Libya Attack Investigation: Was State Department on Top of Security?

An email says Washington DC rejected a security team's request.
3:00 | 10/05/12

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Transcript for Libya Attack Investigation: Was State Department on Top of Security?
And we turn next to the new clues in the mystery surrounding the death of the u.S. Ambassador, chris stevens, and three other americans in libya. There is a report that two men from tunisia were held for questioning in turkey. And abc news has a provocative document tonight. It is a request from the americans on the ground in libya for help with protection. It raises the question about the state department's response and abc's jake tapper shows us that document. Reporter: The members of the u.S. Military serving as security support team at the u.S. Embassy in tripoli, libya, wanted to keep a small airplane in the country. According to a government source, that was so the team, changed with providing extra security at diplomatic posts, could travel around the country along with their weapons. But state department officials in washington denied that request, according to a may 3rd e-mail obtained by abc news. Copied on the e-mail was u.S. Ambassador chris stevens, later killed in a terrorist attack on the diplomatic post in benghazi ON SEPTEMBER 11th, ALONG WITH Three other americans. An attack that has prompted a house oversight committee hearing on whether diplomats in that country had adequate protection. We need to operate in a country like libya with erring on the side of security. Reporter: The dc-3 plane had been sent from iraq for use by the americans in libya at a time when there were no commercial flights in the country. We provide these kinds of services in places where there isn't a commercial airline service in place. Reporter: But security in the country began deteriorating, with armed gangs, militias and mill tapts. There was a constant flow of various and disturbing and escalating security threats that were causing people on the ground to say, "this is not getting safer, this is getting less safe." Reporter: Even after commercial flagts began, the security report team requested that the plane remain in libya. But under secretary of state patrick kennedy, denied the request, and the state department maintains the decision has no bearing on security. This evening, the state department issued a statement, calling this plane issue irrelevant to the issue of what happened at benghazi and there's no evidence that had the plane been there, any lives would have been saved, but critics suggest that the denial by the state department reveals a mindset that was not on top of how bad things were getting in libya and not on top of the security needs of the americans in that country.

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

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