Report: Ambassador Stevens Declined Additional Security

A news report indicates that Ambassador Christopher Stevens turned down an offer of additional security in the weeks before the attack on Benghazi:

U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens — one of the four people killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack at in the U.S. post in Benghazi, Libya — twice declined a senior U.S. military official’s offer to have added security assistance, according to a McClatchy News report.

McClatchy News reported Tuesday that two unnamed government officials told them that it’s still unclear why Stevens would turn down the offer.

In the weeks before the attack, Stevens met in Germany with Army Gen. Carter Ham, then-head of the U.S. Africa Command, and Ham told Stevens he could provide him more military security. But Stevens declined the offer

“He didn’t say why. He just turned it down,” an unnamed defense official told McClatchy.

Conservatives have heavily criticized President Barack Obama’s administration — including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — for their handling of the Benghazi attack, in part because of what they say was a lack of security at the post.

While this may seem inconsistent given his requests to the State Department for additional security, it’s worth noting that Ambassador Stevens only took a minimal guard to Benghazi when he made his trip there on September 11th.

FILED UNDER: Africa, National Security, Terrorism, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Hillary’s fault, obviously, for not forcing more security upon Stevens.

  2. Jr says:


  3. TheColourfield says:

    Not all that important but wonder why you would use a Politico story as your initial link when the actual news is in the embedded McClatchy link.

    Politico frankly has no actual reporting besides insider gossip and beltway chatter. McClatchy has been excellent for years.

  4. stonetools says:

    Maybe its time to say bluntly what’s been whispered in quiet:
    Maybe Ambassador Stevens is as much responsible as anyone for his own death. Maybe he just miscalculated the risk and paid the price.
    Is it too early to say that?

  5. rudderpedals says:

    General Ham asked Stevens if he wanted more security twice, not just once. Issa knew this but concealed it during his shows. Among the two bombshells in the mcclatchydc article.

  6. It’s funny. We continue to pretend that facts and better information will help answer the Benghazi questions.

  7. Dazedandconfused says:

    The Pickering/Mullen report is a masterpiece of diplomacy in how they worked around this. It’s there, clear as a bell, but only so for the people in the biz who can read between the lines.

  8. Mikey says:

    I recall hearing this in the immediate aftermath of the attack. My opinion, then and now, is that Ambassador Stevens was in the best position to decide this, and whatever his reasons, he decided not to take on the additional security.

    @stonetools: I don’t think it’s too soon to say that–Stevens knew he was taking some risks, I’m sure. Libya wasn’t exactly the safest or most stable place post-Gaddafi. You’re just making a statement of fact.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    While this may seem inconsistent given his requests to the State Department for additional security,

    You know what I hate? A scandal that is consistently inconsistent in it’s narrative.

    On a slightly more serious note, as the circumstances of exactly what happened and why in Benghazi grow murkier, the GOP thrashes around in the waters stirring up ever more silt to little effect other than to muddy up the waters even more. Which after all, is the whole purpose of everything they are doing.

    “See???!!! If it wasn’t a conspiracy, why can’t we tell what really happened?”

  10. Caj says:

    If that is true it must be because President Obama said he couldn’t have any!! I speak in jest of course but that’s how petty minded some Republicans are and would have to bring President Obama into the conversation somehow if this is true. Kind of blows the Republican arguement out of the water if that was the case that Ambassador Stevens declined additional help. What will they do now? Probably call whomever said this a liar no doubt because it doesn’t fit into what they so badly want to lay at the feet of President Obama and of course Hillary Clinton.
    So Darrell Issa will have to knock this investigation on the head and move onto the next two. Those being IRS and AP. This guy’s calendar must be covered in ink where he’s penned in all the investigations he has lined up for this administration! Don’t think he’s ever come across anything that he won’t investigate. His family should watch out as they maybe next! So glad Eric Holder put him straight on Wednesday.

  11. Matt says:

    I know Sean was getting nervous about some stuff but he didn’t really think something like this was going to happen.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    Like I said…the more you look at these Republicanist brouhahas…the more you realize there is nothing to them.
    The GOP is wasting all of our time.

  13. al-Ameda says:

    The president probably forced Stevens to decline additional security because he (the president) had intelligence that indicated that an attack was imminent and he wanted Stevens to be in harm’s way.

    I’m sure that Darrell Issa sees it the same way.

  14. Caj says:

    Can we expect to see Darrell Issa investigate himself as to why he voted against funds for security in Benghazi and other places around the world? He was so outraged over the incident he must surely want to find out why there wasn’t enough security! But no, that will be swept under the rug just like all the wrong doings of the GOP.

  15. Dazedandconfused says:

    CBS is starting to compare Republican cites of the e-mails with what is actually in them. Some don’t match.

    “The politics of scandals” might have been a more appropriate thread for this.

  16. dennis says:


    Yeah, TC, but the comments from the troglodytes are certainly tasty over there at Politico!

  17. Barry says:

    There’s nothing beyond him– not illness, not inkwells. In most cases, Printing Preferences is the appropriate choice. Looking for recycling sector that accepts your printer cartridges that have been already utilised after which exchanges your toner cartridges recycle for cash is greatest way you could use to come across a location for recycling.