents in any safe…in an unguarded, unprotected facility, whomever was in charge should be sacked immediately.

Have worked out of a station or two where everything of importance was already kept in DC or at a more secure nearby country, and station personnel worked out of a very small stack of water-soluble note pads, if they kept any hard copies of anything at all.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

State won’t answer questions, and the FBI hasn’t gotten to the scene.

They’re going to do whatever it takes to push this beyond election day.

BacaDog on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Or phrased more simply, the FBI investigation was used as a justification on why the SCOAMF’s administration was not going to be answering anymore questions regarding the “incident”.

PolAgnostic on September 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Thank you. My head hurts.

JPeterman on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I’ll ask it.

Were the US Navy SEALs that were shot down a lucky shot? or were they a gift? Seemed to good to be true at the time as they were riding on a “plain vanilla” CH 47……

Was the overrunning of Benghazi Consulate an act of a spontaneous uprising? Or was it a gift? Seems too good to be true that a hit could be so successful as to net a US Ambassador, that is, unless all the preparations were made to reduce his security to make him more “at risk”…….

I’m asking because these questions are valid. Once—lucky. Twice–pattern. Say it ain’t so….

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised. Let’s see if the blind sheik gets released along with Bin Ladin’s driver.

Night Owl on September 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

this is a big game to these guys, we are pawns and are being lied to. I hate it, I hate it and I hate it.

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised. Let’s see if the blind sheik gets released along with Bin Ladin’s driver.

Night Owl on September 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

and a third of Gitmo.

more evidence.

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I’m asking because these questions are valid. Once—lucky. Twice–pattern. Say it ain’t so….

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I never believed that the downed “SEAL Team 6″ was a lucky shot. No f’ing way.

VegasRick on September 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

The real tragedy is that this major disaster will get a one-off report from the NYT and then it’ll be back to attacking Romney for defending free speech. So nobody will know or care.

besser tot als rot on September 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I’ll ask it.

Were the US Navy SEALs that were shot down a lucky shot? or were they a gift? Seemed to good to be true at the time as they were riding on a “plain vanilla” CH 47……

Was the overrunning of Benghazi Consulate an act of a spontaneous uprising? Or was it a gift? Seems too good to be true that a hit could be so successful as to net a US Ambassador, that is, unless all the preparations were made to reduce his security to make him more “at risk”…….

I’m asking because these questions are valid. Once—lucky. Twice–pattern. Say it ain’t so….

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Interesting take, but the question is who benefits from these “gifts”?

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

this is a big game to these guys, we are pawns and are being lied to. I hate it, I hate it and I hate it.

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

And there are four families whose loved ones won’t be coming home…

sandee on September 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

This is proof that Obama’s plan is working. Now he just needs to get reelected and he can finish the job of finishing off America.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

-Thomas Jefferson

besser tot als rot on September 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

We still don’t know the minute by minute details of what happened, do we? Has anyone seen a report that details exactly how the ambassador died and whether he was tortured?

cep on September 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

exactly! What was the cause of death? How did the US ‘LOSE’ his body? If lost, how was it returned? What were his last words? Where did he die? What were the extent of his injuries? Who saw it happen? Did he gasp a final “….just….a …..bump….in….the…..road” as he collapsed and breathed his last????????

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I never believed that the downed “SEAL Team 6″ was a lucky shot. No f’ing way.

VegasRick on September 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

neither have I….

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM

This is a good article about how bho/team has handleded other ‘terrorits’ attacks! bho/team are useless to handle anything!

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/24/libya-latest-example-administration-downplaying-terror-strike/
L

letget on September 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM

It’s nothing short of a “catastrophe” for American security.

A solid B+! (on the Aff*rmative Act*on grading scale).

AZCoyote on September 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM

It’s nothing short of a “catastrophe” for American security.

No, no no…the real catastrophe is that Romney paid too much in taxes. /

catmman on September 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I’m asking because these questions are valid. Once—lucky. Twice–pattern. Say it ain’t so….

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Why was Stevens going back to Benghazi at that time? Was he trying to secure information? Who did he work for, State or CIA? Where’s Petraeus? If Stevens believed he was a target, why did he take the risk?

The whole thing stinks.

Cody1991 on September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Interesting take, but the question is who benefits from these “gifts”?

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

anti colonialist America haters interested in taking America down a notch. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out who falls into that group.

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

^ s/b handled
L

letget on September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Having a “safe house” inside a consular facility or as part of one, is simply stupid.

Every local national observed by local national employees of the consulate were compromised as soon as they entered the compound.

What the hell happened to basic simple tradecraft?

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I assumed that since the consulate was not hardened, that they had a retreat area that was considered more physically secure, and that was the “safe house”. Apparently not, but given the looseness of the way the media is reporting all this, I’m not sure we should interpret “safe house” as straight out of the CIA playbook here either.

TexasDan on September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

faraway on September 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Intelligence loss, not failure. Ed is reporting on the fact that the loss of the Benghazi consulate is a blow to our ability to gather intelligence in the area.

NotCoach on September 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM

If this was as critical an intelligence post as the NYT report suggests, the weak security arrangements can only be seen as staggeringly incompetent

That’s some pretty crack reporting, right there.

msupertas on September 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

You aren’t the only one to wonder about this stuff.

I believe Seal Team 6 was used to buy “peace” in Pakistan. Immediately after they were killed, the rioting stopped, and the Pakistani government began to back down. I wasn’t born yesterday.

KMC1 on September 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

neither have I….

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Too many in 1 transport.

VegasRick on September 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Ed loves a good meme.

How is it an ‘intelligence failure’ when they knew in ADVANCE????

This is a squirrel to deflect blame from Obama.

faraway on September 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Read the text; this wasn’t billed as an intelligence failure, but an intelligence loss. Completely different thing.

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

The bottom line, though, is that we’ve lost an important post to keep track of the radical Islamists set loose by the NATO intervention Obama championed. It’s nothing short of a “catastrophe” for American security.

So… why isn’t the Republican House going in overdrive mode to make this the scandal that it is?

bobcalco on September 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Have you seen Ann Romney’s horse, the grooming alone must cost a fortune.

Bishop on September 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

TexasDan on September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

A couple decades in the trade…and safe house means safe house.

But, considering that most media types/reporters consistently misuse terminology, your point is valid.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Who did he work for, State or CIA? Where’s Petraeus? If Stevens believed he was a target, why did he take the risk?

The whole thing stinks.

Cody1991 on September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

dang right it stinks!! It stinks to high heaven. The ambassador essentially is both a diplomat and intel guy. The embassy functions for both diplomacy and intel gathering operations. Asking about Petraeus is a great question. What is his role in this? Essentially, the two former SEALs killed were *not* part of the security detail and sooooooo, makes one wonder what exactly they were up to? Gathering intel on the jihadbot groups?? Was compromising this consulate a means by which Hillary and Obama were *getting back* at the CIA director for something? Hmmmmm, well? Is it? What is going on here and why? We do not leave US ambassadors unattended like this—do we? What is the BACKSTORY?????

and yes, i am pissed.

ted c on September 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM

FBI not there.

CIA unable to ‘sanitize’ the site.

No sudden drops of incendiaries to ‘sanitize’ the site.

INTEL littered around.

De adults dey is in charge!!

ajacksonian on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Maybe ask CNN if they found it.

mr.blacksheep on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

So… why isn’t the Republican House going in overdrive mode to make this the scandal that it is?

bobcalco on September 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

They’re all on vacation. For real.

Cody1991 on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

How come nobody is asking Hillary’s aide-de-camp Huma Abedin-Weiner about what did she know and when did she know it?

Mahdi on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

So what was the source for the intel that the administration was using to assure the American public that is was all about the faux movie trailer..?
I’m pretty sure that the “crime scene” has been compromised…

d1carter on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

If the station (or base) in Benghazi had any documents in any safe…in an unguarded, unprotected facility, whomever was in charge should be sacked immediately.

Have worked out of a station or two where everything of importance was already kept in DC or at a more secure nearby country, and station personnel worked out of a very small stack of water-soluble note pads, if they kept any hard copies of anything at all.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Are they saying we lost documents, or just the loss of the presence of our personnel? I think the main issue may be simply that they had to pull the team out, which blew their cover.

I’m not sure I really get that, either, though. If you have Americans in the city under cover, why would their evacuation at a time of an attack on an American target be an issue? State has to offer and provide evacuation for all American citizens if they pull out their employees in an emergency. Just because those folks got on that helicopter didn’t make them automatically CIA.

TexasDan on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Have you seen Ann Romney’s horse, the grooming alone must cost a fortune.

Bishop on September 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Pfftt…with all the money the Romneys save by not paying their taxes….thats chumpchange!

VegasRick on September 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

A couple decades in the trade…and safe house means safe house.

But, considering that most media types/reporters consistently misuse terminology, your point is valid.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Yeah, I’m not questioning you, but the people whose firearms vocabulary is limited to Glock and AK-47, regardless of what’s in the picture.

TexasDan on September 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Why was Stevens going back to Benghazi at that time? Was he trying to secure information? Who did he work for, State or CIA? Where’s Petraeus? If Stevens believed he was a target, why did he take the risk?

The whole thing stinks.

Cody1991 on September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Why were Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans expendable, “bumps in the road” to this administration?
Why is an Act of War against the United States (on sovereign territory) being treated as a distraction to fundraising and campaigning?

The whole thing stinks.

Fallon on September 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I thought I had read that the safe house was rented from a local and was not co-located with the consulate site. Was in one of the early reports when this just happened. Unfortunately, the location of the safe house was also compromised. Maybe I misread.

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Two weeks and they still haven’t gotten there? Can someone explain to me why the FBI is investigating an act of war?
JPeterman on September 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM

This is just a return to the pre 9/11 totally unworkable Bill Clinton strategy.

Anyone remember how many weeks the Saudis made the FBI wait before granting them access to the 25 June 1996 Al Khobar Towers scene? I think it was about 24 weeks or so? So they could attempt to whitewash all the internal Saudi connections to the bombing?

BHO was a good student.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on September 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

TexasDan on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

In hostile areas, or denied areas, having ops officers under deep or enhanced cover is pretty standard, so that if and when a consulate, embassy or other legation has to pull up stakes, the operational side of the station or base remains in place.

Apparently, if the loss of the Benghazi consulate is being touted as a major intel loss…seems that we had no stay-behind structure in place.

Again, the simple question…what ever happened to simple basic trade craft?

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Maybe ask CNN if they found it.

mr.blacksheep on September 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM

If they had, they’d have published it.

TexasDan on September 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

TexasDan on September 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No argument nor disagreement there. None at all.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM

This thread has a tie-in to 9/11, so I’ll post this here.

I was cleaning out some old files at home last night, and came across an op ed piece written by George Will during the Carter administration, which means that it was written a good two decades before 9/11 (on the back of the newspaper page, there is an article that mentions Carter’s meeting with other officials).

This gave me such a creepy feeling; I don’t remember anyone mentioning it in the years since 9/11. Will’s article “World Trade Center: An energy glutton built on the eve of the energy crisis,” concerning his dislike for the WTC, ended with these thoughts:

“Some say that the towers are America’s pyramids, expressions of our civilization’s hubris that will compel the awe of distant generations. But the towers won’t last long enough.

“One supporter of the WTC brags that the towers will last 100 years. Fine. Then what? How do you take them down? The tallest building ever demolished was only 47 stories. I have a recurring nightmare — if that is the word — in which two Concorde supersonic airliners, one British and one French, slice the towers in half, a collision of moder achievements.”

KyMouse on September 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM

What guarantees that, when the FBI eventually get there, they won’t be raped and buchered also?

Rebar on September 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Again, the simple question…what ever happened to simple basic trade craft?

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

.
Simple answer – Leon Panetta

PolAgnostic on September 24, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Sacking of Benghazi consulate “a catastrophic intelligence loss”

…but they left the Diary!

KOOLAID2 on September 24, 2012 at 12:56 PM

What guarantees that, when the FBI eventually get there, they won’t be raped and buchered also?

Rebar on September 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM

With a real POTUS: a brigade’s worth of US marines.

With this one: you didn’t really think they were going to send the FBI over there, did you?

AZfederalist on September 24, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Sorry; in my post above, “moder” = “modern.”

KyMouse on September 24, 2012 at 12:56 PM

What guarantees that, when the FBI eventually get there, they won’t be raped and buchered also?

Rebar on September 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Why do you think Bark is authorizing the release of Bin Laden’s bodyguard from Gitmo? The dude is going to guard our FBI dudes and promises to do a really good job.

Bishop on September 24, 2012 at 12:56 PM

No, no, no – it’s just “a bump in the road”.

Dear Leader told us so…..

TeresainFortWorth on September 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

A bump in the road? This incident is an “Act of War!” This Administration is so inept, they don’t realize we are on the precipice of a major conflagration in the Midddle East! Iran is all over the place, continues to move toward nuclear weapons and threatening to rid the world of Israel and Zionism…..just a bump in the road!

My money is on: they are not “inept.” They are doing this deliberately to destabilize everything. It’s right out of Clower-Piven. But, of course, no one wants to hear that.

UnderstandingisPower on September 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Rebar on September 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Why would the FBI go to Benghazi at all?

The “crime scene” is no longer forensically worthwhile…it has been contaminated, and there are no “witnesses” to interview, and whatever material they might be able to gather or cobble together is essentially worthless from a criminal investigative point of view and as a judicial matter…totally and completely inadmissible.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The CIA operations in Libya may have gotten its “eyes poked out”, but the American people are getting their eyes opened wide.

The information revealed about the quality of operations within this State Department, and the Obama administration, including Obama himself, reveals a level of incompetence that goes far beyond disarray, or unpreparedness.

What has been revealed as inherent in our current State Department, the Obama administration, and the President, himself, is negligence, recklessness, and wanton disregard for the safety of American personnel and operatives. The individuals responsible for this egregious and reprehensible lapse of efficiency and effectiveness cannot claim ignorance of their sworn duty to perform the tasks of their offices. This outrageous failure to perform their sworn duty is full blown dereliction of duty by any description of the term.

This reckless negligence and dereliction was made apparent by the lack of preparedness and provision for the security of the consulate and its personnel before the attack, the embarrassing and cowardly attempts at obfuscation after the attack, and failure to respond appropriately to the attack, loss of personnel, strike at our intelligence, and the commission of a blatant act of war, even now.

Removal from office and replacement with competent, efficient, effective, personnel is mandatory procedure in dealing with those who fail, and fail on such a spectacular level. Every individual who did not perform their sworn duty must be removed from office post haste, before any further damage may arise from their gross incompetence and untenable negligence.

thatsafactjack on September 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Now that we know that this station was critical to American intelligence efforts in an area rife with the kind of terrorist networks we have been fighting for the last eleven years, one has to ask why it was left so poorly secured.

And, no less than on the 11th anniversary of 9 f**king 11! The ads writes themselves.

TXUS on September 24, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Why would the FBI go to Benghazi at all?

The “crime scene” is no longer forensically worthwhile…it has been contaminated, and there are no “witnesses” to interview, and whatever material they might be able to gather or cobble together is essentially worthless from a criminal investigative point of view and as a judicial matter…totally and completely inadmissible.

coldwarrior on September 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Political cover inside the beltway, that’s why.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on September 24, 2012 at 1:02 PM

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