More than three weeks after U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya, sensitive documents remain in the wreckage of the U.S. Consulate, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Sensitive information about American operations in Libya is lying around for the taking, the paper reports.
Documents detailing weapons collection efforts, emergency evacuation protocols, the full itinerary Stevens’ fateful trip and the personnel records of Libyans who were contracted to secure the mission were among the items scattered across the floors of the looted compound when a Post reporter and a translator visited Wednesday.
At least one document found amid the clutter indicates that Americans at the mission were discussing the possibility of an attack in early September, just two days before the assault took place.
Many papers may have disappeared as well.
Republicans have accused President Barack Obama of having left U.S. diplomatic compounds in Muslim nations insufficiently protected on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and have questioned the security preparations in the leadup to assaults on embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Sudan. Capitol Hill critics have also pressed for an explanation for the slow pace of the investigation that has followed the attack in Benghazi.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed Wednesday to pursue a full accounting of the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi "wherever that leads," but cautioned that it could take time for a complete picture to emerge.
"There are continuing questions about what exactly happened in Benghazi on that night three weeks ago. And we will not rest until we answer those questions and until we track down the terrorists who killed our people," Clinton said in an appearance with Kazakhstan's visiting foreign minister, Reuters reported.
"The men and women who serve this country as diplomats deserve no less than a full and accurate accounting, wherever that leads, and I am committed to seeking that for them and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation."
Clinton's comments followed a demand by two Republican lawmakers this week for more information about the Sept. 11 attack, which they said occurred after Washington repeatedly turned down requests from Americans in Libya for more security at the Benghazi consulate.
Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Jason Chaffetz of Utah also said the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs, will hold an Oct. 10 hearing on the security situation leading up to the Benghazi attack, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. government personnel.
Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., also wrote to Clinton on Wednesday to repeat their demand that she send Congress all communications from U.S. diplomats in Libya relating to the security situation before the attack, including any cables from Stevens.
To contact the editor, e-mail: