- Post 19 October 2012
- By Breitbart.com
It has taken more than four weeks, but the facts of the assault on the American consulate in Benghazi are slowly emerging.
It is now known that on the evening of September 11, 2012, Ambassador Christopher Stevens conducted a scheduled meeting with a Turkish diplomat. At approximately 8:30 PM, the ambassador saw his visitor out the gate. There were no protesters in front of the consulate then, nor did any of the survivors of the attack report the presence of demonstrators prior to the initial assault. Videotapes recovered from the compound show, at least partially, what happened.
At 9:40 PM, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons tore into the front of the compound. Inside the consulate, American security personnel immediately contacted the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, as well as the State Department Crisis Desk in Washington, informing both locations that they were under attack. Per standing orders, Ambassador Stevens and diplomat Sean Smith were placed in a safe room in the ambassador’s residence. Within minutes, an outbuilding housing a Libyan security force was on fire, and the militiamen assigned to protect the compound had melted away into the night.
Incoming RPG and machine gun fire became so heavy that the security officers were forced to retreat and barricade themselves into a command center adjacent to the Ambassador’s residence. Now holed up in separate buildings, the Americans were surrounded. The situation would rapidly go from bad to worse. The consulate summoned a U.S. quick reaction force stationed in a security compound across town. Accompanied by sixty Libyan security guards, four American agents set out in an armored SUV to break the siege. Before they could reach the compound, terrorists had forced their way into both of the consulate’s residential buildings. Failing to break through the locked grate work that protected Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, the assaulters splashed diesel fuel and set the building on fire. Smoke and flames rapidly filled the residence. ... continues...