The Straits Times
Published on Nov 02, 2012

CIA officials in Libya made key decisions during Benghazi attacks


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials on the ground in Libya dispatched security forces to the United States (US) diplomatic mission in Benghazi within 25 minutes and made other key decisions about how to respond to the waves of attacks on US installations on Sept 11, a senior American intelligence official said on Thursday.

Officials in Washington monitored events through message traffic and a hovering US military drone but did not interfere with or reject requests for help from officials in the line of fire, the official said.

The information emerged as officials made available on Thursday a timeline chronicling the US response to the Benghazi attacks in which Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, and three other American officials died.

The material appears to refute claims by critics that officials in Washington delayed sending help to the besieged personnel.