As the details of the Benghazi catastrophe continue to unravel, the whole episode is so depressing because, in retrospect, the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three cohorts could have been avoided ("The latest Benghazi attack," May 5).

It had been interesting to learn through some personal research that the U.S. had thoroughly understood the importance of a special forces team to aid in the security of their embassy personnel in Libya. According to the National Defense Authorization Act, the Defense Department would have needed Ambassador Stevens' concurrence in order to change the mission of these special forces. Due to being involved in other transportation difficulties in the Tripoli area, the Defense Department announced at the same time that they were planning to establish a security program in Benghazi and all of Libya.

Unfortunately, officials in the State and Defense departments in Washington regretfully ignored the responsibilities and recommendations which had been submitted by Ambassador Stevens. Sadly, this ignorance eventually cost Ambassador Stevens and three others their lives.

All of this was indeed a horrible turmoil and sorrowfully, the officials in Washington D.C. must forever shoulder their incompetence in this catastrophe which definitely could have been avoided.

Quinton D. Thompson, Towson

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