CBS News is reporting that Ambassador Stevens suffocated to death while two Marines and an embassy staffer were shot to death. CBS also reported that more Marines were being sent to Libya. But these reports raise more questions than they answer:
Military officials told CBS News an anti-terrorism team of U.S. Marines was being deployed to Libya to help secure U.S. interests following the attack. The State Department said, however, that no Americans were remaining at the facility in Benghazi. State officials would not confirm how many Americans were evacuated, or to where….
Stevens died of suffocation, while two U.S. Marines sent to Benghazi when the clash erupted were shot and killed by well-armed protesters. It was not immediately clear whether the Marines were part of Stevens’ security detail. The American whose death was confirmed on Tuesday also died of a gunshot wound. He was identified by the State Department on Wednesday as Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.
Security at the consulate was apparently provided by Libyan nationals hired by the United States. While security for American embassies is typically provided by our own Marines, the two Marines reported killed in yesterday’s attacks appear not to have been stationed at the embassy, but were sent there from another unknown location as the violence erupted. There is also no indication if these two Marines were the only American military personnel on site at the time of Ambassador Stevens’s death.