Face down on a roof inside the besieged American diplomatic compound, gunfire and flames crackling around them, the two young Libyan guards watched as several bearded men crept toward the ambassador’s residence with semiautomatic weapons and grenades strapped to their chests…

They were the “quick reaction force” for a compound that was also protected by about five armed Americans and five Libyan civilians hired through a British firm and equipped only with electric batons and handcuffs.

But nothing, they say, had prepared them for this. They had practiced for an attack by 10 or 15 people; now there were scores of professional-looking militants who moved methodically and used well-practiced hand signals. To make matters worse on the night of Sept. 11, instead of four militiamen who were supposed to be on guard, there were only two inside the compound…

“We were not expecting such a massive attack,” the guard says. “We were not ready for it.”

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“You’re flogging the wrong dead horse! It isn’t about what Mitt Romney or Republicans did. The really… important horse that should be flogged is the behavior and the statements of those who were in positions of responsibility and, we would assume, knowledge, and it’s pretty un-American… to put out completely false statements before you know the facts, isn’t it?”

“You cannot vote in November without knowing just how deep, just how malicious, and just how reckless this administration has been with the truth and with the lives of Americans who were murdered on September 11th.”

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