The crisis still smoldering in the Middle East, the focus should be on ensuring the safety of American diplomatic personnel as well as civilians who may be in harm's way. Nevertheless with the stonewalling coming from the White House, attention must turn to Libyagate - what did the president know, and when did he know that there was danger for Americans?
In the news cycle, the various stories are starting to look strikingly bad for the president.
CNN reports that diplomats knew:
Benghazi, Libya (CNN) -- Three days before the deadly assault on the United States consulate in Libya, a local security official says he met with American diplomats in the city and warned them about deteriorating security.Jamal Mabrouk, a member of the February 17th Brigade, told CNN that he and a battalion commander had a meeting about the economy and security.He said they told the diplomats that the security situation wasn't good for international business."The situation is frightening, it scares us," Mabrouk said they told the U.S. officials. He did not say how they responded.
Gateway Pundit: OSAC, the Department of State's bureau of diplomatic security was apparently caught unaware. As Drudge reports in it's link to the memo on Gateway, the memo has been deleted.
The Independent reports that sensitive information was taken from the consulate in Libya and again, that there was a forewarning that seems to have been ignored:
The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the "safe house" in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed "safe".Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.
Meanwhile the administration is issuing denials about knowing anything ahead of time. As Politico reports;
The Obama administration is flatly denying a blaring British newspaper report that the U.S. diplomats in Libya were killed as a result of a “continuing security breach,” and that “credible information” about possible attacks had been ignored.A U.S. official told POLITICO: “There's no intelligence indicating that the attack in Benghazi was premeditated.”
If the administration is denying it now, they'd better be telling the truth, or it will evolve into Libyagate in no time.