Father of guard injured in Benghazi attack hits out at official response
The father of an American bodyguard injured in the deadly attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, said yesterday that the State Department should own up to its mistakes and release more information about the incident.
David Ubben, 31, sustained broken bones and other injuries in the 11 September attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
As David Ubben recuperated at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre outside Washington, DC, his father Rex Ubben said he did not blame the State Department or secretary of state Hillary Clinton for his son’s injuries. But he added: “I do find it troubling that they have not owned up to their shortcomings; in government, in the military, and in business, if something goes wrong, you admit it, correct it, and move on.
“If you were in charge, it was your fault.”
His comments came in the wake of a call on Tuesday by some congressional Republicans for Mrs Clinton to provide more information about security at US compounds in Benghazi in the days, weeks and months leading up to the attacks. In a letter to Mrs Clinton, representatives Darrell Issa of California and Jason Chaffetz of Utah recounted a number of attacks in Libya this year and alleged that requests from US officials in the country for heightened security went unheeded.
Mr Ubben said people understood “mistakes and lack of foresight do happen,” but, “to attempt to delay or cover information up, upcoming election or no, might put other people’s lives at risk and fools no-one.”
In a letter responding to Mr Issa, Mrs Clinton said, “nobody will hold this department more accountable than we hold ourselves.”
“We are committed to a process that is as transparent as possible, respecting the needs and integrity of the investigations under way.”
The Benghazi attack killed ambassador Stevens, IT specialist Sean Smith and security guards Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
Mr Ubben said his son was on temporary assignment in Libya and that his deployment came in July, after – and perhaps in response to – earlier security incidents. On 6 June an improvised bomb was placed at the north gate of the Benghazi mission. It blew a hole in the fence.
Mr Ubben also questioned why it took so long for his son to reach a hospital after the attack, saying of his son’s condition, “by my count, there were five or six broken bones [one completely smashed, hence the operations] and shrapnel damage head to toe. I was surprised at how many parts of him were injured.”
David Ubben is undergoing a series of surgical operations and his father expects him to be in hospital for several months.
Mr Ubben said his son did not share many details of the attack with him, but added: “He seems to have been blown up twice, and kept going after the first one…
“I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to whoever did the first aid the first time, the second time, and maintained the tourniquets until they could get him out of there.” Mr Ubben said he was bothered that “people do not seem to realise that this was a much bigger disaster for the people of Libya than it was for us, that they were attacked just like we were.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west