Fox News should -- but won't -- win a Pulitzer for its reporting on Benghazi. Today's Fox exclusive details cables that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi sent to the Office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One cable, sent an entire month before the attack, notifies the administration that:
- al Qaeda had ten (10) training camps in Benghazi. (While Obama simultaneously told voters on the stump that "al Qaeda is on the run").
- the Consulate did not have enough security to fend off a coordinated attack, "due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound," according to the cable.
- the Libyan government had lost control, so its security forces and police could not be counted on to protect the Consulate.
While the administration’s public statements have suggested that the attack came without warning, the Aug. 16 cable seems to undercut those claims. It was a direct warning to the State Department that the Benghazi consulate was vulnerable to attack, that it could not be defended and that the presence of anti-U.S. militias and Al Qaeda was well-known to the U.S. intelligence community.
In a three-page cable on Sept 11, the day Stevens and the three other Americans were killed, Stevens wrote about “growing problems with security” in Benghazi and “growing frustration” with the security forces and Libyan police. The ambassador saw both as “too weak to keep the country secure.”
Fox News asked the State Department to respond to a series of questions about the Aug. 16 cable, including who was specifically charged with reviewing it and whether action was taken by Washington or Tripoli. Fox News also asked, given the specific warnings and the detailed intelligence laid out in the cable, whether the State Department considered extra measures for the consulate in light of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks – and if no action was taken, who made that call.
The State Department press office declined to answer specific questions, citing the classified nature of the cable.