The attack earlier this month on the Benghazi consulate, which killed four Americans including the US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was a blow to a lot of people. It cost the State Department its ambassador, it cost the Obama campaign the claim of Libya as a big “win” and it cost the Libyan government the pretense of security.
Lost in all the people who suffered from this, however, is the CIA, which officials say suffered a “catastrophic” loss after the destruction of the US Consulate, because it forced them to withdraw about a dozen spies who were staying there.
Not that the CIA was apparently doing a very good job. Even though officials say that they were surveilling a number of targets in Benghazi, and even though Libya was openly warning them about security risks, the US was caught entirely unawares by the attack.
The depth of CIA “cooperation” with the State Department isn’t well documented, though it has been established in previous incidents that the CIA has used the pretense of embassy employees to put spies in countries with the claim of diplomatic immunity, as with Raymond Davis in Pakistan, who the US claimed had “immunity” after he murdered two people in Lahore and after they admitted he was a CIA spy just pretending to be a consular employee.
The Libyan government has not commented on the story, so it is unclear if they were aware of the CIA operations in Benghazi or not.