The House Oversight committee will hear this week from the former head of the Special Forces “Site Security Team” in Libya about the State Department’s decision to downsize security weeks before the terror attack on our Embassy.
Lt. Col. Ady Wood, told CBS News that in spite of multiple pleas from himself and other U.S. security officials on the ground there, for MORE security, the State Department removed as many as 34 people from the country in the months before that attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Speaking to CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Wood said when he found out that his own 16-member team and a six-member State Department elite force were being pulled from Tripoli in August – about a month before the assault in Benghazi – he felt, “like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers. There was concern amongst the entire embassy staff.”
Asked what response their repeated pleas got from the State Department in Washington, Wood says they were simply told “to do with less. For what reasons, I don’t know.”
“We tried to illustrate… to show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there. So to decrease security in the face of that really is… it’s just unbelievable,” Wood tells CBS News.
State Department officials have told CBS News that Wood was not part of the security assessment in Benghazi and that his assignment to Tripoli means he was unfamiliar with the local situation in the smaller port city in the country’s east.
Wood, however, says some of the members of his own team and additional personnel from the State Department’s elite security detail – the two teams which left Libya in August – would have traveled to Benghazi with Ambassador Stevens had they still been in the country.
Read more at: CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57527659/ex-u.s-security-team-leader-in-libya-we-needed-more-not-less-security-staff/