Jake Tapper breaks news of down-sized security in Libya:
Email Shows State Department Rejecting Request of Security Team at US Embassy in Libya
ABC News has obtained an internal State Department email from May 3, 2012, indicating that the State Department denied a request from the security team at the Embassy of Libya to retain a DC-3 airplane in the country to better conduct their duties.
The DC-3 would have allowed the security team to move more freely about Libya, with their weapons.
The State Dept response includes this:
When commercial service was re-established in Libya, the aircraft was reassigned to other State Department business. We use our aircraft when no commercial flights exist.”
Geez, could a security team really take a commercial flight and get all their weapons past the metal detectors? Oh, I'm kidding - the plan was to use commerically available charter flights, which still might take more time than having a plane on call.
Critics claim the withdrawal of the DC-3 was part of a pattern of misunderestimating the security problems in Libya, and not decisive in itself:
No one has yet to argue that the DC-3 would have definitively made a difference for the four Americans killed that night. The security team in question, after all, left Libya in August.
Presumably the departure of the security team was also part of that pattern.