Special Agent Testimony Differs from Press Reports
Testimony today from State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom differs sharply from press reports about inadequate security in Benghazi. Following are highlights from Nordstrom’s testimony:
- Nordstrom testified that he was “impressed with the plans that would send our team into Libya – a massive show of well-organized resources.”
- He testified that “the Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, and Mission Libya officers conducted themselves professionally and with careful attention to managing people and budgets in a way that reflects the gravity of their task.”
- He testified that the “vast majority” of his requests were “considered seriously and fastidiously by DS and the Department.”
In fact, Nordstrom listed out a litany of security improvements that were made in both Benghazi and Tripoli:
- $170,00 worth of closed circuit televisions and a public address system was approved in a matter of days;
- More than half a million dollars of field expedient security upgrades including upgrades to the perimeter wall, vehicles gates and devices to control access to their compound in Tripoli, such as delta barriers and drop arms was supplied;
- More than $100,000 of physical security upgrades were completed in Benghazi, including upgrades to the perimeter wall, vehicle gates, drop arms, vehicle barriers and guard booths was conducted;
- Upgraded perimeter light for compounds in Tripoli and Benghazi was approved and deployed;
- Uniforms and equipment for their 125 member guard force and newly created local body guard team were supplied;
- 200 personal protective vests and helmets for their guards and U.S. staff in Tripoli and Benghazi was delivered; and,
- 25 armored vehicles were shipped to them during the course of the 10 months that he was at post.
Nordstrom’s full testimony is available here.