Congressional Hearing Investigations Death of Libya Ambassador

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 5:10pm

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

In prepared testimony Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood told the committee that security was weak at the consulate in Benghazi.

"The situation remained uncertain and reports from some Libyans indicated it was getting worse," Wood said.

The committee's chairman, Representative Darrell Issa, alleges the State Department ignored pleas from its diplomats in Libya to increase security there in the months before the attack in Benghazi.

Eric Nordstrom, the former Chief Security Officer for U.S. Diplomats in Libya also testified, saying he requested additional security agents in March and in July, but received no response.

Just five U.S. agents protected the main U.S. compound.

Staffers recommended more.

Back in Washington, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb denied the request.

"Sir, we had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11 for what had been agreed upon," she insisted when questioned by Congressman Issa.

"Saying you had the correct number, and our ambassador and three other individuals are dead and people are in the hospital recovering because it only took moments to breach that facility somehow does not ring true to the American people," Issa replied.

The White House, meanwhile, again denied any intentional cover-up in the weeks after the tragedy and said the investigation continues.
  

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