The alleged diary of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, published by SOFREP.com Wednesday, suggests the slain diplomat was keenly aware of the threatening situation around him.
While the diary does not provide any real bombshell revelations, it does offer a glimpse into the mind of Chris Stevens and his knowledge about events — and security threats — leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi that left him and three other brave Americans dead.
“Militias the prime power on the ground. Weak state security institutions. As a result, dicey conditions,” Stevens wrote on Sept. 6, 2012. He also noted, “Islamist ‘hit list’ in Benghazi. Me targeted…”
Stevens’ so-called “Benghazi Diary” has never been made public until now. CNN reported on the discovery of the diary at the U.S. compound in Benghazi briefly, but did not get into specifics or publish its contents.
Two days before the deadly attack in Benghazi, on Sept. 9, Stevens wrote about feeling overwhelmed: “Stressful day. Too many things going on everyone wants to bend my ear. Need to pull above the fray.”
On Sept. 10, Stevens wrote, “Back in Benghazi after nine months.”
More from SOFREP Editor-in-Chief Brandon Webb:
Stevens met the new team at the compound but it is unclear whether he is referencing the CIA annex or the Temporary Mission Facility, commonly called the “consulate”. We do know from other sources that Stevens did receive a brief at the annex from the CIA team between the time he arrived in Benghazi and the September 11th attack. On September 10th, Ambassador Stevens also met with the Mayor of Benghazi and 20 local council members.
The journal entry on September 11th begins: “It is so nice to be back in Benghazi.” On this day he met with Naeem Jabril an appellate court judge and afterwards with Mahmoud Mufti, a shipping company owner. Then there was a meeting with Ali Akin, the Turkish Consul General. Frustratingly, the journal does not mention what topics were discussed but Stevens does note that Ali Akin, “helped me land in Benghazi last year”. Another meeting is mentioned with Fatih Baja, a Libyan academic with a PhD in Political Science, who represents the Transitional Council for Benghazi. Baja has offered assurances in the past that Libya will not make the same transitional mistakes that other countries have, but this may be wishful thinking as the transitional government appears at the brink and ready to collapse at any moment.
Much has been made about Ambassador Stevens and his meeting with Ali Akin of Turkey, including theories about weapons trafficking from Libyan stockpiles to rebels in Syria. Our sources indicate that non-governmental actors, in this case, are conducting these weapons transfers- a Private Military Company with strong links to the Central Intelligence Agency. However, who is or isn’t authorizing those weapons transfers remains opaque. Furthermore, a Foreign Service Officer like Stevens would not be involved in such matters, and in judging Stevens by his character, he would have been ideologically opposed to such actions in any case.
Webb also puts forth a lesser-known theory that perhaps Ambassador Stevens was actually training to investigate and gain further situational awareness about the weapons trafficking in Benghazi. “This is another explanation, an overlooked one, as to why he would be meeting with Ali Akin,” Webb writes.
The final entry in “The Benghazi Diary” is downright chilling.
On Sept. 11, 2012, Stevens wrote: “Never ending security threats…”
SOFREP won’t say how it obtained the diary, but says its motivation in publishing it is its intrinsic journalistic value and “to finally see some accountability through the smoke and mirrors that have existed to date.”
It adds, “Some will be shocked that we’d post U.S. Ambassador Stevens’ journal. However, we’d like to point out that this is not a classified diary; it’s a professional journal kept by an employee of the U.S. government. Any personal thoughts not related to Stevens’ official duties have been redacted out of respect for the late Ambassador and his family.”
Because the diary excerpts make clear that Stevens understood how dangerous the situation was in Libya, there is an argument to be made that security precautions should have been made before the attack ever occurred, including making sure Americans forces were prepared to respond on the anniversary of 9/11, according to Webb.
Webb concludes by calling for new leadership at the State Department and in Washington, D.C
“We need new leaders with integrity, ones who are not afraid to admit their mistakes and will hold themselves and their subordinates accountable,” he adds. “For now, all we are left with is the haunting words of a former US Ambassador, “Never ending security threats…’”
Read SOFREP’s full report, here.