“In light of the uncertain security environment, US Mission Benghazi will submit specific requests to US Embassy Tripoli for additional physical security upgrades and staffing needs by separate cover,” said the cable, which was first reported by Fox News.
Army Gen. Carter Ham, then the head of the U.S. Africa Command, did not wait for the separate cable, however. Instead, after reading the Aug. 16 cable, Ham phoned Stevens and asked if the embassy needed a special security team from the U.S. military. Stevens told Ham it did not, the officials said.
Weeks later, Stevens traveled to Germany for an already scheduled meeting with Ham at AFRICOM headquarters. During that meeting, Ham again offered additional military assets, and Stevens again said no, the two officials said.
“He didn’t say why. He just turned it down,” a defense official who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject told McClatchy.
The offers of aid and Stevens’ rejection of them have not been revealed in either the State Department’s Administrative Review Board investigation of the Benghazi events or during any of the congressional hearings and reports that have been issued into what took place there.