BREAKING: Senate report: Attack on U.S. compound in Benghazi could have been preventedPosted: January 15, 2014
Reporting by by Adam Goldman and Anne Gearan: A long-delayed Senate intelligence committee report released on Wednesday spreads blame among the State Department and intelligence agencies for not preventing attacks on two outposts in Libya that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The bipartisan report lays out more than a dozen findings regarding the assaults on Sept. 11 and 12, 2012 on the diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the Libyan city of Benghazi. It says the State Department failed to increase security at the sites despite warnings, and faults intelligence agencies for not sharing information about the existence of the CIA outpost with the U.S. military.
The committee determined that the U.S. military command in Africa didn’t know about the CIA annex and didn’t have the resources to defend the diplomatic compound in an emergency.
“The attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya—to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets—and given the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission,” the panel said in a statement.
The report also notes, chillingly, that the FBI’s investigation into the attacks has been hampered inside Libya, and that 15 people “supporting the investigation or otherwise helpful to the United States” have since been killed in Benghazi. The report says it is unclear whether those killings were related to the investigation.
Much of the document recounts now-familiar facts about deteriorating security conditions in Benghazi in 2012, a year after the fall of longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi. It fills in new details about the relationship between the CIA building and the State Department compound about a mile away, and details the rising concern among many intelligence specialists about the growing potency of Islamist militants in the city.
“In spite of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi and ample strategic warnings, the United States Government simply did not do enough to prevent these attacks and ensure the safety of those serving in Benghazi,” said Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The report is based on dozens of committee hearings, briefings and interviews—including with survivors of the attacks—and on thousands of pages of intelligence and State Department materials collected between September 2012 and December 2013.
The account sheds little light on the most politicized aspect of the incident — questions about whether the Obama administration deliberately played down the terrorist origins of the attacks. The committee described the attacks as opportunistic, and said there was no specific, advance warning that they were about to be carried out….
- PUSHBACK: ‘Completely false’: Sources on ground in Benghazi challenge NYT report. Fifteen months… (pjmedia.com)
- Intel committee chairman says New York Times Benghazi story is ‘not accurate’ (dailycaller.com)
- Sources on Ground in Benghazi Call NY Times Propaganda Piece ‘Completely False’ (thegatewaypundit.com)
- New York Times Effort Unravelling, Sources on Ground in Benghazi Charge: ‘Completely False’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- House Intelligence Chair: Benghazi Attack ‘Al Qaeda-led Event’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Breaking: Benghazi Transcripts Reveal; Top Defense Officials Briefed Obama on ‘Attack,’ Not Video, Not Demonstration, Not Protest (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- U.S. Senate panel to criticize State Dept. over Benghazi response (trust.org)
- Senate panel to criticize State Dept. over Benghazi response (reuters.com)
- IT WAS ALL A LIE… Obama Knew Benghazi Was Terrorist Attack Just Minutes After Assault (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Fox News: President briefed on ‘attack’ on Benghazi, not protest or video (twitchy.com)