Benghazi contractors told to stay quiet on security flaws by Clinton’s State Department

Benghazi contractors told to stay quiet on security flaws by Clinton’s State Department
A security contractor alleges that the State Department, led then by Hillary Clinton, tried to suppress the truth about security issues at Benghazi after the September 2012 attack that killed four Americans. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Who they are: Jerry Torres and Brad Owens of Torres AES, a security contractor that specializes in embassy and consulate security in high-threat regions.

What they said: After the Benghazi attack in 2012, they allege that Jan Visintainer, a contracting officer with the Hillary Clinton State Department, told them not to speak to the media or to government officials about Benghazi. Visintainer also allegedly asked Torres to support her claim that embassy guards shouldn’t be armed (They spoke to Tucker Carlson on Fox News).

How they got involved: Blue Mountain Group, a United Kingdom-based security firm, was originally hired for Benghazi security over Torres AES. A few weeks before the attack, Visintainer called Torres AES back and asked if they could fix the security issues that they were having. Before they had time to do prepare for and complete the job, the attack happened.

Why it matters now: Owen and Torres said they are still concerned about this issue because the same people who were in the State Department then are still in their positions now. And because the State Department can legally hire the lowest bidder for security contracts at embassies, attacks like Benghazi could conceivably happen again.

A recap of Benghazi: In September 2012, Islamic militants staged a 13-hour attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the deaths of four Americans. It was later revealed that the compound was poorly guarded, and widely determined that the deaths could have been avoided with proper protocol and staffing.

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