After the fall of Colonel Qaddafi, in 2011, Libya had become an al-Qaeda-inspired, if not al-Qaeda-led, training base and battleground. In the northeastern city of Benghazi, it was a le Carré urban landscape where loyalties changed sides with every sunset; there were murders, betrayals, and triple-crossing profits to be made in the post-revolution. The police were only as honest as their next bribe.
Most governments were eager to abandon the danger and intrigue of Benghazi. But Libya was a target-rich environment for American political, economic and military interests, and the United States was determined to retain its diplomatic and intelligence presence in the country — including an embassy in Tripoli and a mission in Benghazi.
The United States no longer had the resources or the national will to commit massive military manpower to its outposts in remnants of what was once defined as the New World Order. The footprint of the United States in this unsettled country and its ever important but dangerous second city would have to be small and agile.
In 1984, Secretary of State George P. Shultz ordered the convening of an Advisory Panel on Overseas Security to respond to critical threats to American diplomats and diplomatic facilities encountered around the world. The panel was chaired by retired Adm. Bobby Ray Inman, a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of the primary findings of what would become known as the Inman Report was the need for an expanded security force to protect American diplomatic posts overseas, and on Aug. 27, 1986, a new State Department security force and law-enforcement agency, the Diplomatic Security Service, an arm of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), was formed.
CBS’ Dan Raviv speaks with Co-Author Fred Burton about the deaths of the 4 Americans;
For over a decade following the 9/11 attacks, DS managed to contain the fundamentalist fervor intent on inflicting catastrophic damage on America’s diplomatic interests. But the wave of civilian unrest in the Arab Spring of 2011 took the region — and the United States — by surprise. Governments that had been traditional allies and that had sent police officers to anti-terrorism-assistance training were overthrown. (Click here for more of this excerpt from The Untold Story of the Attack on Benghazi UNDER FIRE)