Gowdy: Emails show ‘total disconnect’ to security needs

Published 9:43 am Monday, October 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — A U.S. ambassador in a dangerous country asks the State Department for more security. Washington sends the ambassador a request for advice on talking points. Maybe, the ambassador jokes, he should seek help from another country.

But the escalating situation on the ground in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 was no joke, and on Sept. 11, the ambassador, Chris Stevens, was dead along with three other Americans. Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of a panel investigating the terrorist attacks there, is describing Stevens’ pleas, and Washington’s response, as a “total disconnect” that left the U.S. consulate vulnerable to attack.

“He didn’t need help with (public relations), and he was asking for more security,” Gowdy said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” At about the same time, Gowdy said, a Clinton aide asked Stevens to read and respond to an email by a confidant of then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Email newsletter signup

At one point, according to Gowdy, Stevens joked in an email: “Maybe we should ask another government to pay for our security upgrades because our government isn’t willing to do it.”

Gowdy refused to release the emails on Sunday.