Reader Input Online: Curious statement on Benghazi security

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During the vice presidential debate, Joe Biden stated “We didn’t know about the requests for more security” – referring to the attack on our embassy in Benghazi. A curious statement in light of the following: In Benghazi, described as a “no man’s land in Dodge City,” there was general chaos, shootings, criminal activity, militias that refused to disband, and 48 security threats between June 2011 and July 2012, according to Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer. There were also two bombings at our embassy in the five months leading up to the attack.

Not surprising, over the summer British diplomats abandoned their offices in Benghazi after their ambassador’s motorcade was attacked by rocket propelled grenades. Threats were made on Facebook to our ambassador, Chris Stevens, along with his picture. The final straw was a telegram to the U.S., sent by the Libyan government days before the attack, that “something was brewing in Benghazi.”

Despite repeated appeals for security, via emails and cables from Stevens and Nordstrom (“we need more security, not less”), all requests were ignored by the State Department. The two were told to “not continue asking for help.” Nordstrom said the State Department “wanted to reduced our security footprint and rely more on locals.” He was directed to “normalize” embassy operations and reduce security personnel – to keep U.S. security in Benghazi “artificially low.”

Most governments would have protected their people. Ours did just the opposite. And four Americans were killed, including Chris Stevens.

We need an explanation.

Bill Harder, Sr., Auburn