US Documents Still Lying Around Libya Compound

Washington Post reporter stumbles across them scattered on floors

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 3, 2012 5:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – A reporter for the Washington Post who went traipsing around the gutted US consulate in Benghazi today made a startling discovery: Sensitive US documents were still scattered about the floors three weeks after the deadly attack. What's more, the site is only loosely watched by two Libyan security guards, making it easy for anyone off the street to get inside. None of the documents found by Michael Birnbaum were classified, but they had details such as the late Ambassador Chris Stevens' itinerary, and the names and addresses of Libyans contracted to work with Americans.

One document shows that American officials were talking about the possibility of an attack, and making preparations to employ a "quick reaction force," just two days before the assault occurred. A State Department official tries to explain the lax security: “We had to evacuate all US government personnel the night of the attack. After the attack, we requested help securing the site, and we continue to work with the Libyan government on this front.” Note that this comes weeks after the State Department blasted CNN for taking Stevens' diary from the rubble. Read Birnbaum's full account here. It surely won't sit well with critics of the consulate's security.

This Sept. 12 file photo shows Libyans walking on the grounds of the gutted U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a day after the attack.   (AP Photo/Ibrahim Alaguri, File)
This Sept. 12 file photo shows a man walking through a room in the gutted U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.   (AP Photo/Ibrahim Alaguri, File)
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