Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Former RSO Tripoli Called To October 10 House Hearing

According to ABC News (here) tonight:

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call two witnesses for its October 10 hearings on what went wrong at the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

Per the committee, they are:

· “Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom was stationed in Libya from September 2011 to June 2012. The Department of State provided Mr. Nordstrom to the Committee for a briefing, where he confirmed for the Committee the security incidents cited in the letter, and confirmed that the mission in Libya made security requests.

· “Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs Charlene Lamb is an official in Washington is involved in reviewing security requests.”


Anonymous said...

That should be good TSB! gwb

DiploMad said...

I have been writing about all this over at The Diplomad 2.0. There has been a major screw up not just in physical security but in intelligence (the kind in brains, not the spy type) and common sense.

TSB said...

DiploMad: Thanks for your comment. I've been reading your posts with great interest.

One aspect on the incident that I haven't seen anyone explore yet is the context of Libyan-on-Libyan conflict. Was our mission caught in the middle of a battle between two rival militias? There was a run-off election for Prime Minister on September 12, and the U.S. was seen as supporting Mahmoud Jibril, who had been the head of the transitional government and was opposed by the more Islamist factions. Even supposing the attack on September 11 began as a response to our drone-killing of a Libyan al Qaeda leader in Pakistan, it could have developed into an opportunity for Ansar al Sharia to attack its rival, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, which was responsible for the security of our mission. Absent that militia-on-militia aspect, the attack on our people might have been more limited and ended much sooner.


Shouldn't someone in congress
demand that Deputy Security
Officer Charlene Lamb be placed
under oath, and required to
reveal exactly which superior
officer at our State Department
ordered her to deny Ambassador
Stevens urgent request for added
security teams for the Bengazi

___ ___

TSB said...

Snake Hunter,

She was under oath in front of the House Oversight Committee, and so was her - much higher, several levels up in the hierarchy - superior, Under Secretary Kennedy. The decisions made about Triploi and Benghazi were part of their testimony.

I realize there is a theory that HIllary Clinton or maybe even Obama intervened in those decisions, but that is, frankly, nonsense. No one at their level gets involved in the work done at the middle manager level of government. Charlene's level is barely two steps above my own - low - spot on the organization chart, and I certainly never deal with any political appointee above the rank of management intern.

My view is that Tripoli and Benghazi were two of maybe 20 to 30 overseas posts with critical needs at that moment. I wouldn't have put them ahead of some others that needed the same resources they had asked for.

Things looks different after the attack, of course. However, the RSO testified that nothing he had asked for would have made a difference given the scope and duration of the attack. It was going to be much the same outcome even if there had been 10 or 15 armed Americans at the mission facility that night instead of only 5.