Friday, October 12, 2012

Key stuff from the Libya Hearings

Former Libya Site Security Team Commander: Al-Qaeda "More Established Than We Are" In Libya


Lt. Colonel Andrew Wood Testified Before The House Oversight Committee That Al Qaeda Is “More Established Than We Are” In Libya. REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH): “Does anybody else here know how many shoulder to air missiles that can shoot down civilian airliners are still loose in Libya? Does anyone know?” LIEUTENANT COLONEL ANDREW WOOD: “The figures that we were provided were fluid, but the rough approximation was between ten and 20,000.” REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (R-CA): “The gentleman's time has expired. Did you want them to answer anything in response to al queda growth? If anyone has an answer on that one, they can answer and then we’ll go on.” KUCINICH: “Is Al Qaeda more or less established in Libya since our involvement?” WOOD: “Yes, sir their presence grows every day, they are certainly more established than we are.” (House Oversight And Government Reform Committee, Hearing, 10/10/12)


State Department: Budget Had Nothing To Do With Security Decisions At Benghazi


State Department Official Charlene Lamb Testified Before The House Oversight Committee That Budget Cuts Had Nothing To Do With Security Decisions In Benghazi. REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R-CA): “It has been suggested the budget cuts are responsible for lack of security in Benghazi, and I’d like to ask Ms. Lamb, you made this decision personally, was there any budget consideration and lack of budget that led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?” STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS CHARLENE LAMB: “No, sir.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Oversight And Government Reform Committee, Hearing, 10/10/12)


Libya Embassy Security Officer -Obama's Plan For Libya: "Hope That Everything Would Get Better"


Eric Nordstrom, Former Regional Security Officer At The U.S. Embassy In Libya, Testified Before The House Oversight Committee That The Obama Administration Did Not Have A Plan In Libya, Only “A Hope That Everything Would Get Better.” REGIONAL SECURITY OFFICER ERIC NORDSTROM: “Absolutely. That was one of the tensions that we always had. We obviously understood the need to engage across a wide spectrum of programs. That was one of the main reasons we wanted that security resources, so that we could deploy sufficient resources to respond when there was a problem. There was not open warfare at all times in Libya. Generally speaking, we saw a lot of improvements. It was fairly permissive during the daytime. Things started to heat up after hours. We had sort of a joke, I saw that it was in the newspaper, but we had a saying that it was, in Libya, you would be fine until you’re not. Our problem was if someone found themselves in an issue, we had three officers specifically trapped in the Prime Minister's building when it was stormed by some fighters protesting a pay issue. Were we going to have sufficient people who could respond and navigate their way in and extricate those people? With time and with less resources, we were not going to have that. One of the frustrating things that I found early on and as I mentioned in my testimony, I was extremely pleased with the planning to get us into Libya. The frustrating thing that I found is once the first teams and the first TDY-ers started to expire at 60 days, there was a complete and total absence of planning that I saw in terms of what we were supposed to do from that point on. So when I requested resources, when I requested assets, instead of supporting those assets, I was criticized. And somehow it was my responsibility to come up with a plan on the ground and not the responsibility for DS. I raised that specific point in a meeting with the DS director in March, that 60 days there was no plan. And it was hope that everything would get better.” (House Oversight And Government Reform Committee, Hearing, 10/10/12)

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