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Top State Department Official Admitted to Congress that Command Center “could follow what was happening in almost real-time”
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained court-ordered documents in accordance with its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. State Department seeking “any and all logs, reports, or other records” the Washington-based Diplomatic Security Command Center produced between September 10, 2012, and September 13, 2012, relating to the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on October 16, 2014, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01733)).
According to testimony given by Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State Charlene Lamb before the House Oversight Committee on October 10, 2012, the Command Center knew the Benghazi compound was under hostile fire from the moment the attack began. Lamb’s testimony was in direct conflict with initial false claims by the Obama administration that the attack arose from a spontaneous demonstration in response to an Internet video.
Jihadists twice set off explosives at the consulate prior to the incident that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, and announced threats on Facebook about escalating attacks on Western targets in the run-up to the 9/11 anniversary, according to whistleblowers reaching out to House Republicans.
Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have released new documents backing up claims by security personnel previously station in Libya that there was a shortage of security personnel in Benghazi.
The documents contain previously unreleased cables from Ambassador Stevens and his staff reflecting concerns about safety in the country.
The U.S. State Department did not have an immediate comment.
One signed by Stevens and titled “LIBYA’S FRAGILE SECURITY DETERIORIATES AS TRIBAL RIVALRIES, POWER PLAYS AND EXTREMISM INTENSIFY,” dated June 25, 2012, assess the increase in violence. ”From April to June, Libya also witnesses an increase in attacks targeting international organizations and foreign interests,” Stevens wrote, describing attacks on a United Nations official in Benghazi, International Committee for the Red Cross buildings in Benghazi and Misrata, and IED at the mission in Benghazi, and RPG fired at the British Ambassador’s convoy, and an attack on the consulate of Tunisia.
On Tuesday, Sean Smith, a Foreign Service Information Management Officer assigned to the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, typed a message to the director of his online gaming guild: “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” The consulate was under siege, and within hours, a mob would attack, killing Smith along with three others, including the U.S. ambassador.
In April 2014, Judicial Watch forced the release of State Department documents it had obtained, including an internal email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.”