Notice how the report employs the passive voice and substitutes “Embassy Tripoli” for “Stevens.” What the Board means is that Stevens put inexperienced temps in a dangerous facility with an “insufficient security platform,” then popped off to join them (or whatever) without a proper security detail and without even telling staff where he was going and what he was doing because, you know, he just didn’t think anybody in an unstable Muslim country would want to kill an American ambassador on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The evidence is that Chris Stevens saw himself as a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia, with “his knowledge of Arabic, his ability to move in all sectors of the population, and his wide circle of friends, particularly in Benghazi.” Well, maybe not “all sectors” and maybe his circle of friends was not quite as wide as he imagined. As the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Stevens had a primary responsibility to protect Americans in Libya. But that responsibility conflicted with his dream of a horde of enthusiastic Libyans shouting, “Ste-VENS! Ste-VENS! Ste-VENS!” He put his personal ambitions before the safety of those in his charge.
During the early days of the Libyans’ fight to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi, Christopher Stevens wrangled a ride on a Greek cargo ship and sailed into the rebels’ stronghold city of Benghazi. He arrived at a time when the crackle of gunfire could be heard each night.
Stevens, whose diplomatic foothold were a couple of battered tables, was literally on the rebels’ side while the revolution was at its most vulnerable and in danger of being crushed by Gadhafi’s troops who were moving on the city. The threat was pushed back at the last minute by the intervention of NATO planes which began bombing Gadhafi’s tanks and troops.
Ordinarily, I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, especially since they can’t defend themselves.
#$%$ was Ambassador Chris Stevens doing at an unsecured consulate in Benghazi — “this hottest of hot spots” — on September 11?
In fact, Chris Stevens was a hotdogger who put himself, his staff and his security personnel at undue risk. He is a tragic figure only in the classical sense: he was responsible for his own death and — the deaths of three others. The accountability review board "arb" for benghazi obliquely acknowledges this: “Embassy Tripoli did not demonstrate strong and sustained advocacy with Washington for increased security for Special Mission Benghazi” and describes the facility as having an “insufficient … security platform.” The Benghazi staff consisted of relatively inexperienced American personnel often on temporary assignments of 40 days or less…. Plans for the Ambassador’s trip [to Benghazi] provided for minimal close protection security support and were not shared thoroughly with the Embassy’s country team, who were not fully aware of planned movements off compound. The Ambassador did not see a direct threat of an attack of this nature….