J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador killed Tuesday in an attack in Benghazi, Libya, hitched a ride into that country last year by sea — the only way in with a civil war in progress.
“There weren’t any flights, so we came in by a Greek cargo ship,” Mr. Stevens told reporters not long afterward, recalling his arrival in Benghazi as the top U.S. envoy to Libya’s rebel movement.
When he and his American colleagues reached the rebel-held city, they were greeted by a group of Libyans carrying U.S., British, French and Qatari flags in thecourthouse square. Mr. Stevens said he and the other Americans found that they had no place to sleep, so they bunked that first night back on the ship.
The improbable journey was fitting for Mr. Stevens, a former Peace Corps volunteer who was fluent in Arabic and who had traveled throughout the Middle East. An easygoing but determined career diplomat, he had made the region the focus of his two-decade career.