Were Warnings Ignored?

That’s what the London Independent newspaper reports tonight:

Exclusive: America ‘was warned of embassy attack but did nothing’

Kim Sengupta

Friday, 14 September 2012

The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.

American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential.

The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”.

Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.

According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted.

There’s more.  Meanwhile, the DebkaFile (not always 100 percent accurate) reports that the Benghazi attack was planned with the express purpose of flushing out Ambassador Stevens and other embassy personnel so they could be hunted down and killed:

The operation is rated by terror experts as the most ambitious outrage al Qaeda has pulled off in the last decade. According to our sources, the gunmen split into two groups of 10 each and struck in two stages:

1. They first fired rockets at the consulate building on the assumption that the ambassador’s bodyguards would grab him, race him out of the building and drive him to a safe place under the protection of the US secret service;
2.  The second group was able to identify the getaway vehicle and the ambassador’s armed escort and lay in wait to ambush them. The gunmen then closed in and killed the ambassador and his bodyguards at point blank range.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that the investigation launched by US counter-terror and clandestine services is focusing on finding out why no clue was picked up of the coming attack by any intelligence body and how al Qaeda’s preparations for the attack which took place inside Libya went unnoticed by any surveillance authority.

If these reports are true, Secretary Clinton should be fired.

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