From Sharyl Attkisson (I mean, who else) comes word that when officials talked to the hospital that treated Chris Stevens, they told them to list his body as “John Doe:”
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, around the 10 p.m. hour (4 p.m. ET), State Department Information Officer Sean Smith’s body had been pulled from the burned out U.S. mission, but nobody was able to locate Stevens in the smoky building. In the 11 p.m. hour (5 p.m. ET), a group of Libyans, possibly looters, found Stevens and pulled him out of the U.S. mission. Somebody transported him to Benghazi Medical Center where CPR was attempted. Initially, it’s believed that doctors did not know who Stevens was. An unidentified man speaking Arabic used a cell phone Stevens had in his possession to call the U.S. embassy in Tripoli (the number was programmed into the phone). He seemed to want Americans to come to the hospital to retrieve Stevens, but U.S. officials were suspicious. The hospital was known to be under the influence of hostile militia and Embassy officials sensed a possible trap, so they opted not to attempt to send a U.S. rescue team now waiting at Benghazi’s airport.
A familiar local to whom Americans refer as “Babakar” sent word to the U.S. embassy that Stevens had, indeed, passed away. Babakar sent some of his associates to recover Stevens’ body at the hospital. When hospital officials asked what name should be entered on the death certificate, U.S. officials relayed the message to use “John Doe.” Babakar’s associates eventually transported Stevens’ body to the airport where it was turned over to Americans.
The “official” line is Washington did this so there wasn’t a big to-do at the hospital.
An anonymous source told Attkisson it was “to avoid drawing undue attention to the importance of the victim as Americans rushed to figure out how to recover Stevens’ body and return it to the U.S.”
Which I could see playing out a little like:
DC: “You’ve got the body of Ambassador Stevens?”
Libyan Hospital Dude: “Yeah. What do you want me to do with him?”
DC: “Um, list him under ‘John Doe’ and don’t tell anyone who he is.”
Dude: “Sure. Because I’m totally going to cover for you guys against al Qaeda.”
We just let our ambassador die. What guy at a hospital is going to keep our secrets from a bunch of terrorists?
The story might be completely true. Maybe they did tell them to list him as “John Doe” for that reason.
I’m just saying it was kind of naive to think they’d keep a secret.
It’s more like the terrorists didn’t bother messing with him once he was dead.