State Department personnel under attack on Sept. 11 at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, didn't fire a single shot in their defense, according to testimony given behind closed doors to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.
According to a source who attended the hearing, committee chairman Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., repeatedly pressed State Department under secretary Patrick Kennedy on whether diplomatic security agents were under instructions not to fire their weapons. Kennedy reportedly testified that no such orders were given; but he confirmed that, indeed, no shots were fired by State Department personnel.
During the attack, a mob of armed men stormed the compound. A State Department security agent watched as the group set fire to furniture in the building where he was guarding ambassador Christopher Stevens and information officer Sean Smith. Stevens and Smith died; it's believed they overcome by smoke. The attackers intercepted other U.S. security officers, trapping them in nearby buildings where they were unable to help Stevens and Smith.
Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., reportedly expressed frustration that federal agencies still have not provided requested information on the Benghazi controversy. Also, reportedly frustrating Feinstein and Chambliss: the State Department declined the committee's request to hear from Charlene Lamb, who was in charge of all U.S. diplomatic security and previously testified to a House Committee that security in Libya was adequate. CBS News' Margaret Brennan reported last weekend that Libya and 16 other high-risk posts that fell under Lamb's purview have now been reassigned to deputy assistant secretary Bill Miller as part of a security overhaul.