Did the State Department refuse to intervene in Benghazi security dispute?

posted at 2:01 pm on October 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

According to new information reported by Fox News, the State Department had ample warning about the deteriorating security conditions in Benghazi, from the people who knew it best — the security team it hired for the job.  The guards in Benghazi wanted their British parent company to increase staff and bolster protection of the consulate after a series of attacks and attempts in the city had them deeply worried about their own safety.  When that resulted in a dispute, the security team turned to the State Department, which appears to have washed its hands of the matter, according to the letters that Fox has received:

Letters obtained exclusively by Fox News appear to show the State Department refused to get involved when the company tasked with protecting the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, raised security concerns, the latest indication that warning signs may have been ignored in the lead-up to last month’s terror attack.

The letters pertain to a dispute between Blue Mountain Libya, the security license holder in Libya, and its operations partner Blue Mountain UK, which trained and provided the local guards.

A source with knowledge of two State Department meetings — one in June and a second in July — told Fox News that Blue Mountain Libya felt the security provided by the UK partner was “substandard and the situation was unworkable.”

But according to the source, when the Libyans tried to bring in a third party — an American contractor — to improve security, a State Department contract officer declined to get involved.

“The U.S. government is not required to mediate any disagreements between the two parties of the Blue Mountain Libya partnership,” contracting officer Jan Visintainer wrote on July 10 to Blue Mountain Libya, adding that to date “contract performance is satisfactory.”

Presumably, this is one of the requests for more resources to which Darrell Issa referred in his letter yesterday to Hillary Clinton.  This exchange indicates that State had at least been informed that the consulate considered its security inadequate and needed help in addressing the situation.  The dismissive tone of the reply gives a strong impression that State didn’t want to know of any problems in Benghazi.

This is pretty curious, even without the catastrophic and deadly aftermath.  Why wouldn’t State intervene in a dispute over consular security, especially in an area as dangerous — and known to be dangerous — as Benghazi?  If the security team on the ground reported that the protection was inadequate, shouldn’t that have raised a red flag at Foggy Bottom?   Are requests for more security so routine that we have a boy-who-cried-wolf dynamic at State, and if so, has anyone done a systematic analysis of security arrangements worldwide?

Finally, if this is part of Issa’s evidence on hand, this leak might be an answer to Hillary Clinton’s attempt to delay the House probe into Benghazi.  A few more drip drip drip releases, and Hillary might want to expedite the disclosures in order to control them.


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Finally, if this is part of Issa’s evidence on hand, this leak might be an answer to Hillary Clinton’s attempt to delay the House probe into Benghazi. A few more drip drip drip releases, and Hillary might want to expedite the disclosures in order to control them.

Clinton doesn’t want this to damage destroy her dreams for 2016.

Too late.

Steve Eggleston on October 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM

When does Hillary have seat in front of a House committee?

Speakup on October 3, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Why wouldn’t State intervene in a dispute over consular security, especially in an area as dangerous — and known to be dangerous — as Benghazi?

Sounds like a great question that we’d love to hear answered— IN THE HEARING!

line ‘em up, Darrell.

ted c on October 3, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Come on Bill…
Say something…

Electrongod on October 3, 2012 at 2:07 PM

“Why should we bolster security, there are currently no anti-muslim movies in U.S. theaters.”

-Killary

Bishop on October 3, 2012 at 2:08 PM

The Regime had other priorities like appearing with pervert Letterman and partying wit’ da hos in Vegas.

viking01 on October 3, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Hilary is CHA for 2016. This has to be close to treason!

Next thing you know, she’ll come back and blame budget cuts aka, it’s the tea party that killed the ambassador

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on October 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

“The U.S. government is not required to mediate any disagreements between the two parties of the Blue Mountain Libya partnership,” contracting officer Jan Visintainer wrote on July 10 to Blue Mountain Libya, adding that to date “contract performance is satisfactory.”

Nice to know that our folks sent overseas are so well taken care of.
What a lazy ass this Jan Visintainer is. Maybe not “required”, but sure as hell involved. This person should be fired for cause, today.
This is absolutely DISCUSTING !!

Jabberwock on October 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

If the security team on the ground reported that the protection was inadequate, shouldn’t that have raised a red flag at Foggy Bottom?

It certainly should have. Routine evaluation/reevaluation of detailed security plans are conducted at most, if not all, US embassies to identify weaknesses, changes that need to be made with policies/structures/procedures etc. This is a big deal, and if the security guys were asking for it, then the wheels should’ve been turning to protect people’s lives.

ted c on October 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I’m telling you, the professionals in State and the intelligence community are getting the facts out there that their leadership is trying to keep hidden.

Happy Nomad on October 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

A few more drip drip drip releases, and Hillary might want to expedite the disclosures in order to control them.

Hillary essentially has said, by way of her actions, “hey, I gots my security, and ya’ll are on yer own…cuz I’m in a ways taaaaaahrd of hearin’ all this noize from ya’ll about these attacks things…..”

ted c on October 3, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Next thing you know, she’ll come back and blame budget cuts aka, it’s the tea party that killed the ambassador

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on October 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Yeah but the unfortunate fact is that the other countries that had consulates there and the Red Cross had already pulled their people out because of the danger which is all the more damning that the US State Department did not.

Happy Nomad on October 3, 2012 at 2:16 PM

What a lazy ass this Jan Visintainer is. Maybe not “required”, but sure as hell involved. This person should be fired for cause, today.

Jabberwock on October 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Well, at the very least you’re being helpful by assisting the Obama administration with some viable options of who they can toss under the bus.

DaveDief on October 3, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I’m telling you, the professionals in State and the intelligence community are getting the facts out there that their leadership is trying to keep hidden.

Happy Nomad on October 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

No kidding !!!
It is THEIR lives being played with. How can Hillary even look one of these folks in the eye and say I care about you.
No way. These folks are for the most part, dedicated pros. Their leadership is treating them like trash for political gain.
This is all VERY upsetting.

Jabberwock on October 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I’m telling you, the professionals in State and the intelligence community are getting the facts out there that their leadership is trying to keep hidden.

Happy Nomad on October 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Survival is a remarkable motivator.

the_nile on October 3, 2012 at 2:22 PM

…let’s have more hearings where nobody suffers from any consequences!

KOOLAID2 on October 3, 2012 at 2:24 PM

i know its election season, but anyone is following iran now?
there is a chance the arab spring will spread to persia:
http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2012/10/3/the-latest-from-iran-3-october-blaming-the-enemy-for-the-eco.html

nathor on October 3, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Hilary is CHA for 2016. This has to be close to treason!

Next thing you know, she’ll come back and blame budget cuts aka, it’s the tea party that killed the ambassador

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on October 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I’ve already seen them try this on other forums – Republican Budget cuts are to blame!

Just remember: ‘president’ Barack Hussein Downgrade is ultimately responsible for Benghazigate

Chip on October 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Why wouldn’t State intervene in a dispute over consular security, especially in an area as dangerous — and known to be dangerous — as Benghazi?

As I said in the last Benghazi thread…

…Hillary has carte blanche over State…

…She did not agree with the Arab Spring support…

…she is leaving, one way or another…

…this was her receipt to Barry…

budfox on October 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

The last thing the State Department wants to do is upset their allies in the fight against western civilization.

darwin on October 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

This had to be a decision made by a politically appointed official, not a career bureaucrat. Careerists aren’t going to stick their necks out like this. CIA, MI6, and the security detail, oh and the ambassador were all screaming that the security situation was deteriorating and State did nothing? At best this is criminal negligence. At worst, someone wanted something to happen. . .

rbj on October 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Letters obtained exclusively by Fox News appear to show the State Department refused to get involved when the company tasked with protecting the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, raised security concerns, the latest indication that warning signs may have been ignored in the lead-up to last month’s terror attack.

The letters pertain to a dispute between Blue Mountain Libya, the security license holder in Libya, and its operations partner Blue Mountain UK, which trained and provided the local guards.

I can’t get past the fact that another country’s private concerns are handed the “security” of an American Consulate.

Until I can wrap my mind around the above, I’m unable to even think about the conduct of the Unmade Bed.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM

As long as people continue to spend more time analyzing their fantasy football pick statistics than they do understanding the candidates for political office, none of this will ever matter.

panem et circenses

Skwor on October 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM

It’s easily explained. Someone mumbled Foggy Bottom and Obama thought it meant a bath house.

viking01 on October 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Why wouldn’t State intervene in a dispute over consular security, especially in an area as dangerous — and known to be dangerous — as Benghazi?

because Hussein didn’t want them to ?

burrata on October 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Hillary and the State Department can wash their hands from now until doomsday — and they will still have blood on them.

natasha333 on October 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Thanks Ed for not having dear hills picture on this thread!

This thing will not begin to be resolved till well after the election, if ever? The whole blooming bunch have everyone they know in full cya mode for bho/hill! This is just another F&F, stall stall stall!
L

letget on October 3, 2012 at 2:33 PM

A few more drip drip drip releases, and Hillary might want to expedite the disclosures in order to control them.

.
Any more drip drip drip releases and Team Shrillery will open her 2008 oppo research vaults which are rumored to include:

* The SCOAMF’s college transcripts
* The SCOAMF’s actual birth certificate – hint – it isn’t from Hawaii

and in a sudden, week long “spell of confusion” Billy Jeff will accidentally start speaking truthiness about the SCOAMF.

And if I were “contracting officer Jan Visintainer”, I would be planning on spending my next 10,000 nights sleeping in cardboard boxes.

Truth be told, I am eagerly awaiting the “Release the Kraken!” moment this is all leading towards.

PolAgnostic on October 3, 2012 at 2:33 PM

NBCnews.com & CBSnews.com & ABCnews.com don’t even have the word “Lybia” on their page.

Jackalope on October 3, 2012 at 2:36 PM

There are many different levels of security. Perhaps at the US Embassy in Canada the security is better than in Libya because it is such a hotbed of threats and terrorism to the US. Libya, not so much. Peaceful, loving people wanting to help the poor Americans. I can see why they didn’t pull in a division of Marines. Please understand I am a little sarcastic and pissed off because I was in Libya one month ago and saw the “dirty looks” for a gringo like me.

hip shot on October 3, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I forgot to ad the freedom loving Macaw’s commentary on American Consular “security”:

Consular “security” commentary [explicit]

OhEssYouCowboys on October 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Why wouldn’t State intervene in a dispute over consular security, especially in an area as dangerous — and known to be dangerous — as Benghazi?

Maybe because Petraeus told them how they must not make Muslims think we don’t trust them. That was his policy in Afcrapistan as a general and it’s his policy at CIA.

VorDaj on October 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

It should not take an investigation to answer the simple questions: “How many times did our embassy staff or the security team in Libya request additional security for the consulate or alert the Administration of its security concerns?”

Not rocket science, no need to bring CSI to the crime scene. The attack was FOUR WEEKS AGO; all we are asking is how many alerts and requests had been made, and we KNOW you’ve already checked that to CYA anyway.

Obama’s problem may be that it is Hillary’s fault but, as someone suggested the other day, Bill told him, “If you try to pin this on Hillary, you no-account bum, I will sink your campaign tomorrow – got it, Barry?”

Adjoran on October 3, 2012 at 2:42 PM

* The SCOAMF’s actual birth certificate – hint – it isn’t from Hawaii

PolAgnostic on October 3, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Another hint – it isn’t from Bethlehem either.

VorDaj on October 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

(shakes magic 8-ball) “Yes”

lucyvanpelt on October 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

…let’s have more hearings where nobody suffers from any consequences!

KOOLAID2 on October 3, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Then we’ll go to lunch on the taxpayers dime and discuss which squirrel to drag out next.

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Just remember: ‘president’ Barack Hussein Downgrade is ultimately responsible for Benghazigate

Chip on October 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

that’d so cute

Rio Linda Refugee on October 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

This thing is so explosive that the legacy media is totally ignoring it. It is not on the minds of most Americans because the legacy media will not tell them what is going on…they are the enemy to the American people…

d1carter on October 3, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Obama denied, people died.

TexasDan on October 3, 2012 at 2:56 PM

‘How could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate? In a city we helped save from destruction?’” Clinton asked.

You mean that don’t love us anymore..?

d1carter on October 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

This thing is so explosive that the legacy media is totally ignoring it. It is not on the minds of most Americans because the legacy media will not tell them what is going on…they are the enemy to the American people…

d1carter on October 3, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The Headline is so simple :

America sold out Americans in Libya

Jabberwock on October 3, 2012 at 2:58 PM

And Bill is out there saying ” This economy
was so bad no one could have fixed it in
four years .”
Me thinks a little quid pro quo .

Lucano on October 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

THIS is the issue to chase. And do it QUICKLY.

Find the Blue Mountain people willing to talk.

Carnac on October 3, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I’m seeing articles everyday that the kids aren’t eating their assigned vegetables in school lunches.There is no reason to be concerned about a little treason going on in some foreign country.

docflash on October 3, 2012 at 3:17 PM

While trying to learn more about Jan Visintainer, I came across this:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=c17067ff485a1c888cd409ae9f835d87&_cview=0

Seems we just awarded G4S Security a $20 million dollar contract to provide security at the US Embassy in Copenhagen.

Wasn’t G4S the company that completely dropped the ball on providing security for the Summer Olympics in London?

Hill60 on October 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Now, now. Valarie Jarrett had her full compliment of Secret Service agents along to protect her on her vacation in Martha’s Vineyard…so there’s nothing to be concerned about.
As long as the important officials are protected……

Solaratov on October 3, 2012 at 3:40 PM

…let’s have more hearings where nobody suffers from any consequences!

KOOLAID2 on October 3, 2012 at 2:24 PM

.
Hearings ? !

Why stop there? Go for the “Full Monty” . . . . . . . . . .

I WANT CONSEQUENCE FREE LIFE !

listens2glenn on October 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM

I believe the State Department failed to intervene… because it would have been an omission of failure concerning Libya.

Dems do not care about the body count, they never have. See WW1, WW2, Vietnam, etc.

What they do care about is perceived optics of trifle things like “Foreign Policy”, “Security” and “Smart Power”

Also see Fast and Furious.

Odie1941 on October 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

More evidence of the biggest cover up in American History, shows up every day! The Regime, like good Ideologues, will lie, deflect & deny, to the very end. There is no fear of persecution or oversight! Tells you something about the Republican Establishment, doesn’t it?
For those following:How to take on the Obama Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM

A few more drip drip drip releases, and Hillary might want to expedite the disclosures in order to control them.

Get ready for a major Friday news dump.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report also due out then, and will probably suck. Plus the “who won the debate” arguments will absorb much of the news cycle. Etc., etc. Bad news receptors will already be saturated.

topdog on October 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

I’m telling you, the professionals in State and the intelligence community are getting the facts out there that their leadership is trying to keep hidden.

Happy Nomad on October 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

All those years in government, and Hillary never learned to be wary of people who know how to leak to the media?

tom on October 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM