If he was, as accounts by sources in the U.S. intelligence community suggested, negotiating with a terrorist, anti-American group to obtain the return of U.S. weapons provided during the civil war that would have been a much higher-priority matter. I have been asked by sources not to reveal the specific weapons' system that was Washington's highest priority to buy back but the details make sense. The fact that the ambassador was not accompanied by a delegation of foreign aid experts to evaluate these alleged projects shows that the reason for the ambassador's presence in Benghazi is being covered up. This situation transcends State Department jurisdiction and brings in the CIA and higher-level national security officials. The plan would have been in the presidential briefing and it is quite conceivable he would have been called on to approve of it.
Update: It has now come out that the State Department hired a small, relatively unknown British firm (how's that for outsourcing jobs?) which in turn hired 20 untrained, unarmed Libyans who were told to sound the alarm and run away if there was an attack. That's what they did, leaving the ambassador defenseless. So according to the official U.S. plan, the ambassador had no protection whatsoever. Two brave Americans sacrificed their lives in the ensuing battle. The Obama Administration sacrificed all three and then misrepresented what had happened not for any national security interest but purely for their own partisan political and personal benefit.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press. Other recent books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center and of his blog, Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.