mission was CIA operation: report
November 02, 2012 "The
-- THE US mission in Benghazi that came under attack by
militants on September 11 was mainly a secret CIA operation, the
Wall Street Journal reports, shedding new light on the deadly
President Barack Obama's administration has faced a storm of
pre-election questions about why there was not more security at
the US consulate where four Americans, including ambassador
Chris Stevens, were killed on September 11.
The Wall Street Journal said on Friday the mission was mainly a
CIA operation, adding that of the 30 American officials
evacuated from Benghazi following the assault, just seven worked
for the State Department.
It also identified the two security contractors killed in the
attack - former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty - as
working for the Central Intelligence Agency and not the State
In a break from tradition, it said CIA director David Petraeus
did not attend the ceremony when the coffins arrived back on
American soil in order to conceal the CIA operation in eastern
It said the nearly two dozen CIA operatives secretly worked out
of a separate building known as the "annex", where officials at
the consulate had retreated following the initial attack before
coming under fire again.
The operation, which hit the ground shortly after the start of
the February 2011 revolt that overthrew Libyan dictator Muammar
Gaddafi, was aimed at counterterrorism and securing heavy
weapons held by the embattled regime.
The Journal suggested that the security lapse may have been
caused by miscommunication between the CIA and the State
Department, with the latter assuming the annex security team was
a sufficient backup for its own guards.
"They were the cavalry," it quoted a senior US official as
The Journal said that the day after the attack, the CIA sent
Libyan security officials to the annex to destroy classified
documents and sensitive equipment while leaving the charred and
ransacked consulate - which by design had contained no
classified materials - unattended.
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