Remember Benghazi? The scandal has been out of the limelight for a while now that the election is over, but it is still an important issue since we still don't know what exactly happened that night. Now a new report reveals that Hillary Clinton's State Department pressured security contractors to stay quiet about the lackluster security at the American consulate in Benghazi.
Jerry Torres and Brad Owens, who work for the security contracting firm Torres Advanced Solutions, recently told Fox News that in 2012, a miniscule security contracting firm called The Blue Mountain Group was awarded the bid to provide security to the Benghazi consulate, even though they put in less money than Torres Advanced Solutions. It was also the first time Blue Mountain had ever been given "a diplomatic security contract" in a "high threat" area.
Naturally, a security firm that small and inexperienced was insufficient in providing security to a region overrun by Islamists — especially since they provided unarmed guards as security — so the State Department eventually realized they needed to beef up their security. They asked Torres Advanced Solutions to take the helm at the consulate on August 31, 2012. The firm agreed, but Torres pointed out they would need around 2-3 weeks for everything to be ready.
The Benghazi attacks occurred less than two weeks later.
"There was nothing we could've done about it," Owens told Fox News. "If we'd had one month warning ... who knows what might've happened."
Torres added he was shocked that the Obama administration initially blamed the attacks on a YouTube video and that in 2013 he was told by State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer that anyone in his security contracting firm "should not speak to the media, should not speak to any officials with respect to the Benghazi program."
What was even more bizarre was that Visintainer also thought that "guards should not be armed at U.S. embassies."
"She said that they weren't required in Benghazi," Torres told Fox News. "So I was kind of confused about that. And she said that she would like my support in saying that if that came up."
Torres said that he gave no response to her request.
Owens and Torres told Fox News they were perturbed that a lot of the same State Department bureaucrats who were responsible for the failures of Benghazi remain entrenched in the department, but they remain hopeful that the Trump administration will weed those bureaucrats out.
The report does shed some light on how the State Department dropped the ball on hiring a small security contracting firm to provide security at the consulate, and they didn't realize how bad it was until it was too late. There are still questions that need to be answered — mainly what Clinton and Barack Obama were doing during the attacks — but at least now we have a little more information as to why four Americans died that night.
The Trump administration should be doing more to figure out what happened that night and get rid of the bureaucrats responsible for the poor security at the Benghazi consulate.