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Sensitive US files unguarded in Libya embassy

Among hundreds of scattered documents was a purported contract to provide security

Image Credit: The Washington Post
A diplomatic pouch tag on the floor near the security office of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on October 3, 2012.
Gulf News

Washington: A trove of documents, including travel plans and security contracts, lay unguarded at what remains of the American consulate in Benghazi, said a reporter who entered the building on Wednesday.

A Washington Post journalist discovered the papers after he gained access to the diplomatic mission where US ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the eastern Libyan city, and the newspaper displayed some of them on its website.

Among hundreds of scattered documents was a purported contract to provide security at the embassy, naming the provider as Blue Mountain Libya.

“The amount of 5.21 LYD will be paid per hour (eight hour shift) for the duration of the employees employment with the Company,” it said, citing an amount that represents slightly more than $4 (Dh14.6) per hour.

Stevens was killed at the consulate on September 11 and among documents that remain visible three weeks later are his schedule for the period of September 10 to 14, the Post reported.

Four weeks before the US elections on November 6 the Benghazi attack is a dominant theme of the campaign, as Republican opponents seek to make political capital out of it, alleging that there were serious security lapses.

The Post said that although the gates to the Benghazi compound were locked in the days that followed the attack, looters were able to roam in the initial aftermath and many other documents may have disappeared.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged on Wednesday to answer lingering questions about the incident, seeking to counter criticism from Republicans.

But she warned against snap judgments, despite the growing clamour for information about the attack in which three other Americans died alongside Stevens.