Skip to comments.Libyan Gun Control Policies Left Guards Unarmed at U.S. Compound in Benghazi
Posted on 01/13/2013 5:01:47 AM PST by IbJensen
(CNSNews.com) - The gun control policies of the post-Gaddafi government in Libya delayed the arming of bodyguards for U.S. diplomats in that country and left the local guard force hired to watch over the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi unarmed, according to internal State Department memos and written testimony by the State Department officer who was in charge of the departments security in Libya until six weeks before the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.
Our long term security plan in Libya was to recruit and deploy an armed, locally hired Libyan bodyguard unit, State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in written testimony.
However, because of Libyan political sensitivities, armed private security companies were not allowed to operate in Libya, Nordstrom said in his testimony submitted on Oct. 10. Therefore, our existing, uniformed static local guard force, both in Tripoli and Benghazi were unarmed, similar to our static local guard forces at many posts around the world. Their job was to observe, report, and alert armed host nation security, and armed DS agents on-site.
The State Department hired Libyan nationals to carry out two types of security jobs in that country. One set acted as bodyguards for diplomatic personnel when they travelled outside the State Departments facilities. The other acted as a static local guard force to man the gates and watch over U.S. diplomatic compounds.
Nordstrom worked as the State Departments Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, from Sept. 21, 2011 until July 26, 2012. On March 28, 2012, he sent a memo from Tripoli to the State Department in Washington, D.C., outlining what he believed to be some of the departments security needs in Libya.
The department had hired a contractor to provide local security personnel in Benghazi, and, according to Nordstrom, the Libyans hired by this contractor were only able to obtain temporary firearms permits when senior U.S. officials came to Benghazi for short-term visits.
Although an LGF [local guard force] contractor has begun operations in Benghazi, initial discussions regarding contractor-provided armed close protection/movement support does not appear viable based on complications regarding GOL [Government of Libya] firearms permits, wrote Nordstrom in a memo that the State Department released to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Currently, the LGF contractor is able to obtain only short-term (48-72 hr) firearms permits for specific VIP visits.
More than three months later, in a July 9, 2012 memo to from Tripoli to Washington, Nordstrom said that the government of Libya had hindered U.S. security efforts by delaying firearms permits.
While post has made a number of procedural security enhancement[s] and physical security upgrades, our efforts to normalize security operations have been hindered by the lack of host nation security support, either static or response, an increase in violence against foreign targets, and GoL delays in issuing firearms permits for our LES [locally employed staff] close protection/bodyguard unit.
Nordstrom told State Department headquarters that Ambassador Chris Stevens needed to intervene with the Libyan government in order to get an initial set of firearms permits issued to some of the Libyans the State Department had hired.
With the receipt of firearms permits for 11-members of Posts LES close protection team, RSO [Regional Security Officer] anticipates limited deployment of team members to support Ambassador, DCM [deputy chief of mission] and QRF [quick reaction force] details, wrote Nordstrom. However, this deployment will continue to require U.S. security personnel support and leadership until the close protection team (CPT) is fully staffed with 24 members.
Permits for the first 11 LES close protection team members took more than 2 months and required Ambassadorial intervention with the Minister of Interior, wrote Nordstrom.
Nordstrom wrote in the same memo that the embassy would examine the possibility of arming at least some supervisors of the local guard force deployed at the State Department compounds, but again noted the obstacle of the Libyan governments antipathy toward allowing such people to have guns.
RSO and Post will continue to examine ways to augment the internal defense and static security profile at USG compounds in Libya, to include consideration of a partial arming of supervisory personnel in the LGF, wrote Nordstrom. Post anticipates that full implementation of armed supervisor LGF members could take up to 60 days for selection, training, equipping, policy approvals and deployment. Given the GoLs traditional sensitivities regarding armed security personnel, Post does not recommend deployment of either an armed LGF or CPT element without notification to and licensing from the GoL.
In his written testimony submitted to the House committee, Nordstrom explained that it eventually took until June 2012 for the Libyan government to give U.S. security personnel firearms permits and until July to give them to Libyan bodyguards. The local guards working at the Benghazi diplomatic compound, meanwhile, were unarmed when terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2012.
The idea of private armed security in Libya was still a new and sensitive concept to the Libyan Government, Nordstrom said in his written testimony. Abuses of Qaddafi foreign mercenaries were still fresh in the minds of the Libya people. While the Government of Libya and specifically the Ministry of Interior were supportive of the idea of a direct-hire Libyan bodyguard unit for the mission, it would take them time to develop the necessary infrastructure to support our proposal, including a site for driver training and fire arms training for the bodyguards.
The speed of that deployment was also contingent upon the issuance of firearms permits from the Government of Libya, Nordstrom testified. Although more than a dozen bodyguards completed training by late April, we could only utilize them for duties that did not require them to be armed. This included acting as a liaison, or advance agent for a VIP visit or the Ambassadors travel. U.S. security personnel were issued firearms permits at the beginning of June, 2012, with our local bodyguards receiving permits about a month later. The delay was a result of the Ministry of Interior conducting additional vetting of the bodyguards, to ensure that they were not former Qaddafi loyalists.
At the time of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the Benghazi compound, in addition to five State Department diplomatic security agents who were present at the facility, there were also three armed members of the February 17 militia who had been hired to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel and four unarmed Libyan security guards. However, the February 17 militia members were essentially on strike at that time, refusing to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel when they travelled outside the facility.
The State Department Accountability Review Board report criticized the State Departments reliance on the militia and the unarmed arms.
At the same time, the SMCs [Special Dipomatic Missions] dependence on the armed but poorly skilled Libyan February 17 Martyrs Brigade (February 17) militia members and unarmed, locally contracted Blue Mountain Libya (BML) guards for security support was misplaced, said the ARB report.
At the time of Ambassador Stevens visit, February 17 militia members had stopped accompanying Special Mission vehicle movements in protest over salary and working hours, said the report.
According to a report published Dec. 31, 2012 by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the video monitor in the security command center at the Benghazi compound showed that the terrorists swarmed through the front gate of the compound without any resistance from either the armed militia or unarmed guards.
We're talking TREASON BIG TIME with the the blood of the death of four Americans on the hands of the Imam Obama and his Islam loving minions who put the self-esteem of the aformentioned radical jihadists as their highest priority over the lives of Americans which the Obamunists couldn't care less about!
The Obama Adminstration told Americans who wanted to rescue their countrymen under attack by these same radical jihadists to stand down! Accordingly, the TREASONOUS Obama Administration must be held directly responsible for their unnecessary deaths!
Anyone wanting on or off this ping list, please advise.
For those that desire a peaceful and legal solution to a governmental wrong, there has always been the courts to decide an issue.
We've learned over the past 20 years, and certainly the last 4, that we no longer have the Constitution and the court as "bullets"
My fear is there are not enough brave and selfless American patriots that will "take one for the team" so to speak.
An example of a “Gun Free Zone” and it’s consequences.
According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963), host countries are obligated to protect and defend the embassies of other nations within their country.
If they fail to do so, the grounds of the embassy (but not necessarily all properties owned by the guest nation government) are regarded as the sovereign territory of the guest nation, which they may protect and defend if the host government is unable or unwilling to carry out its obligations.
By a much older diplomatic treaty, the only guest nation personnel permitted to be organic armed guards on embassy grounds must be uniformed “marines”, designated as such even if the guest country does not have a navy. However, they *may* hire additional armed guards, under host nation rules, from the host country.
Now, this being said, the US embassy *annex* is Libya was not part of embassy grounds, and was thus not sovereign US territory. Nor was its defense required by the Libyan government.
However, what can be learned from this incident is that US Marines stationed in embassies in nations “at risk” for attack against our embassy, should *not* be limited in any way to being “passive” defenders of the embassy.
Because of terrorist threats, many of our embassies are now highly defensible fortifications. If the Marine detachments, a fire team or squad, were equipped with crew served weapons, they could readily hold a mob of thousands at bay, killing enormous numbers of them as soon as they set foot on embassy grounds.
For example, after the fall of the Shah of Iran, the Marines had been able to do so, they could have taken out the “students” (in reality government agents), who captured our embassy and held our diplomats hostage. For the Iranian government to penetrate our embassy would have required the use of military heavy weapons, to include tanks, artillery, and aircraft.
So none of this nonsense about “students”, and it would have been an unambiguous act of war.
As it was, the most the US Marines were permitted to do, they did, such as trying to secure doors with coat hangars. Which is pathetic, as had they been armed with proper weapons, the “mob” would have had to crawl over a pile of their dead comrades just to get into the embassy grounds.
Agreed, it wasn’t “libyan” policies that disarmed our
people but the policy of Obama’s state department that
feared to exert itself.
NO OTHER, Well, ok, Hillary, and how is Hillary anyway...
Haven’t seen much of her lately...
TREASON...in real-time, pre-meditated, continuous, un-questioned, un-checked, ongoing...
It is amazing how Republicans let Obama and Hillary get away with this. All Romney could come up with on the Benghazi issue is arguing when Obama first called it terrorism.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Obama wants to disarm all Americans. Anyone who says differently about Obama, can look up what his Attorney General, Eric Holder, said that all gun owners should cower in shame.
And a Congress not only in disarray but rolling around on the floors foaming at the mouths and reaching across the aisle to grope their opposite numbers.
They are not treasonous, merely they are psychologically disarranged. The phony president thingy is a psychopathic marxist monster whose brain short circuited years ago.
This is what passes for leadership in our once proud country. If only the central socialist government could be decimated.
It’s very kind of you to inquire about Madame Hillary’s present condition. It shows a regard for our appointed leaders.
Mrs. Clinton is in a sort of daze as when she hit herself in the head with a hammer in order to avoid testifying about her rather lame leadership in the Department of State, she accidentally fractured her skull and caused a massive internal hemotoma on her brain.
Prominent surgeons are now trying to decide whether a complete frontal lobotomy will save the life of this valiant leader.
If this perilous surgical procedure fails she will be greatly missed by those muslim nations who only desire peace and love.
Mr. Clinton, that dashing Errol Flynesque character of great charm, is secluded in someone’s bourdoir at present and unavailable for comment. His work on the Obama campaign trail at an end now he is searching for another project to benefit his nation.
hussein & Co. know it.