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A focus during the hearing was a State Department decision resulting in the removal of a 16-member security detail from Libya in August—part of what the administration said was a move toward a more normal diplomatic presence in postrevolution Libya.

That security detail's former commander in Libya, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood of the Utah National Guard, contended that the Tripoli-based squad, known as a Site Security Team, could have proved crucial in fending off the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

"Superior weapons and superior tactics, that is what the SST brought," Col. Wood told the hearing. "Why they would turn that asset down is best answered by themselves."
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