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Published On: Wed, Oct 10th, 2012

Details emerge of Christopher Stevens’ final moments and the battle to protect him

The Daily Mail details a timeline and paints a picture of chaos in Benghazi on September 11th. There was no protests, just an attack on those at the consulate/safe house, which left 4 dead, including Christopher Stevens.

Tuesday, this was the statement by Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the US State Department at the Daily briefing.

“…we have not been commenting on timeline, et cetera, from this podium beyond what we said at the beginning. What we have been doing is responding to things that are not accurate or things that are endeavoring to understand how we do security, et cetera. We had a little conversation about what airplanes the State Department has.

So as things come up that are factual and not necessarily related to the conduct of the investigation, we do what we can to help. But in general, our posture is that we’ve got an FBI investigation; we’ve got an ARB; obviously we’re going to work with the Congress, including tomorrow. So we’ll go from there. But we’re not going to be giving a daily brief from here as we go through things.”

Below are some of the quotes from the article.

Benghazi safehouse on fire following the September 11 attack photo supplied by State Dept

The site is the size of a football field surrounded by a nine-foot wall topped by barbed wire and other security upgrades.

Ambassador Stevens arrived in the city the day before, accompanied by a five-person security detail.

At 9.40pm, security agents started hearing loud noises, gunfire and explosions near the front gate.

A barracks at the entrance housing the local militiamen was burnt down, and a large group of armed men was captured on a security camera flowing into the consulate.

The alarm was sounded and one agent, armed with a sidearm and an M4 submachine gun, led Stevens and computer specialist Sean Smith to a safe room inside one of the compound’s two main residences.

Sean Smith Facebook photo

THIS WOULD BE WHEN SEAN SMITH MADE HIS POST TO THE GAMING WEBSITE TO ALERT AUTHORITIES OF THE ATTACK.

The other security officials armed themselves with long guns, body armor, helmets and ammunition at other buildings.

Two of them made an attempt to enter the building with Stevens, but were forced to retreat after meeting resistance.

Attackers eventually managed to enter the building where the ambassador was hiding and attempted to open the door to the safe room, but to no avail.

Instead, they dumped jerry cans of diesel fuel in the building, lit furniture on fire and set the exterior of the building on fire.

Two of the remaining four agents barricaded the insides of the compound’s other residence, preventing the armed men from entering.

The building that was housing the ambassador rapidly began filling up with thick diesel smoke and fumes from the burning furniture.

The Americans opened a window in the bathroom, but it proved insufficient to fill the room with fresh air.  At that point, a decision was made to leave the building.

Glen Doherty handout photo

The agent went out first, as is standard procedure, flopping out onto a patio enclosed by sandbags and immediately taking fire, believed to include rocket-propelled grenades.

Stevens and Smith did not come out, so the third agent, suffering severely from smoke inhalation, went in and out of the building several times to look for them.

He then climbed to the roof  and collapsed, but not before radioing the other agents to alert them.

The other four agents were able to reunite and take an armored vehicle to Stevens’ building.

They reached the agent on the roof and tried to set up a perimeter. Taking turns enter the building, the agents scoured the premises on their hands and knees for the missing Americans.

Smith was eventually pulled out dead. Stevens was not found.

A six-person quick reaction security team arrived from their compound across town accompanied by about 60 Libyan militiamen accompany. They also attempted to secure a perimeter around the building, but determined that they could not hold it.

Outnumbered by ‘an unbelievable amount of bad guys’ in the compound, the militia fighters told the security team they had to evacuate, according to a State Department official.

‘We’ve got to leave, we can’t hold the perimeter,’ the official said the militia told the team.

After taking fire, a decision was made to evacuate the compound and return with everyone to the reaction force’s compound.

Tyrone “Rone” Woods

Agents piled into an armored vehicle, with Smith’s body in tow, and left through the main gate under fire.

Crowds and groups of men blocked two different routes to the security compound, creating heavy traffic that slowed down the escaping Americans to about 15mph.

Traveling a narrow street, they reached a group of men who signaled for them to enter a compound.

However, the security officials ‘smelled a rat’ and sped away, taking heavy fire from AK-47 machine guns at a distance of only two feet, and hand grenades thrown against and under the car which blew two of the tires.

They sped past another crowd of men and onto a main street and across a grassy median into opposing traffic. The agents drove against traffic, eventually reaching their compound, where they took more heavy fire for several hours.

In the night, a team of reinforcements from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli arrived on a chartered aircraft at the Benghazi airport and reached the security compound.

At around 4am, the compound’s building was hit by mortar fire which killed agents Doherty and Woods. One agent who was involved in the attack from the beginning was severely wounded.

The men then decided to evacuate the city entirely. The following several hours were spent securing the annex and moving a large convoy of vehicles to the airport before they were evacuated on two flights.

Stevens was not seen by the security team again until his body was delivered to the airport, officials said, and they still do know how he reached the Libyan hospital where attempts were made to treat him for smoke inhalation.

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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