Libya Embassy Attack: Official to Testify on Inadequate Security

Eric Nordstrom has told congressional investigators that security was inadequate in testimony.
3:00 | 10/10/12

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Transcript for Libya Embassy Attack: Official to Testify on Inadequate Security
Now, to the shocking security lapse that could have changed the outcome of the deadly attack in libya last month. This morning, a top state official is gearing up to testify today what the security there was inadequate. Abc's jake tapper has exclusive reporting. He's at the white house with the very latest. Jake? Reporter: Eric nordstrom, the top official at the embassy in libya has told congressional investigators that the security at the consulate in benghazi, was inappropriately low. And you'll be surprised to hear who stood in his way, in his view, when he tried to rectify that. Abc news has learned that although eric nordstrom and the commander of an american security team also in libya had heard that foreign fighters were flowing across the egyptian border, state department officials seemed oblivious to the consulate vulnerability. Nordstrom told investigators he was worried. Mostly consisted of merchants and shopkeepers had received no pay in months, other than a $30 stipened from food from the embassy. I had no idea if they would respond to an attack, nordstrom told investigators. Senior state department officials now acknowledge that only an hour before gunman methodically and deliberately stormed the compound, billing ambassador chris stevens, the streets were empty and things were cal a direct contradiction made by officials, claiming the trouble began with demonstrations against that anti-muslim video. A small number of people came to the consulate to replicate this sort of challenge that was posed in cairo. As that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists. Reporter: Nordstrom now felt investigators he had been concerned for a while. And he had security personnel in tripoli, the state department would not give him permission to deploy them to benghazi. Nordstrom told congressional investigators that state department official charlene lamb, quote, didn't seem to have a problem with having no agents on the compound in benghazi. If something happened, personnel could go to a residential safe haven set up. That's where chris stevens and another another smoke inhalation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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