In part one of this series, I presented the theory that Ambassador Steven’s death in Benghazi may have been the unintentional result of a prolonged siege of the Benghazi consulate during which Stevens asphyxiated in a safe room. In part 2, I will begin to look at the security situation at the consulate in the lead up to the attack.
In March of 2012, the State Department made a calculated decision to reduce the security presence in Benghazi in order to “normalize” relations. In their place, the State Department chose a little known security firm, Blue Mountain Security, to hire locals for consulate security. In return Blue Mountain Security hired the February 17th Martyr’s Brigade; a militia with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Interestingly, the new “security” for the consulate was not issued weapons and was told in the event of an attack they should radio for help and run for cover.
As the year progressed, the security situation worsened in the city. In May, requests for additional security and a request for a DC-3 aircraft to transport embassy staff were turned down. In the same month the British consulate and other NATO embassies are attacked.
In June, an IED breached the consulate security wall with a hole “big enough for 40 men to go through.” Also in June, the International Red Cross pulls out of the city after their offices are attacked. This left the United States as the only international entity in Benghazi.