State Dept Official Blames Ambassador Stevens for Deaths in Benghazi

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission and C.I.A. annex in Benghazi, politicians and bureaucrats scurried for cover to duck blame for denied security requests by slain Ambassador Chris Stevens.  The most disgusting example of blame shifting came from Charlene Lamb, who blames the ambassador himself for his own death and the deaths of three other Americans.

The placement of blame for Stevens’ death was made in testimony by Charlene Lamb, then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and International Programs. Lamb was one of four State Department officials disciplined in response to the attacks for her alleged role in denying security requests to the U.S. Benghazi mission. She was placed on administrative leave but was subsequently reinstated to a State Department job by John Kerry.

The final Benghazi report reveals that Lamb told the Committee:

The RSO [Regional Security Officer] and the Ambassador are ultimately responsible for security at post. It is very unfortunate and sad at this point that Ambassador Stevens was a victim, but that is where ultimate responsibility lies. And it’s up to headquarters to provide resources when post asks for them, and it’s also up to Washington to make sure that we don’t have, you know, waste, fraud, and abuse of our resources, because we’re covering the entire world as well. So it’s you know, when you say who should be accountable, accountable for what?


Moreover, while the Secretary and others were quick to praise Stevens and his dedication to Libya, they were also quick to note “[h]e [Stevens] definitely understood the risks. Yes.”

Saying Stevens “understood” the risks without also acknowledging he repeatedly tried to guard against and defend against those risks is unfortunate. Yes, it is clear Stevens knew the risks associated with his service in Libya from the moment he landed in Benghazi in 2011 on a chartered Greek boat until his final phone call to Gregory Hicks saying “we’re under attack.” Washington D.C. dismissed Stevens’ multiple requests for additional security personnel, while also asking for help in messaging the very violence he was seeking security from.

Saying that the ambassador “knew the risks” is akin to blaming a rape victim for her assault.  It is also flat out inaccurate.  If Charlene Lamb and others in the State Department had responded adequately to the ambassador's requests, it is likely that Stevens, Smith, Woods, and Doherty would be alive today.

Source: Breitbart Jerusalem



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