Mission to a Revolution
by Mario Montoya, State Magazine, December, 2011
By early April, with Benghazi firmly in rebel hands, a dozen intrepid U.S. diplomats equipped with armored vehicles and communications gear set sail from the same port, passing Valletta’s ancient harbor fortress and cruising into the blue Mediterranean beyond the breakwater. The Libya of April was a dramatically changed place from the Libya of February.
“We arrived April 5th,” recalled the expedition’s leader Special Envoy Chris Stevens. “It was difficult to get there at the time. There weren’t any flights. So we came in by a Greek cargo ship and unloaded our gear and our cars and set up our office there.”
The team’s mission was to establish a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, the cradle of the revolution and a stronghold of the forces that were pressing to end the Qadhafi regime after the dictator’s 41 years in power.
“My mandate was to go out and meet as many members of the leadership as I could in the Transitional National Council,” said Stevens. “I’ve gone around with our small team and tried to get to know other people in the society there.”
Stevens said the Libyans were genuinely grateful to the United States for supporting their aspirations for freedom, as demonstrated by the greeting the team received. The Libyans had hoisted British, French, Qatari and American flags at Freedom Square, the vast open area in front of the Benghazi courthouse.
But the group’s members needed more than a warm welcome; they needed a place to bed down for the night. In expeditionary diplomacy, they key is to make do with what you have, so the mission’s first night was spent aboard ship while Diplomatic Security Service agents Brian Haggerty, Kent Anderson, Josh Vincent, Chris Deedy, James Mcanelly, Jason Bierly and Ken Davis, Agent in Charge Keith Carter and Political Officer Nathan Tek scoured the city for rooms. They soon settled into a formerly government-owned hotel where other foreign missions and international journalists were lodged, but had to move when a car bomb exploded in the hotel parking lot.
Is this Deedy? State Magazine photo
Special Envoy Stevens and Political Officer Tek spent their days and nights building up the U.S. government’s first on-the-ground contacts with the Transitional National Council, as well as with members of the emerging civil society and newly freed news media. Their reports back to Washington equipped senior officials with the information needed to develop effective U.S. policy regarding the TNC.
Stevens and Tek met with TNC leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds—former Qadhafi-era officials who had defected, academics, lawyers, doctors, military officers and volunteer fighters—who were united in a desire to overthrow Qadhafi.
They also facilitated the delivery of nonlethal military assistance to the TNC for the protection of civilians and civilian-populated areas and launched the U.S. government’s cooperative program with the council to collect dangerous weapons such as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, meanwhile, oversaw the distribution of nearly $24 million in humanitarian assistance. Erica Kaster and Camara Garrett continue to implement $5 million in assistance from the Office of Transition Initiatives, intended to strengthen Libya’s new civil society, independent media and interim governing authorities.
read … State Magazine
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Mario Montoya’s Mission to a Revolution Spurs Search for Stevens’ Benghazi Security Detail?
DiploPundit: …Did you hear that the DSS agents tour of duty at the temporary mission in Benghazi was a series of 45-60 days TDY rotations? The memo highlighted by the Oversight Committee containing the security request mention a permanent staffing for an RSO on a one year assignment. Traditionally, RSOs have regular tours that range from 1-3 years depending on the locations of their assignments. But Benghazi was unique; it did not have a permanent staff similar to other embassies and consulates. It was staffed by temporary duty personnel.
The Libyan Revolution occurred from 5 February 2011 – 23 October 2011. Chris Stevens was the Special Representative to the National Transitional Council during the Libyan revolution. He got to Benghazi in April 2011 and left sometime in November 2011.
In September 2011, the accredited US Ambassador to Tripoli Gene Cretz returned to Libya. Chris Stevens later that fall returned to Washington, D.C. President Obama officially nominated him to be the U.S. Ambassador to Libya in January 2012. Chris Stevens remained in DC to prepare for his confirmation hearing. The SFRC held his nomination hearing on March 20, 2012.
His nomination confirmed, Ambassador Stevens arrived in Tripoli on May 26, 2012 and presented his credentials the following day.
In any case, most of the names mentioned in the Montoya article have very light digital footprint. A quick look online indicate that one is now assigned in D.C. and we found one who actually made the news on his own. Chris Deedy who in November 2011 was accused in a Waikiki shooting during the APEC conference in Hawaii was one of the DSS agents who was in Benghazi when Chris Stevens was the Special Representative to the Transitional Council.
Some of the related headlines made it sound as if these were the same agents. Our source intimately familiar with the comings and goings told us that none of those who accompanied Chris Stevens to Benghazi as Special Rep in April 2011 were with him when he returned to Benghazi as ambassador in September 2012….
read … DiploPundit
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NY Post June 13, 2013: State Department has hired agents with criminal records, memo reveals
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Diplomatic Security Warns on Waikiki Shooting: “May be subject to Discovery”
by Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well, November 8, 2011
Following the gunning down of a man in Hawaii by an off-duty State Department Diplomatic Security (DS) special agent … the director of Diplomatic Security, Scott P. Bultrowicz, sent this message to his entire DS staff….
I regret that my initial message to the organization is about the tragic incident involving Special Agent Christopher Deedy early Saturday (November 5, 2011) morning in Honolulu. Many of you know that Agent Deedy was involved in an altercation that ended in the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old local man. The story has been widely reported.
I am not at liberty to discuss the investigation. However, I want to let everyone know that DS has been in communication with the Honolulu authorities from the time we were first notified about the shooting. We will do what we can to ensure Agent Deedy’s well-being, and have already provided assistance to his family. We also are mindful of the terrible loss suffered by the deceased’s family and friends.
I remind everyone that there is an ongoing investigation of this matter by the Honolulu Police Department. Discussion about what happened in Honolulu, Agent Deedy’s state of mind, and/or whether his actions were justified should be limited to the agents investigating the matter.
Also, please keep in mind that communications over the internet that are publicly available (such as blogs, tweets, and bulletin boards) and are on matters of official concern (which this case is) must be reviewed by the Department. Additionally, all written communications, on either government or private accounts, may be subject to discovery in legal proceedings relating to this incident.
I look forward to communicating with you on other matters throughout my tenure. Please do not reply to this message.
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