Senate committee says Benghazi attacks preventable

Blame laid on State Department, intelligence community and ambassador for failing to heed warnings of terrorist activity
Associated Press
Jan 15, 2014

The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the deadly assault on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Wednesday, laying blame on the State Department, the intelligence community — even the late Ambassador Chris Stevens — for failing to communicate and heed warnings of terrorist activity in the area.

The highly critical report also says the U.S. military was not positioned to aid the Americans in need, though the head of Africa Command had offered military security teams that Stevens — who was killed in the attack — had rejected weeks before the attack.

It also said that in the aftermath of the attacks, U.S. analysts confused policymakers by blaming the violence on protests without enough supporting intelligence.

The 2012 Benghazi attacks have dogged the Obama administration, because then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice initially blamed the violence on mob protests over an anti-Islamic film. Al-Qaida-linked militant groups were later blamed for the attacks, first when militants overran the temporary U.S. mission on Sept. 11, 2012, and later that same night, when militants fired mortars at the nearby CIA annex where the Americans had taken shelter.

The bipartisan report may settle what has become a running political battle between Republicans, mostly in the House, who say the Obama administration has been covering up what they consider misdeed before, during and after the attack, and the administration, which says Republicans are on a political witch hunt.

Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, says she hopes this will put to rest conspiracy theories about the militant attacks that night. Republican vice chairman Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said the report shows despite a deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, the U.S. government did not do enough to prevent the attacks or to protect the diplomatic facility.

"The State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly in Benghazi based on the deteriorating security situation on the ground and IC threat reporting on the prior attacks against Westerners in Benghazi_including two previous incidents" at the temporary diplomatic facility that year, a summary of the report states.

The State Department said Wednesday that there have been dozens of reports, hearings and briefings on the Benghazi attack and that many of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's findings are similar to those made by the independent Benghazi Accountability Review Board, which issued a report in December 2012.

The Senate report does note that the State Department has created a new assistant secretary position for high threat posts to focus on such dangerous areas, but says the department should in the future react more quickly to security threats and only in rare instances use facilities that are inadequately protected. It said State should not rely on local security alone in countries where the host government cannot provide adequate protection.

The report notes that the State Department in 2012 had ignored its own "tripwires" set to determine when it had become too dangerous to operate in Benghazi, and continued to operate the facility there, despite a steady drumbeat of U.S. intelligence reports showing the danger was rising.

The report faults the military for being unable to help when needed. "No U.S. military resources in position to intervene in short order in Benghazi to help defend" the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, it said.

Yet it points out that Stevens had rejected additional security. The Defense Department had provided a Site Security Team in Tripoli, made up of 16 special operations personnel to provide security and other help. The State Department, according to the report, decided not to extend the team's mission in August 2012, one month before the attack. In the weeks that followed, Gen. Carter Ham, the head of Africa Command, twice asked Stevens to employ the team, and twice Stevens declined, the report said.

The report also dives into the contentious talking points issued by the intelligence community after the attacks that helped fuel Republican allegations of an Obama administration cover-up of militant links to the violence.

"Intelligence analysts inaccurately referred to the presence of a protest at the U.S. mission facility before the attack based on open source information and limited intelligence, but without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements to corroborate that assertion," the report said, adding that the U.S. intelligence community then took too long to correct their error, "which caused confusion and influenced the public statements of policymakers."

It also says the intelligence community should expand its mining of social media to watch for unrest, and also draw more heavily on eyewitness reporting "especially from U.S. government personnel_in the aftermath of a crisis."

The senators also take the administration to task for failing to bring the attackers to justice more than a year after the Benghazi attacks.

It says U.S. intelligence has identified several individuals responsible, but can't track them down because of limited intelligence capabilities in the region.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the committee report "largely reaffirms" the earlier findings from an independent panel. He said a number of the committee's security recommendations are also consistent with steps the State Department has already taken.

"This reinforces what other investigations have found, which is that there was not enough security to protect the four Americans who lost their lives," Carney told reporters traveling with Obama Tuesday to North Carolina.

 

Comments

swiss cheese kat

Lesson #1: never put a leftist in the White House.
Lesson #2: review lesson #1.

PirateBacker1975

Twain was right - "You can't argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

Keep drinking that Fox News/Glenn Beck tea.

Contango

Re: Pres. Obama

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger." - Mark Twain

Have another glass of Kool-Aid.

thinkagain

Deertracker –

Total inane comments thus far - 19

Total true facts – zero

I guess he’s shootin’ for 4shizzles old record….

deertracker

Tell me if anyone has found WMDS. NO! Fact! Were they warned about 9/11? Yes! Fact! Did Stevens refuse security as stated in article? Yes! Fact! Does thinkagain ever actually think? NO! Fact! Now go somewhere and lay down.

thinkagain

I see that after reading this story, your liberal brain went into panic mode. Red-faced and eyes bulging, with spittle running down your chin, you flail away relentlessly at the keyboard while continually muttering “must spin this”.

Just keep shuckin' and jivin', lying and conniving.

Obama and Hillary lied and said it was the video, the reason they lied was because it was all political to help Obama's reelection chances....

I honestly don't think you care one way or the other about the 4 civil servants that were killed aside from how they can fulfill your partisan agenda.

grumpy

Re: " Tell me if anyone has found WMDS. NO! "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira...

Chemical Weapons Recovered[edit]
On June 21, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released key points from a classified report from the National Ground Intelligence Center on the recovery of a small number of degraded chemical munitions in Iraq. The report stated that "Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent." However, all are thought to be pre-Gulf War munitions.[120]

These munitions meet the technical definition of weapons of mass destruction, according to the commander of the National Ground Intelligence Center. "These are chemical weapons as defined under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and yes ... they do constitute weapons of mass destruction," Army Col. John Chu told the House Armed Services Committee. The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, Maples said. Badly corroded, they could not currently be used as originally intended, though agent remaining in the weapons would be very valuable to terrorists and insurgents, Maples sai

Darwin's choice

They are one and the same.....

The Big Dog's back

Well well well, right wingnut world has gone wacko, again. Still.

There you go again

Little Puppy,
I am still waiting for the day that you post a comment that is more commentary and less hateful spewing. You must be an angry man with angry issues. Am I correct?

The Big Dog's back

Ahhhhhh, who spews all the hate? Nice try at projection.

There you go again

You just confirmed my point, again!

Donegan

With all the comparisons to the Bush admin about how Bush did nothing to prevent 9/11 and how Obama did nothing to prevent Benghazi it leads to the question, If the two are similar in more than one way why do the leftist hate Bush so much and defend Obama. After all from the liberals on here they made the same mistakes. Makes you think the liberals are hypocrites or racist for holding a white man to the same standards as their god.

The Big Dog's back

You're comparing 9/11 to Benghazi? Cuckoo.

Donegan

Comprehension problem huh? Read some of the post on here. Sorry this isn't MSNBC where its nothing more than rehashing your gods talking points.

Dr. Information

Obama.....oh it was a 2 year old video that sparked this event? Oh wait, that doesn't make sense. So who can we blame this on so we don't look like idiots. Yeah let's blame the dead guy. I wish Obama was in that place when it got bombed and shot up.

Darwin's choice

+100

justsaying..

Then of course there is the hypocrisy factor, since many US embassies were attacked with casualties in the Bush era, as I pointed out soon after the Benghazi attacks with reference to Republican representative Paul Ryan:
” By the way, does Ryan always consider attacks on US embassies a sign that an administration’s foreign policy is blowing up in our faces? For instance, if if the US embassy in Athens, Greece, was attacked in 2007,, would that have been an indictment of George W. Bush’s foreign policy? What about if the US embassy in Serbia was burned down early in 2008? If the US embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, were attacked in September 2008? If the US consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, was attacked in 2004? What if thousands of anti-American Iraqis were regularly demonstrating and even shelling the Green Zone in Baghdad where the US embassy is, in 2008? Did all that mean that Bush’s foreign policy, the most recent foreign policy outing of the Republican Party, blew up in our faces, according to Ryan?”

Contango

Re: "By the way, does Ryan always (snip)"

Good that you get your talking points from the Comedy Channel.

So were these attacks also caused by videos?

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watc...

CAST THE FIRST STONE

I am 99% conservative and yes I believe Obama cares more about himself than us. I believe he will go down as the worst president ever. Its like do guns kill people or do people kill people. Other nations hate us and will keep killing us every chance they get. If it was not there it would be somewhere else and probably another one this coming week. Ichoose not to put myself in those situations and our government should stop making people do this for their paycheck...
P.S 1 percent not conservative. Dont believe in death penalty. With DNA test hundreds of people on death row have been freed because they were innocent. wrong place at the wrong time. Imagine it being your child and you knew they were innocent and then put to death. If that happens one time to me that is too many. might be my son

Pages