By Jeremy Herb
An FBI team investigating the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya traveled to Benghazi for the first time late Wednesday to examine the site where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed last month.
A small military team provided logistical and security support to the FBI agents investigating in Benghazi, Pentagon spokesman George Little said Thursday. The team left Benghazi Thursday after staying for less than a day, he said.
Little said a “small footprint of U.S. military personnel” provided airlift support for the FBI team, which remained in Benghazi for a number of hours before departing Thursday. He declined to discuss additional details of the mission.
Asked why it took three weeks for the military to help the FBI get into Benghazi, Little said the Pentagon was willing to consider requests for support, but directed questions of timing to the State Department and FBI. He said not to “read too much” into time delays.
In the aftermath of the attack, lawmakers have questioned the lack of security at the U.S. compound, as well as the difficulties with the FBI investigation gaining access to the scene of the attack.
The Obama administration has been criticized for shifting the story of what transpired in the attack on Sept. 11, which officials initially said was sparked by anti-American protests but then called a deliberate terrorist attack.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday there were undisclosed threats and attacks on the U.S. Consulate, citing whistleblower reports. The lawmakers are planning a hearing next week in Issa’s House Government Oversight Committee on the attack.
Since the attack last month, the U.S. compound has been looted, and reporters have discovered sensitive documents still on the site.
A CNN reporter obtained Stevens’s journal, where the ambassador had expressed concerns about his own safety, which drew an angry rebuke from the State Department for reporting details from the journal.
A Washington Post reporter on Wednesday found “sensitive” documents at the compound detailing an itinerary for Stevens and personal information of Libyans who provided security.
— This post was updated at 2:20 p.m.