American drones were in the skies above the  U.S. consulate in Benghazi as the deadly attack that killed ambassador  Christopher Stevens unfolded, it has been revealed.

Defense department officials considered  sending troops in to rescue the ambassador and staff, according to CBS News, but  ultimately decided not to .

They would haven been able to watch the  attack on-screen as it unfolded.

The revalations came a day after it emerged  that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens repeatedly pleaded with the State  Department to ramp up his security team in Libya — requests that the Pentagon  ultimately denied — in the weeks, days and hours leading up to the terrorist  attack that killed him and three other Americans, newly released cables have  revealed.

Revelations: Washington was told within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad

Stevens, who was killed in the 11 September  attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, warned the State Department of a  ‘security vacuum’ in Libya ‘that is being exploited by independent actors’ in  one cable that described rapidly deteriorating security  conditions.

‘Islamic extremists are able to attack the  Red Cross with impunity,’ he wrote. ‘What we have seen are not random crimes of  opportunity but rather targeted discriminate attacks.’

Stevens said the attackers would not be  deterred ‘until authorities are at least as capable.’

Just hours before his death, he sent  the  Pentagon a cable describing ‘expanding Islamist influence in Dema,’ a town east  of Benghazi, and said he was seeing a ‘troubling increase in  violence and  Islamist influence.’

Stevens recapped a meeting in which  the  commander of Benghazi’s Supreme Security Council told him there is  ‘growing  frustration with police and security forces.’

The cables were released by  Republican Rep.  Darrell Issa of California, the chairman of the U.S.  House Oversight and  Government Reform Committee, which is investigating  the security matters  surrounding Stevens’ death and questioning whether  the State Department could  have prevented the deadly attack. 

Less than three weeks ahead of the  presidential election, Republicans are using the cables to attack  President  Obama on his foreign policy, despite the State Department’s  claim that it was  solely responsible for the decisions to deny Stevens’  requests for more  security in Libya.

‘These critical foreign policy decisions are  not made by low or  mid-level career officials — they are typically made  through a  structured and well-reasoned process that includes the National  Security Council and the White House,’ Issa wrote in a letter to Obama on  Friday.

The letter claims that Obama had a  political  motivation in rejecting Stevens’ security requests, since the  president was  eager to show improving conditions in Libya after the  U.S.-led international  operation that toppled Libya dictator Moamar  Gadhafi.

On Aug. 2, six weeks before Stevens  was  killed, he requested ‘protective detail bodyguard’ positions,  calling the  security situation in Libya ‘unpredictable, volatile and  violent.’

A month earlier, he requested that  the State  Department extend his tour of duty personnel, which is a  16-man temporary  security team trained in combating terrorism. The  request was denied and the  security team left 8 August.

Stevens had asked for the security team to  stay through mid-September.

Colonel Andrew Wood, the leader of  the  security team that left Libya in the weeks before the terror attack, told CBS  News that Stevens fought hard against losing the team.

‘It was quite a degree of frustration on  their part,’ he said. ‘They were — I guess you could say –  clenched-fist over  the whole issue.

Source: The Daily Mail


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