Across 166 pages of internal State Department documents — released Friday by a pair of Republican congressmen pressing the Obama administration for more answers on the Benghazi terrorist attack — slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and the security officers assigned to protect him repeatedly sounded alarms to their superiors in Washington about the intensifying lawlessness and violence in Eastern Libya, where Stevens ultimately died.
On Sept. 11 — the day Stevens and three other Americans were killed — the ambassador signed a three-page cable, labeled “sensitive,” in which he noted “growing problems with security” in Benghazi and “growing frustration” on the part of local residents with Libyan police and security forces. These forces the ambassador characterized as “too weak to keep the country secure.”
In the document, Stevens also cited a meeting he had held two days earlier with local militia commanders. These men boasted to Stevens of exercising “control” over the Libyan Armed Forces, and threatened that if the U.S.-backed candidate for prime minister were to prevail in Libya’s internal political jockeying, “they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi.”