An American security officer hustled Stevens and Smith into a special safe room in the main building, but when the other guards tried to reach them they were blocked by assailants, who then set the main building on fire.
The diplomatic security officer began leading Stevens and Smith toward an emergency escape window, and he crawled out but became separated from the other two, she said. He re-entered the building and searched for them but finally, suffering from severe smoke inhalation and barely able to breath or speak, exited to the roof.
Other agents driving an armored vehicle retrieved him and searched for Stevens and Smith but could not find them.
Asked by Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., if she was responsible for rejecting Nordstroms requests, Lamb replied, Yes sir, I said personally I would not support it. She explained that just as with embassies in other insecure countries, they were being replaced by local security guards.
Nordstrom said that the extensions were requested even though Lamb had told him that theyd be denied, and he complained that there was no long-term planning to cope with the deteriorating security situation in Libya.
There was no plan and it was hoped that it would get better, he said.
Democrats sought to defend the administrations initial accounts first detailed by Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice five days after the attacks that the assault was a spontaneous outgrowth of a protest outside the consulate over an online video denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, the founder of Islam.
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Democratic representative of the nations capital in Congress, noted that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence had issued a statement saying that it had been the source of the ambassadors statement.