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."