Before Libya Attack, Major Confusion Over Security

Chris Stevens sent cable on day he died
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2012 2:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Slain Ambassador Chris Stevens, local security forces, and the State Department were all at odds over security in the weeks leading up to the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, according to an interview with a security commander and a cable sent from Stevens himself on the day he died. ABC News spoke with Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, commander of the 16-member special forces team that once provided security for the consulate. He says that Stevens and his staff had wanted the team, which left in August, to stay in order to provide "essential" security. Investigators are now looking into why, if that's the case, no one from the embassy officially requested an extension.

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Meanwhile, on the day of the attack, Stevens sent a cable outlining a recent argument between two leaders of the Libyan militias providing security in Benghazi. They were threatening to withdraw from their mission because they believed the US supported Mahmoud Jibril, who recently lost a bid to become Libya's first elected prime minister. GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is leading the investigation into the attacks, tells the Daily Beast that security was lax in the days before the attack, despite requests from US diplomats for more security, which were ultimately denied. The Beast notes, however, that in the cable, Stevens was also optimistic about Libya's future. (Read more Libya stories.)

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