U.S. official goes public with criticism of security policy in Libya

Libyans walk the grounds of the burned U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last month. Libyans walk the grounds of the burned U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last month. Ibrahim Alaguri/AP

The State Department insists it didn't cut corners on security in the run-up to the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, but a former U.S. security official in Libya is doing his best to torpedo those claims. For weeks, the State Department has been on defense trying to account for why there wasn't more security at the U.S. compound in Benghazi even as U.S. officials in Libya complained of mounting security threats. Last week, these criticisms were vaguely sourced to "whistleblowers" speaking with Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Now, it appears that at least one source of those criticisms is showing his face: Lt. Col Andy Wood. 

Wood led the 16-member special forces team tasked with protecting U.S. personnel in Libya. and this morning, two stories critical of the State Department were sourced to Wood, one by ABC News and another by CBS News. The first features Wood hitting the administration hard on its refusal to increase security personnel in the country prior to the attacks. "We tried to illustrate ... to show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there. So to decrease security in the face of that really is ... it's just unbelievable," Wood told Attkisson in a sit-down interview. When Wood discovered that his 16-member team and a six-member State Department elite security team was being pulled from Tripoli in August, he said it felt "like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers. There was concern amongst the entire embassy staff."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.