NY Times: 'Libya Warnings Were Plentiful, but Unspecific'

By Susan Jones | October 30, 2012 | 8:54 AM EDT

Glass, debris and overturned furniture are strewn inside a room in the gutted U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The New York Times reports that the Obama administration received a "steady stream" of diplomatic and intelligence reports about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi in the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

According to the report: The Obama administration "received intelligence reports that Islamic extremist groups were operating training camps in the mountains near the Libyan city and that some of the fighters were 'Al Qaeda-leaning,' according to American and European officials."

However, the newspaper also says its interviews with State Department officials and examination of State Department documents "do not reveal the kind of smoking gun Republicans have suggested would emerge in the attack’s aftermath, such as a warning that the diplomatic compound would be targeted and that was overlooked by administration officials."

"What is clear," the article says, "is that even as the State Department responded to the June attacks, crowning the Benghazi compound walls with concertina wire and setting up concrete barriers to thwart car bombs, it remained committed to a security strategy formulated in a very different environment a year earlier."

The apparent failure to respond to security warnings are only part of the unfolding Benghazi story.

As CNSNews.com has reported, House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) has sent a letter to President Obama, demanding that he reveal exactly whom he ordered to do what when the Benghazi attack was underway.

The question that President Obama has so far refused to answer is whether requests for military support made by U.S. personnel in Benghazi during the attack were denied.

In a recent interview with a Denver television station, Obama insisted he gave "clear directives," including, "make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to."

“There appears to be a discrepancy between your directive and the actions taken by the Department of Defense," McKeon said in his letter to Obama. "As we are painfully aware, despite the fact that the military had resources in the area, the military did not deploy any assets to secure U.S. personnel in Benghazi during the hours the consulate and the annex were under attack."