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Jan 22, 2013 No Comments ›› spratico

WashingtonGuardian-Just hours before he died in a terrorist attack at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Ambassador Chris Stevens sent a cable to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton painting a chaotic, violent portrait of the eastern Libya city and warning that local militias were threatening to pull the security they afforded U.S. officials.

Militia leaders told U.S. officials just two days before the attack that they were angered by U.S. support of a particular candidate for Libyan prime minister and warned “they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a critical function they asserted they were currently providing,” Stevens wrote in the cable the morning of Sept. 11, 2012. He also cited several other episodes that raised questions about the reliability of local Libya security.

“Growing problems with security would discourage foreign investment and led to persistent economic stagnation in eastern Libya,” Stevens cautioned.

The Washington Guardian obtained a copy of the memo, a weekly summary of events in Libya dated just hours before a band of terrorists struck the unofficial U.S. consulate in Benghazi and a neaby annex building where the CIA operated, killing the ambassador and three other Americans.

Stevens’ cable is likely to become a central focus of congressional hearings that begin Wednesday — hearings where Clinton will be pressed to explain why security for diplomats in the region wasn’t increased in the weeks before the attack and why so much reliance was placed on local security forces with dubious loyalties.

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