The skills of his troops were ‘‘way above the skill level of local (forces) armed with a pistol,’’ Wood said, adding he was he was frustrated that pleas for more security were not met.
‘‘We were fighting a losing battle, we weren’t even allowed to keep what we had,’’ he testified.
Nordstrom acknowledged in response to a question from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, that while the State Department was refusing more security, his and others’ pay was increased because he was serving in such a dangerous area.
Kennedy defended Rice for her comments indicating the attack was a protest gone awry.
‘‘If any administration official, including any career official, were on television on Sunday, Sept. 16, they would have said what Ambassador Rice said,’’ he said. ‘‘The information she had at that point from the intelligence community is the same that I had at that point. As time went on, additional information became available. Clearly, we know more today than we did on the Sunday after the attack.’’
Kennedy, a four-decade veteran of the Foreign Service, said the department uses the best information from people on the ground at diplomatic posts around the world as well as experts in Washington in assessing risk and allocating security resources.
‘‘The assault that occurred on the evening of Sept. 11, however, was an unprecedented attack by dozens of heavily armed men,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, met Wednesday with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf and other officials in Tripoli on ways Libya can better help the U.S. track down those responsible for the deaths at the consulate.