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

Darwin's choice

Well, well, well.....as if no one else knew this.....!

For Hillary and Obama....roast in h#ll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?fea...

Is that Nancy "we have to pass this terd" Pelosi dancing???

anne822

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Darwin's choice

What did Obama tell us....?????

Benghazi violence was caused by an internet video & demonstrations
State Department

PirateBacker1975

"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."
"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.

President Obama was relying on intelligence reports. He is not a clairvoyant.

Darwin's choice

But now....:

“I said benghazi was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”
Lubbockonline.com

Liar, liar.....

PirateBacker1975

Here is exactly what President Obama said when talking about the attack in the days following:

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” - Obama, Rose Garden, Sept. 12

“We want to send a message all around the world — anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America.” - Obama, campaign event in Las Vegas, Sept. 13

“I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.” - Obama, campaign event in Golden, Colo., Sept. 13

These quotes are on the record. I'm sorry if they don't coincide with Fox News (in other words, Republican) talking points.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

MSNBC is your favorite channel. Good for you PB1975. Maybe some day you can come to terms knowing your boy is a failure.

Darwin's choice

Your dirbag democrats have had from 9/11/2012 to get their story together. You and the other terd polishers blaming Mr. Stevens is simply pathetic. "These quotes are on record" you say, look at the quotes I've posted that Obama has said, yet you blindly ignore them. Selective reasoning?

Dr. Information

Meanwhile, the liberals are so bent out of shape about a few hour road block on a bridge yet could care less about Americans that died for no reason and a lying administration that tried to cover it up.

deertracker

They died because Stevens did not accept the security that was offered. Your phony outrage is misplaced. What about the 4000 American soldiers that died for a LIE?

mikesee

Not really. When the Embassy came under attack there was a request for help which fell on deaf or dumb ears. A squad of Marines sat by and watched from their vantage point as the Embassy was being ravaged.

PirateBacker1975

This is simply not true. This is from the Senate committee report:

“There were no US military resources in position in short order in Benghazi to help defend the temporary mission facility and its annex,” they concluded. “The committee has reviewed the allegations that US personnel, including in the [intelligence community] or [defense department], prevented the mounting of any military relief effort during the attacks, but the committee has not found any of these allegations to be substantiated.”

Again, the allegation that Marines sat by and watched is another example of Fox News/Republican talking points that are just not true.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Go back to watching MSNBC.

rbenn

You are wrong, there was a group of delta force not far from Benghazi, sip more kool aid. http://www.examiner.com/article/...

Donegan

Odd to see this on here. Another new thing people may not have saw because of a closed bridge is http://www.businessinsider.com/t...
Neat how Benghazi and Fast and Furious are back while the main stream media goes on about a closed bridge.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I think the prevailing theory is that after he was told that same night about the attack, the President went to sleep for about ten hours before flying out to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser. Of course he isn't providing any info himself to counter this and for some reason nobody seems to be compelling him to do so. Is this another incident of "Executive Privilege"?

Now to his defense he could very well have been responsive if it was a staff that serves him and feeds him information not soft balling things, selectively editing info, or otherwise not giving him accurate accounts. In that case he is relying on government to care after his problems and we see where that wound up. I wonder how many staffers, if this is the case, have been replaced?

At least one, the then-Secretary of State. Of course her presidential aspirations can't hardly be sullied by a trifle such as this whereas Governor Christie (of whom I am not particularly holding a candle for either) is all but done for his claimed non-involvement in what his staffers did. At least he fired his staff for this, will our President follow suit?

The Big Dog's back

sappy, did you want him to fly over there and parachute down?

Darwin's choice

You azzlikker, maybe you should make your moronic comments to Mr. Stevens Family and Friends.

I'll bet they wouldn't even have a coin toss to see who's going to knock your teeth out!

deertracker

Mr. Stevens should have accepted the security! Period. You cons always try to avoid personal responsibility!

Contango

Re: "You cons always try to avoid personal responsibility!"

No, THAT would be Pres. Obama.

A video substituted for Pres. Bush on this one.

deertracker

Most honorable man ever is in the White House right now!

Contango

Re: "honorable man ever,"

Not doubting that he believes his own sh*t.

The most narcissistic and most inexperienced ever and in the Benghazi incident it tragically shows.

Darwin's choice

Best proof that your a fool right there....!

Contango

.

Darwin's choice

azzhat, look who that was a reply to....!

Contango

Re: "azzhat,"

Thanks for the correction, krelboyne.

Darwin's choice

Pay attention, nerds can still kick your azz!

Contango

Re: "nerds can still kick your azz!"

Would enjoy seeing a wimp try.

Darwin's choice

Don't let your alligator mouth (keyboard) overload your canary azz old fool.

Contango

Re: "canary azz old fool"?

Would enjoy working my left jab on some dumb *ss rather than my Wavemaster.

Save your trash talkin' BS for Doggie and deerpoop.

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