Oversight Presses for Answers: Diplomats in Libya Requested Additional Security, Washington Officials Denied the Resources

October 2, 2012

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking why requests for more protection were denied to the U.S. mission in Libya by Washington officials prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The denials came after repeated attacks and security threats to U.S. personnel.

“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012. It was clearly never, as Administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, write. “In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”

The letter outlines 13 security threats over the six months prior to the attack.

“Put together, these events indicated a clear pattern of security threats that could only be reasonably interpreted to justify increased security for U.S. personnel and facilities in Benghazi,” the chairmen write.

The Committee indicated it intends to convene a hearing in Washington on Wednesday October 10, 2012, on the security failures that preceded the attack.