Security firm ordered to keep quiet about Benghazi


A security firm working at the Benghazi diplomatic compound five years ago was ordered by the Clinton State Department to keep quiet about the security lapses which lead to the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, as well as former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods on September 11, 2012.

Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions President and CEO Jerry Torres said that in early 2013 he was summoned to the Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations in Rosslyn, Virginia by State Department Contracting Officer Jan Visintainer to discuss Benghazi.

“[Visintainer] had a conversation with me with respect to Benghazi. […] She said that I and people from Torres should not speak to the media, should not speak to any officials with respect to the Benghazi program,” Torres told Fox News’ Catherine Herridge.

While the Obama administration originally blamed the attack on the compound on an inflammatory YouTube video – even though Clinton told her daughter Chelsea (aka Diane Reynolds) that the attack had been conducted by a terrorist group – Torres and former Army intelligence officer Brad Owens, who co-owns Torres AES, emphasized that the State Department was fully aware of the risks incurred by the embassy staff since their firm was asked to take over protection of the compound because of deteriorating security in the area. As a matter of fact, Ambassador Stevens also contacted the State Department in mid-August to report that radical Islamists were present in large numbers in the area. Unfortunately, the attack against the mission occurred before the security firm could implement all the security changes it deemed necessary.

In early 2012, Torres AES submitted a tender to provide security at the Benghazi compound but Visintainer granted the $700,000 contract to a tiny British company which had never won any diplomatic or high-threat security contracts before.

When asked whether such an attack could occur again nowadays, Torres responded without hesitation.

“Absolutely. Nothing has changed,” he told Herridge.

Owens agrees with him as the staff who failed to provide sufficient protection to the four Americans butchered five years ago are still employed by the State Department.

“The people who made the poor choices and actually I would say were more responsible for the Benghazi attacks than anyone else, they’re still in the same positions making security choices for our embassies overseas now,” he told Fox News.

Both Torres and Owens said that they had waited until now to speak to protect the jobs of their 8,000-strong staff and because the Obama administration was no longer able to cover up the truth.

“I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there’s no longer a candidate or anything related to it […] that actually we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen,” Torres explained.

Despite keeping quiet, Torres said that his company had paid a heavy price since the Benghazi attack.

“Since that conversation [with Visintainer], we bid on 20 security force contracts for U.S. embassies and lost 18,” he told Herridge.