CIA officials in Libya made key decisions during Benghazi attacks


Reuters has the story CIA officials in Libya made key decisions during Benghazi attacks. In case you haven’t got the time to follow the link to the story, I’ll provide a sizable quote from the article.

About 25 minutes after the initial report came into the CIA base, a team of about six agency security officers left their base for the public diplomatic mission compound.

Over the succeeding 25 minutes, the CIA team approached the compound, and tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to get local Libyan allies to bring them a supply of heavier weapons, and eventually moved into the burning diplomatic compound, the intelligence official said.

At around 11:10 p.m., a Defense Department drone, which had been on an unrelated mission some distance away, arrived in Benghazi to help officials on the ground gather information. By 11:30, U.S. personnel who had been working or staying at the mission had been rounded up except for Ambassador Stevens, who was missing, the intelligence official said.

When they tried to drive out of the diplomatic compound to return to the CIA base, however, the convoy carrying U.S. evacuees came under fire.

Once they got back to the CIA base, that installation itself came under fire from what the intelligence official described as small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. These patchy attacks went on for roughly 90 minutes, the intelligence official said.

CIA SENT TEAM FROM TRIPOLI

Around the same time, a CIA security team based in Tripoli, which included two U.S. military officers, landed at Benghazi airport. Upon its arrival, however, the team spent some time trying both to arrange local transport and to locate the missing Ambassador Stevens.

After some time trying to solve these problems, the security team that had flown in from Tripoli eventually arranged for an armed local escort and extra transportation, but decided not to go the hospital where they believed Stevens had been taken. In part this was because they had reason to believe Stevens was likely dead, and because security at the hospital was believed, at best, to be “uncertain,” the intelligence official said.

Not long before dawn, the reinforcements from Tripoli managed to take themselves and a convoy of vehicles to the CIA base to prepare for an anticipated evacuation.

However, just after they arrived at the CIA base, the official said, a new round of attacks on that facility was launched, this time with mortars. Although the mortar attacks lasted only 11 minutes, two U.S. security officers were killed by a direct hit from one of the shells, the intelligence official said.

Finally, a bit less than an hour later, a heavily armed Libyan military unit arrived at the CIA base to help evacuate the compound of U.S. personnel to the Benghazi airport, the official added.

Over the next few hours, roughly 30 Americans, as well as the bodies of Stevens and the other three Americans killed during the attacks, were loaded on planes and flown out of the city, several U.S. officials said.

This is only one report from the CIA.  I am not saying anyone should believe any report as conveying the complete truth.  However, it does indicate that there may be another side to this story than the one Mitt Romney has been shooting his mouth off about.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.