A small British firm based in south Wales had secured a contract to provide security for American diplomatic facilities in Benghazi despite having only a few months experience in the country.
Privatized warfare is certainly a feature of our modern age. In Benghazi, a private military and political outfit, al Qaeda, fought and routed our private security detail outside the consulate.
But for 4 dead Americans, it would be an interesting development.
UPDATE: It was clear from the beginning that this was an assault and no protest that got out of hand. Reinforcements from Tripoli were immediatly summoned when the armed men were seen, as a State Department briefer explained:
The calls [for reinforcement] were made to Tripoli at the moment that the – at the same time the agent in the TOC sounded the alarm and then proceeded to make calls. I’m not going to go into any details about the number of security personnel who moved.
This is a failure on several levels.
Most broadly, the war is not over even though Osama bin Laden's body was dumped at sea.
Two, the Banghazi security was obviously inadequate but nobody wanted to admit it.
Three, if the administration had called this an attack rather than calling this a reaction to a horrible video, the president could have ordered a retaliation against al Qaeda and gotten political benefits on top of striking a blow against our murderous enemies who have not given up. I expected a quick retaliation. We don't need to identify the actual gunmen responsible as if this is CSI: Benghazi. Just kill some al Qaeda jihadis somewhere. Preferably somewhere that we can't normally strike but with the image of our burning consulate and dead ambassador, we could get away with and do some real harm to the organization responsible.
And four, now it looks like the government is covering up a political decision to minimize the murder of four Americans in Benghazi and enemy-directed riots against three embassies in other countries, with the result that the president is taking domestic political fire for the whole mess.