A Little Perspective On Benghazi

The core question, to my mind, has always been why the diplomatic facility, joined to a CIA facility, was not better prepared for an act of terror. There are plausible reasons – spending cuts at the State Department, more concern about Tripoli, simple incompetence. But this is also true:

In the month before attackers stormed U.S. facilities in Benghazi and killed four Americans, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens twice turned down offers of security assistance made by the senior U.S. military official in the region in response to concerns that Stevens had raised in a still secret memorandum, two government officials told McClatchy.

There’s a real debate about how to balance security and effective diplomacy in dangerous places like Libya after we helped topple the regime. Stevens was a great ambassador in part because he preferred outreach to better security. His courage seems to me to be his real legacy and the thing that really lingers after that horrible attack.