For those who may not have been following, article below is a pretty good high level summary of what happened in Benghazi on 11 Sep 2012. To date, I am aware of two official reports issued on the incident: one by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and an internal one by State Department. I attach both for your reference. I have seen ((UNVERIFIED)) open-source reporting asserting that an AC-130 gunship was available to support but that the Obama Administration denied clearance to fire. NFI.
Benghazi Threat Level Was ‘Flashing Red' On 9/11
Obama State Department still owes Americans answers
By Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan M. Collins
Washington Times, January 4, 2013, Pg. B1
While our country spent Sept. 11, 2012, remembering the terrorist attacks that took place 11 years earlier here at home, brave Americans posted at U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, were fighting for their lives against a terrorist assault. When the fight ended, four patriotic Americans, including our ambassador, were dead. While we mourn their deaths, it is also crucial that we examine the circumstances of the attack in Benghazi.
We recently released the findings of our bipartisan report on the terrorist attack in Benghazi, which has now been shared with the administration.
First, our report finds the threat level was “flashing red” in Libya, and Benghazi particularly, as Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy told us. The thousands of pages of classified and unclassified documents we reviewed and interviews we conducted depict a crescendo of evidence from the intelligence community and State Department personnel on the ground saying, effectively, “This place is dangerous, and we're not adequately protected.”
Second, the terrorists essentially walked into the compound unimpeded and set it ablaze because of the extremely poor security. This stark reality shaped our investigation as we sought to understand how each layer of security typical at diplomatic posts around the world broke down so completely and quickly in Benghazi. We believe the closed-circuit television video of the attack, which shows this failure in real time, should be released to the public, because it will make clear how unprepared the State Department was for this attack.
Tragically, the reaction to the flashing red indicators in a city awash with dangerous weapons and extremists was woefully inadequate to address the clear and present danger there. There was an unjustified trust that the Libyan government – which is friendly to the United States – would protect our diplomats according to long-standing international law, despite clear indications that the government did not have the capacity to do so. The replacements – a local security guard company and a hired militia – had limited capacities and questionable loyalties.
Meanwhile, State Department personnel in Washington ignored or responded incompletely to repeated pleas for more security from those on the ground in Libya. Physical barriers that could have slowed attackers and given our personnel time to prepare were not in place, despite previous recommendations for their installation at high-threat posts following a 2004 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Saudi Arabia that left six dead. Installing these barriers and accompanying gear costs $55,000 or less on average, according to the State Department inspector general. Further, after failing to fill the security vacuum left by the absence of host nation security, State Department officials neglected to make the one decision that remained: to temporarily close the Benghazi facility until security could be implemented to protect the Americans assigned there.
Third, what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. This fact was clear to the intelligence community and to key State Department personnel almost immediately after the attack. Nevertheless, unclear and contradictory statements made by some administration officials contributed to the unnecessary confusion about what happened.
Phi Beta Iota: For whatever reason no doubt associated with hidden pro-Israel agendas, Joe Lieberman seems very focused on protecting CIA and the Pentagon from scrutiny on Benghazi. We are certain it was not a terrorist attack — it was a state-sponsored militia attack intended to shut down the CIA base supplying weapons to (at the time) unrecognized rebels in Syria. State is not responsibile for protecting CIA paramilitary and covert operations — this about how ludicrous it would have been to have “diplomatic facilities” embedded with the Contras in Honduras and Nicaragua. For reasons yet unknown, Leon Panetta refused to allow standard military assets to respond to the emergency in the one to two hours needed, allowing seven hours to pass before the first two US citizens were killed. For reasons yet unknown, President Barack Obama is remaining silent on the matter. Lieberman is being disingenious — this was a CIA-Pentagon failure, not a State failure.
Graphic: Benghazi Fiasco Master Post with Links to All Posts, Map of DoD Assets Ordered to “Stand Down,” + RECAP