U.S. special forces previously assessed security at Benghazi post
October 1st, 2012
06:40 PM ET

U.S. special forces previously assessed security at Benghazi post

By Barbara Starr

A small team of U.S. commandos was dispatched to assess security at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and train local forces to better to protect that facility following an attack on a U.N. convoy there in April, an administration official told CNN.

The development is one of the strongest indicators yet highlighting the level of concern about security in the region in the time before last month's attack on the Benghazi consulate that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

American intelligence believes it was a deliberate terrorist assault.

Special forces often conduct security assessments in areas deemed more threatening. Their presence and what they found and recommended would have been known to the ambassador, the official said.

The official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information, said there had been security concerns at the site after that U.N. attack.

What Obama administration has said about Libya attack

The U.S. military team recommended a number of changes that included sandbag reinforcement of guard positions at the site and conducted training for local Libyan security personnel. The team was sent because "there was some concern."

The New York Times and the Washington Post first reported many of the details.

Until July of this year, U.S. special operations forces provided some key support for security at the American embassy in Tripoli and occasionally at the consulate at Benghazi until enough contractor and State Department personnel were trained to take over, according to the official.

The military contingent in Libya had first been sent in after the embassy reopened in September of last year following the revolution. At that time, there were not enough qualified and trained local contractors to take on the job and a State Department security team was not yet fully in place.

In revisions, U.S. intelligence believes Libya attack a terror assault

The military security personnel came from the U.S. Africa Command, which has responsibility for any American military operations in Libya.

After July 2012, the State Department took full responsibility for security operations while military personnel performed other duties, including working with Libyan forces.

Three U.S. officials told CNN that after the April attack, the Pentagon never received a request from the State Department to send military security forces back to Benghazi to secure the site.

While it's always possible there was some informal discussion, the officials are adamant that any such deployment would have required extensive planning within the U.S. government and approval from the Libyan government for the presence of U.S. military personnel, weapons and equipment to counter the mortar and rocket propelled grenade threat in the Benghazi area.

First on CNN: Intel agency seeks to explain evolving understanding of Libya attack

soundoff (72 Responses)
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  3. Leisure Tour

    It’s nice to know there are still some good people out there like you that care and have a passion for what you are doing. .Good luck and keep up the good work.

    October 19, 2012 at 2:03 am | Reply
  4. MuckFohammad

    Obammy drops the ball yet again. I guess he should have gone to a few more intel briefings.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

      Oh yes, his predecessor would've handled it so much better. As would the Mormon Rommel and his little space-men. Oh, indeedy-do!

      October 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
      • Dinkidau

        If the Commander In Chief and his National Security Team, would tell the truth to the American Public about what
        really happened in Bengahazi and why it happened, instead of their lies, it would be better for all.

        October 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  5. MHC

    MEDIA.....DO YOUR JOB!!!! This would have been front page news for months if it was GWB in office. Shameful

    October 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  6. Run Amok

    Does it really matter whether we blame Bush or Obama for this? Actually, the focus of attention will be on Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security – which "plays a vital role in protecting US embassies and personnel overseas, securing critical information systems, investigating passport and visa fraud, and fighting the war on terror." (He was appointed to his current position by Bush in 2008)

    October 3, 2012 at 4:32 am | Reply
    • KarenFaye

      Headline on Fox that Hillary is asking for "more time" to investigate what is being proven – that Stevens and others begged for more security and they KNEW something bad was about to happen. But they made sure not to wake up Obama so he'd look like "eye candy" for his appearance on THE VIEW – which he found to be more important than saving American lives.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  7. Tenacious1

    CNN! This is YOUR story. You broke it and it's now the biggest draw to your product! Is there at least a business professional in the company? Run it LOUD and PROUD. For once, lead the other MSM. Put it up front.

    Good for you guys! Now earn some business be fearless. Americans like leaders and we want some citizen allies in the media to help inform and protect us from our government.

    October 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  8. Starx11

    Wow! I really had to dig deep to find anything on this scandal on CNN. It should be front page news!! Disgraceful.

    October 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

      Most people could probably care less. Most people got other sh!t to worry about. Most people would rather inhale sugar and watch Honey-Boo-Boo. We're f****d!

      October 3, 2012 at 12:31 am | Reply
  9. Aberdeen

    "Experimental Democracy" has failed in India. An experiment that was being shoved down India's throat by western countries too eager to propagate their own values on a country that was trying to decolonize itself while trying to shed the communist skin of being a Soviet ally. India was thus trapped. What has become evident now is that this "Experimental Democracy" has marginalized the country. The marginalized groups of the country – Dalits and ‘backward’ castes/classes, indigenous ‘tribal’ people and religious minorities have been disenfranchised.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • Aberdeen

      US Special Forces have assessed the situation and are planning for an imminent implosion of India along the lines of CAS states. In the name of our lord.

      October 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  10. don davis

    How is it that all of the major news organizations have reporters in Benghazi and we can't seem to get our FBI in there? We have become one weak nation lately. Might be time for some new leadership.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  11. PATRIOT

    Absolutely ridiculous that CNN is not reporting on this constantly! NIXON was impeached for far less than what this administration has done covering up the Libya story. An American Ambassador was killed due to the OBAMA policies that failed our embassies world-wide, security was a major issue and was known prior to the attacks. Now we have more border agents killed and CNN doesn't report it!!! Oh wait the AG is still preventing full disclosure and the Administration also, wonder if it is tied to the Fast and Furious weapons??

    October 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

      Nixon was deposed in a CIA engineered 'coup. Obama's doing as he's told. As will his eventual successor.

      October 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Brook Novelli

      I totally agree. In looking on the CNN site, I had to dig to find this story! Why is it NOT on the first screen!

      October 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  12. Clinton

    Regardless of the security situation... this was a US Embassy... All embassy's should be free from attack... Diplomacy should be held in high regard no matter where in the world it is represented.. We need to continue to hunt down terrorists the world over and continue to work to kill them all.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  13. turbosi

    Now I'm confused. This morning the lead story at the 8am hour was a bit about how the intelligence dept. knew about the problem since April but the White House was filtering the data before briefing Congress and someone even said that the White House out right lied to Congress. It almost shocked me a story detrimental to the WH (Obama) was aired on CNN. Now I've been looking around the site and can't seem to find any reference to this mornings story.
    Was this CNN's one moment of real reporting just to be swept under the rug later?!?!

    October 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Brook Novelli

      Touche..so true...where did it go?

      October 2, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  14. Louis

    Boy CNN must be really scared of President Obama. They hide these articles in "security clearance." Fox and the Wall Street Journal have updated people about what happened but we see that since the administration complained about CNN looking at Ambassador Stevens' diary, CNN has been trying hard to put the story on the back page. Whatever happened to "fair and balanced" honest journalism. CNN should have a special where they try to get at the truth about what happened in Libya. The American people and the world deserves a "fair and honest" account.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • Chuck

      No scandal here. Merely a "bump in the road". Today's lead story is the pig that ate his farmer master. America only cared about foreign policy disasters when it was an economic and military superpower. Now, as a declining socialist backwater, this isn't a lead story. Vote obama if you want more food stamps and government cell phones.

      October 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  15. design4u1

    BOMBSHELL: House Oversight says requests for increased security in Benghazi before 9/11 denied by Washington
    http://www.therightscoop.c om/bombshell-house-oversight-says-requests-for-increased-security-in-benghazi-before-911-denied-by-washington/

    October 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
    • rachni

      No surprise considering the number of attacks they were under on a regular basis, it just gets worse and worse. Why would they even have people over there if they can't protect them?

      October 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  16. George Patton

    "train local forces" the sickest word on internet. How dumb Americans have to be to trust local people, not knowing their background or affiliations? "train local forces" never worked in PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, or any Muslim countries. Such a waste of American taxpayers money !!

    October 2, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

      Indeed, the Imperial British found that out a long time ago.

      October 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  17. rachni

    The state department issues more excuses for their gross incompetence. So they were told the security situation was bad, and it sounds like they're saying they could do nothing about it, then why put the ambassadors life at risk in such a dangerous area in the first place? Why was he in that area that night?

    October 2, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  18. Jared72

    So where's the rest of the story with this.... This has been on ongoing article with very little coverage except for a few unnamed sources. Not only was there no address to the situation while this happened, but there was very little action publicly from our elected officials to show that they have our countries best interest "at heart". From this and many other sites, we heard plenty of the "high school" grade video as well as the comments made by Romney on the day of the attack. But we seem to get very little information "strait" information on a national security issues that results in the death of the countries diplomats? And we are suppose to come to these sources for news??? Maybe if it had something to do with a stained dress or an exchange of money for weapons?? I think its time we start getting the truth or quit relying on these sources for what is considered "news"...

    October 2, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
  19. como1

    So now it was weeks prior to the embassy invasion and murder of our 4 brave diplomats. Romney was condemned for getting it right and Obama has his media allies hid this story.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
  20. William

    Sending in extra security would have upset Muslim sensibilities. Obama has put alot into Muslim outreach. We imperialistic and guilty Americans must be culturally sensitive! Why tick off a Muslim when Americans can die instead?

    October 2, 2012 at 7:47 am | Reply
  21. Chris J

    You people are absurd.

    Of course they knew it was a terrorist attack within 24 hours. Usually civilian protesters don't show up with RPGs. And all this conspiracy of a cover-up, ridiculous! I'm assuming you sheep thing that the intelligence failure of 9/11 and suggested cover-up was absurd, right? Why is this one different? Oh, because your Lord and Saviors Bill O'Reilly and Rush tell you so.

    But hey, four Americans died in this attack. How many died in 9/11? Or in Katrina while GWB was flying to his vacation home while part of our nation was being crippled and destroyed?

    October 2, 2012 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • rdsink

      Wow! did you really just minimize the fact that we lost 4 Americans to a senseless attack? "but hey! four Americans died in this attack" ... I mean really.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • Tenacious1

      Chris, Soveriegn US territory was attacked. American's died. We had plenty of notice and warnings. Leadership failed. Have you been following this story? You must be new to CNN too as they seem to be one of only two networks still trying to get answers for us. Now I want to know WHO denied the requested additional security and WHY it was denied? How sorry is the Lybian government after Obama went in and helped? MOST IMPORTANTLY, what the hell is Obama going to do about it? All I get is crickets as our Commander in Chief waits for the main stream media to dilligently forget about it and move onto the next Romney gaffe.

      October 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  22. Mike Lake Orion Michigan

    Where was Hillary Clinton?

    October 2, 2012 at 7:10 am | Reply
    • William

      She isnt with Bill. Shes doing Obamas job by meeting with all the world leaders.

      October 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
      • I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

        Actually, William, she's doing her job. It's what the Secretary of State does. Not the President.

        And BTW; we DO have an empire. Sorry.

        October 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  23. Jan

    If they all knew it was dangerous to be in Benghazi why did Stevenson go there? Was it necessary, was he disregarding his own intelligence reports ? There had been reports of Al Qaeda in Eastern Libya. It is always the responsibility of the host country to provide the security.
    Why does the media give the impression this was "the" U S Embassy in Libya when we know the main embassy is in Tripoli.

    October 2, 2012 at 12:00 am | Reply
    • government cheese

      CNN has his journal. Read that story.

      October 2, 2012 at 3:27 am | Reply
  24. NNN

    "After July 2012, the State Department took full responsibility for security operations ..." The President does not micromanage State Department operations at this level, if there was negligence, then it is with the State Department. These people who imagine the President has his hand in every one of the hundreds of thousands of actions the government takes every day are beyond simple-minded.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • BigDrop

      "The President does not micromanage State Department operations at this level."

      Crap are you kidding? Listen to Obama talk about getting UBL and you'd think he was piloting on of the stealth helicopters. Not the one that crashed, of course.

      October 1, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
    • Anna

      Of course it just might help if he actually sat in morning security sessions, but because he is King he just gets a briefing on a piece of paper – guess national security isn't a biggie on his list – what a man!!

      October 2, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
      • Brook Novelli

        So true Anna! Totally with you! Where was he in those security briefings?

        October 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tenacious1

      NNN, Who hired those folks at the State Department? Who hired the head of the DOJ? Who was fired when GM failed? Why? That's right, because leadership starts at the top. Obama doesn't seem too concerned with getting to the bottom of this. Afterall, on the day it happened, Obama had to be in Vegas for some much needed campaigning. No time for foreign security threats and terrorist attacks on Americans. We have an election to win!

      Now think back to Bush 12 hours after Hurrican Katrina. What was your opinion then as the media villified him for not racing down there and "DOING SOMETHING."

      October 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  25. Anna

    Susan Rice either knowingly lied for Obama or she was sent out with false informtion from the administraton – because even by their account – finally – they knew 24 hours after the attack it was done by terrorists. But then what else do you expect from a man who is too busy campaigning for the job to actually DO his job. He should have sat his hiney down in that oval office and told the nation what was going on and at least condemned the murder of an American ambassador and staff but noooooooo raising money in Nevada was much more important to him.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • BigDrop

      Yeah, but Romney doesn't like dogs. Focus, people!!

      October 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  26. Anna

    CNN has had the ambassador's journal for weeks and knew he was concerned for his safety and the staff's..........and this administration blew off 9/11 but the terrorists didn't, congratulations Mr. Obama 4 Americans are dead because you didn't even try to make them more secure, but then you were the "man" that banned the word "terrorist" when you became prez.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • Jay Reardon

      But we knew who REALLY "blew off" 9/11, don't we?

      October 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply
      • BigDrop

        Yes, Obama's State Department.

        October 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  27. EG

    Unbelievable. This should be the leading story on the website right now, but it's in blogs because that's where Obama and his media brass want it to be.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply
    • Anna

      You got that right! How sad for our country.

      October 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • Brook Novelli

      Totally agree!!!

      October 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  28. obama cover up

    The Cover Up is totally exposed as the woodwork releases the facts to media sources including the outrage of the world wide USA Embassy Staff Family .

    The truth is known now it is the when . ENJOY

    October 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  29. George Patton

    If these so-called "Special Forces" assessed the Benghazi compound, then why didn't they evacuate the U.S. embassy staff and move them to Tripoli to the West"? This smells of incompetence! In fact, we should never have taken over there in the first place!!!

    October 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • John Smith from Los Angeles

      Smells of incompetence? Obama's foreign policy is a gigantic stinking pile of incompetence. He waves bin Laden's death around to show success but doesn't mention that he declined three earlier opportunities because his senior advisor Valerie Jarrett told him not to. Obama turned NASA into muslim community outreach while Al qaeda is swarming in Mali, Libya, Egypt, Yemen... And it was Obama that created an Al Qaeda safe haven in Libya.

      But free cell phones and food stamps carried the day, and America is choosing to become a poor and socialist land. So get used to the ascent of radical islam.

      October 2, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
      • Brook Novelli

        Yes, good points!

        October 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  30. I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

    That's the problem with trying to run an empire.........the colonials never seem to want to cooperate.

    October 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Well said, I wipe...... Thank you.

      October 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • BigDrop

      Yeah, that's pretty funny.

      October 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • William

      Kind of lame. Responding to 3000 people being killed in NY is building an empire?
      You probably believe 9-11 was an inside job too. With the help of Zionist Jews, of course.

      October 2, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
      • Quigley

        Are you sure that 9/11 was not an inside job, William? I'm not! Besides, never put anything past the C.I.A., nothing at all! 9/11 was however, a great boon for the Bush Administration. First of all, it boosted Bush's popularity enormously and got the Patriotic Act passed in Congress with almost no opposition. And finally, it provided Bush with the perfect pretext for the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Need I say more?

        October 2, 2012 at 8:16 am |
      • I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

        Let's see.....19 hijackers.......1 from Egypt, 1 from Lebanon, 2 from the UAE and 15 from our good friends and loyal allies, those paragons of democracy and human rights – Saudi Arabia.

        Not a Jew in sight. Zionist or otherwise.

        October 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

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