CBS: State Dept renewed lease on Benghazi consulate — with security waiver

posted at 10:01 am on January 9, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Just two months before the attack on our consulate in Benghazi killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, the State Department approved the renewal of its lease while once again waiving security requirements. CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reports that the security waiver came just one month after an IED blew a hole in the wall of the compound:

The State Department renewed the lease for the U.S. compound in Benghazi two months before the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks without requiring the facility to meet normal security standards. That news comes from an interview Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., conducted with a survivor of the attacks.

The survivor, a State Department diplomatic security agent whose name isn’t being disclosed, spoke behind closed doors in late November to Senators Graham, Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. The previously-undisclosed existence of the year-long lease calls into question the State Department’s designation of the compound as “temporary” and therefore exempt from normal security requirements. …

The lease renewal came shortly after a June 2012 assault in which an improvised explosive device blew a giant hole in the exterior wall of the facility. Graham also says he learned that in addition to other denied requests, the State Department’s Regional Security Officer for Libya asked for stronger security for the compound in August 2012 but it was denied. The State Department told CBS News that the August 2012 request for more security was not submitted to headquarters, so there was no denial.

“Don’t you imagine that if Congress had known that someone renewed a formal lease for one year at the same time it called the facility ‘temporary’ and exempted it from security standards that we would have had a lot of questions about it?” Graham said in an interview with CBS News.

Attkisson cites the Accountability Review Board’s report in noting that the temporary designation on the facility led to the fatal weakness in security and preparedness on the night of the attack. However, the ARB report never mentions a lease renewal in the middle of 2012. Perhaps that’s because the ARB tried to limit its focus to lower-ranking officials at State, rather than political appointees — such as Patrick Kennedy, a key aide to then-Secretary Hillary Clinton, whose portfolio at State included responsibility for security arrangements.

While we’ve long known that State ignored rapidly-increasing signs of danger and refused to improve security despite a string of requests from Libya to do so, the lease part of the story is new — and needs investigation. Someone at State had to approve that lease with the security waiver in July 2012, and it’s not going to be the lower-ranking officials probed by the ARB. Who approved it, and why wasn’t security upgraded after that attack? This is yet another nail in the coffin for the credibility of the ARB, State Department, and the Obama administration on Benghazi.

Update: Updated the headline for better accuracy.


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Who cares? What about that manufactured traffic in New Jersey?!

Doughboy on January 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM

This is yet another nail in the coffin for the credibility of the ARB, State Department, and the Obama administration on Benghazi.

…nobody can hit the nail on the head though…can they?

KOOLAID2 on January 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM

The survivor, a State Department diplomatic security agent whose name isn’t being disclosed, spoke behind closed doors in late November to Senators Graham, Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J

I think Obama will be safe. Why would they have three Obama minions at these hearings and no conservatives?

Buddahpundit on January 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Crickets…..lsm would still rather talk about the credibility of Christie instead of this administration

Pathetic

cmsinaz on January 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Hey Hillary! didn’t know… honest injun’ now…let’s talk about the Donut that ate the GWB!

harlekwin15 on January 9, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Who approved it, and why wasn’t security upgraded after that attack? This is yet another nail in the coffin for the credibility of the ARB, State Department, and the Obama administration on Benghazi.

This, friends, is a real scandal. Losing one’s health insurance because of Obamacare is a scandal. Finding out the IRS is denying your application for tax exempt status for partisan reasons is a scandal.

Closing a few lanes of the GWB for spite…….. not so much.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 10:10 AM

“What difference does it make?”

Killery 2016

workingclass artist on January 9, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Did Hillary, who contributed to the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi, sign off on that or was it her general failed policy that led to it being signed off?

TerryW on January 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The survivor, a State Department diplomatic security agent whose name isn’t being disclosed, spoke behind closed doors in late November to Senators Graham, Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J

I think Obama will be safe. Why would they have three Obama minions at these hearings and no conservatives?

Buddahpundit on January 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Hey, the Democrats are masters at this stuff. Remember, they smuggled someone who should have been called as a witness onto the “9/11 Commission”, solely so she could not be questioned under oath. That would be the infamous Jaime Gorelick.

When another witness correctly testified under oath that Ms. Gorelick should also have been called as a witness, he was loudly booed by the Clinton Cultists in the visitors gallery. That witness would be US Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Something has gotten into CBS’s craw concerning Obama. I have a feeling Sheryl Attkissin’s computer problems may have opened some eyes there.

MaxMBJ on January 9, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Over/under that this scandal will be as ignored as Benghazi?

CompleteColorado.com reports that emails show U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s (D-CO) office pressured the Colorado Division of Insurance to downplay the number of insurance cancellations caused by the rollout of ObamaCare. A full 249,199 Colorado citizens were victimized by ObamaCare’s cancellations. According to the emails, Udall’s office hoped to change the definition of a “cancellation” as a way to lower the number.

In 2014, the GOP is not only running against Democrats, they are also running against outright corruption.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 10:26 AM

When another witness correctly testified under oath that Ms. Gorelick should also have been called as a witness, he was loudly booed by the Clinton Cultists in the visitors gallery. That witness would be US Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Del Dolemonte on January 9, 2014 at 10:16 AM

You don’t seem to understand that Gorelick and the others were placed on the 9/11 Commission specifically to keep blame away from Clinton’s lax attitude toward terrorism.

Killary is having a little more trouble with the blame-shifting, primarily because she still has political aspirations that will force more of a response than her arrogant “what difference does it make” Congressional testimony. Nevertheless, the media will do their part of keeping her image clean- even if she ultimately doesn’t run for the Presidency (which is my prediction).

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Congressional testimony. Nevertheless, the media will do their part of keeping her image clean- even if she ultimately doesn’t run for the Presidency (which is my prediction).

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 10:32 AM

She has a huge ego so she may run but I’m leaning in your direction. That she won’t run. Surely there has to be someone in the media, besides Ms Attkisson, who’ll want to dig up the dirt. Surely there is a Republican willing to investigate this. (Ok, maybe that’s just wishful thinking)

Vince on January 9, 2014 at 10:44 AM

KOOLAID2 on January 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Unfortunately not. Seems like lots of people are afraid to even pick up the hammer.

Hill60 on January 9, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Incredibly stupid.

This is what happens when someone sitting in a cubicle in DC, with no experience in the field, makes critical decisions like this. This should have been a no-brainer in an unstable country like Libya.

And to top it off, clowns like Hillary count on people like who I’ve just described to inadvertently provide cover for them.

NavyMustang on January 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM

She has a huge ego so she may run but I’m leaning in your direction. That she won’t run. Surely there has to be someone in the media, besides Ms Attkisson, who’ll want to dig up the dirt. Surely there is a Republican willing to investigate this. (Ok, maybe that’s just wishful thinking)

Vince on January 9, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Yeah, people forget that part of the reason Obama was nominated is because Killary ran a really lousy campaign in 2008. I don’t see how she gets around her dismal record as SecState and the Benghazi scandal. She will find that, at this point, it does make a difference.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 11:02 AM

This is what happens when someone sitting in a cubicle in DC, with no experience in the field, makes critical decisions like this. This should have been a no-brainer in an unstable country like Libya.

NavyMustang on January 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM

I think you’re missing a critical point. Someone sitting in a cubicle in DC isn’t signing off on these decisions. It is their boss in the office next to the cube farm who does. But the ARB went out of there way to depict these decisions as the result of rogue cubicle dwellers.

The fact of the matter is that we do not know why so many Americans were at the consulate (we can guess). Regardless, keeping the consulate and CIA annex open even as the British and International Red Cross bailed was a political one that has nothing to do with physical security.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 11:08 AM

At this point, the on off ramps to the GWB are important. After all NJ is a blue state. That’s the difference maker. There are no one blue voters in Benghazi. \s

steveracer on January 9, 2014 at 11:10 AM

This whole Benghazi mess is infuriating. Meanwhile, Hillary remains immune to the scrutiny and there’s bridge traffic to focus on. But thanks to the many fine journalists like Attkisson and Hayes and blogs like Hotair who remain determined to find the truth of Benghazi.

scalleywag on January 9, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I don’t understand this. Do we have an ambassador to Libya now? Can some of these people be torn away from Christie staff emails and work on the death of four Americans?

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Just two months before the attack on our consulate in Benghazi killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, the State Department approved the renewal of its lease while once again waiving security requirements. CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reports that the security waiver came just one month after an IED blew a hole in the wall of the compound:

It’s not easy being Uriah the Hittite.

Just for comparison, see how Uriah the Hittite met his end once David the king decided he was in the way.

2 Sam 11:14-15 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.

Starting to sound familiar?

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM

NO ONE in this administration is responsible for anything!

GarandFan on January 9, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Unfortunately not. Seems like lots of people are afraid to even pick up the hammer.

Hill60 on January 9, 2014 at 10:46 AM

…tiring…isn’t it !?!

KOOLAID2 on January 9, 2014 at 1:15 PM

“…the new Ambassador to Libya, William Gates…”

mojo on January 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Added barriers for Tripoli have been denied for years. Also, if they had added a ‘safe’ room for the Ambassador, and also the building for the DS agents to monitor the video feeds which was able to keep the terrorists out of that building, why didn’t they do the same to the Ambassadors building?

If you go back and watch the first House committee hearing, Ms. Lamb says (52:00) that upgrades were done to the perimeter – extending the height of the outer wall to ten feet. I know for a fact that State did no perform those upgrades, if they were done, through regular channels. If you just look at the pictures, the walls aren’t more than 18 feet.

They need to ask why the Long-range Plan for State has been cancelled. They also need to look at all previous versions to see how the ‘upgrades’ were never done.

Patriot Vet on January 9, 2014 at 1:53 PM

“…without requiring the facility to meet normal security standards.”

PROOF POSITIVE that Obama AND Hillary Clinton has / had no regard for the security and safety of both American lives and ‘American soil’!

What an historic, unprecedented pathetic, Islamic Extremist-sympathizing, America-hating piece of Shi’ite!

easyt65 on January 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Bumper Stickers:
American Ambassador Chris Stevens was ASSASSINATED while
Secretary of State, Hillery PROCRASTINATED.

AND
Our Finest Warriors Bled and Hillery Fled.

Missilengr on January 9, 2014 at 6:41 PM