For MEB, forever and ever.
It's really not very nice to score political points off a dead Ambassador, if that is inevitable to some extent.
He's dead, and is a symbol of potentially awesome consequences, since to kill an American ambassador is an act of war: period.
If Iran turned out to be behind this whole mess, including a false flag with a movie, that would make a unilateral American attack on Iran almost inevitable, not of course that anyone is suggesting that it is conceivable at least that some of the Persians who are in large numbers in California would have ties to the Iranian government and sell someone in a highly vulnerable positition as to legal situations a song and dance that was actually something very, very different: a psyop to provoke Muslims against America, and therefore insulate Iran, and cap it with an anniversary attack on 9/11 to discredit those who argued to intervene in Libya to protect both Iran and Syria.
Sometimes and per Ockham's Razor, absent definite information, a dead ambassador in a country that just experienced a revolutuion is just a dead ambassador too, if the security question at issue is a potentially different question, independent of all that.
In any event, as to the dead ambassador, there is now the question of "Should there have been more security at the Benghazi consulate since it was requested by someone who is now dead?"
It's easy to say yes, and then go on to try to score points by saying that this is the same mentality as in Mogadishu in 1993, when General Garrison requested AC-130 Spectre gunships and light armor, and was told by people in Washington that "...was too provocative a signal," even as we were doing regular raids on Mohammad Farrah Aidid's compounds, including one helicopter gunship strike that killed dozens of his men, setting the stage for the near tactical disaster portrayed in Blackhawk Down.
Secretary of Defense Les Aspin had to resign after that event, since 19 Americans died and hundreds of Somalis died, although if there had been Spectres, that number of dead Somalis might, or might not, have been as much 10 times higher; how would that have looked on CNN, to be fair to Aspin?
The problem for Les Aspin in Mogadishu was that if there had been Spectre gunships and light armor, the exfiltration would have been guaranteed, not a firefight for about 120 American lives, almost all of whom were wounded, plus the 19 killed.
There is a structural similarity in these episodes worth remembering as to Secretary of State Clinton's responsibility for apparently not acting more decisively to deploying more security forces to Benghazi as in the case of Mogadishu with President Clinton, if to be fair, its too easy to Monday morning quarterback too, and more so in Benghazi than in Mogadishu.
Even then in Mogadishu, we did withdraw from Somalia, and it was precisely because people didn't want that level of involvement of Spectre gunships on CNN (Weren't we feeding Somalis?), something they would have enjoyed seeing on CNN even less than seeing starving Somalis that put us there in the first place, if that should have been a question too before launching that sequence of raids in the first place as well.
(Then again, Aidid had strong prior Eastern Bloc ties, so who knows if there was quite so much of a choice lurking in the background.)
Generally speaking as to Benghazi and Mogadishu, the author personally favors using more over less force (as in the invasion of Iraq as well), mainly as to taking as few chances as possible, if there are always counterarguments that can be true sometimes, if they can end badly at other times.
(The argument in Iraq and Afghanistan for a "light footprint" was that we wouldn't be as obtrusive, and therefore as hated; crush your enemy totally is another good rule too.)
As to the probable argument in the Benghazi issue at hand, if Benghazi is an important place to have an American presence, as can be seen by the loss of certain activities there with the attack on the safe house (and note the counterintelligence disaster there, as to people with a certain mindset not being in fact paranoics al the time as to inflitration), Benghazi is also in a place with a lot of sensitivities about foreigners.
Thus, since there were already some Americans in the Benghazi area conducting non-academic practical research on violent Islamists, that probably raised the obtrusiveness question of increasing security, at least to some minds.
That is because you basically had two choices in Benghazi as to security, Marines or paramillitary types, private or not in the latter case. The paramilitaries could be DSS or a certain type of person associated with the sharp edge of certain kinds of research activities.
The argument against a lot more paramilitary types is that they would look like they might be conducting research that some people don't like conducted for a variety of reasons, some understandable, some definitely not playing on the same team all the time, the latter predictable in a very, very fluid environment, in which avoiding what Mogadishu became has always been the argument for the "forward policy."
The argument against more Marines presumably would be that it makes the embassy-consulate look less friendly.
More Marines also makes it look like less of a target, and even one squad of well motivated and especially well-armed Marines witha tactical plan for exfiltration can do some very serious damage, even if they might well not have dial-in airpower, since to have dial-in airpower, you have to either have bases in country or on a ship pretty close, both of which raise very large diplomatic issues, like it or not, and those issues are the province of the Secretary of State, and not the same politization of deployment decisions by Secretary Aspin (who died heartbroken over the raid by all accounts, and to again be fair to Aspin, Spectres don't look like a humanitarian intervention anymore, which was the real problem of the initial intervention in the first place, under H.W. Bush, to be fair to the proconsuls.)
The alternative of course to increasing security in Benghazi would have been to withdraw from Benghazi,like other States had done, but that would seem to be sacrificing what strategic advantage was achieved by toppling Qadhafi, not to mention having any say over what could become a Mogadishu situation, the latter of which we have both an interest and responsibility to prevent. It would also potentially look weak with respect to Iran and those who were close to Qadhafi.
But as to lessons learned, generally speaking, as Clausewitz pointed out, once you start to use force, or have the hint of the use of force come on the table, the lesson of Mogadishu was to go large and go strong, if to be fair to decision makers involved in Benghazi and even Mogadishu, there are always counterarguments worth at least thinking about, just not overthinking either.
More imprortantly in all this, beyond a cui buono question as to say ultimately Iran, the most important reason to tie Benghazi and Mogadishu together isn't to score point with a Secretary of State, but to remind people here and in Libya that if we don't watch it, you get Mogadishu, not something in either Americans or Libyans interest, if there are others who might well like that for rather obvious reasons.