Peter Ferrara
Enough facts are in the public record about the Benghazi murders of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 others, including two Marines, that a final judgment can be rendered on President Obama's handling of the affair. Obama's actions, or inactions, amounted to dereliction of duty, and worse.

The Obama Administration received requests for additional security from the Embassy and the Ambassador himself as early as February. An embassy cable on June 25 expressed fear of rising Islamic extremism in eastern Libya around Benghazi, and noted that the black flag of Al-Qaeda "has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities." On August 2, Ambassador Stevens sent a cable requesting 11 additional body guards, noting "Host nation security support is lacking and cannot be depended on to provide a safe and secure environment for the diplomatic mission of outreach,"

But these requests for additional security were repeatedly denied, as security officials testified before Chairman Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee earlier this month. Obama and his allies did not want a show of American force in the country that would offend Muslim sensibilities. They wanted to rely instead on the host country's security that the embassy was telling them was inadequate and could not be depended upon.

As the anniversary of 9/11 approached, the Obama Administration should have known that more security was necessary to protect diplomatic missions in the increasingly hostile country, especially on that sensitive date. But they did just the opposite, reducing security. The Wall Street Journal reported on October 10 that the Administration removed a well armed, 16 member, security detail from Libya in August, to be replaced by the Libyan security personnel that Ambassador Stevens had just told them could not be relied upon.

Based on documents released by the House Oversight Committee, the day of the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, September 11, the White House situation room starts receiving emails at about 1 pm that the mission is under hostile surveillance. The only response was that the Pentagon sends a drone armed with a video camera so that everyone in Washington can see what transpires in real time, as it happens, at the White House, at the State Department, at the Pentagon, at the CIA.

The drone documents no crowds protesting any video. But at 4 pm Washington receives an email from the Benghazi mission that it is under military style attack. Subject: "U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack." The email states,

Peter Ferrara

Peter Ferrara is General Counsel for the American Civil Rights Union, a Senior Fellow at the Carleson Center for Public Policy and a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.