Lieberman/Collins: The Terrorist Threat Level in Benghazi Was “Flashing Red”.....
Last week, former Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) published a damning joint op-ed in the Washington Times explaining -- among other things -- the myriad failures of the federal government to protect its diplomats at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya last September. And while none of the facts they cite in the article were previously unknown to the public, the findings from their congressional investigation are exceedingly difficult to stomach and worth repeating:
From the article:
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.
As Guy reported last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will indeed testify under oath about the details of the deadly raid and the State Department’s appalling response to it, although we don’t know when. It can only be hoped that the families of the fallen -- and the American public – will then finally get the answers they deserve.
September 11, 2012 should have been a somber day of reflection and prayer -- a time to remember the innocent men, women and children taken from us on 9/11. Instead, four brave U.S. diplomats were murdered in cold blood.
Re: Lieberman/Collins: The Terrorist Threat Level in Benghazi Was “Flashing Red”.....
It just keeps getting worse and worse for Obama and Clinton. How many heads have rolled already? I don't think any answers by Clinton that come in the form of I can't remember will be accepted. Any reason why the Autopsy on Stevens body hasn't been released? No word why Stevens was out on that Street meeting the Turkish Ambassador 2 hrs before the attack? Why was Stevens meeting the Turks Ambassador in Libya is even a bigger question. Was there a reason the FBI did not take custody of the Prisoner in Tunisia after they questioned him?
The gun control policies of the post-Gaddafi government in Libya delayed the arming of bodyguards for U.S. diplomats in that country and left the local guard force hired to watch over the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi unarmed, according to internal State Department memos and written testimony by the State Department officer who was in charge of the department’s security in Libya until six weeks before the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.
“Our long term security plan in Libya was to recruit and deploy an armed, locally hired Libyan bodyguard unit,” State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in written testimony.
“However, because of Libyan political sensitivities, armed private security companies were not allowed to operate in Libya,” Nordstrom said in his testimony submitted on Oct. 10. “Therefore, our existing, uniformed static local guard force, both in Tripoli and Benghazi were unarmed, similar to our static local guard forces at many posts around the world. Their job was to observe, report, and alert armed host nation security, and armed DS agents on-site.”
In his written testimony submitted to the House committee, Nordstrom explained that it eventually took until June 2012 for the Libyan government to give U.S. security personnel firearms permits and until July to give them to Libyan bodyguards. The local guards working at the Benghazi diplomatic compound, meanwhile, were unarmed when terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2012.
At the time of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the Benghazi compound, in addition to five State Department diplomatic security agents who were present at the facility, there were also three armed members of the February 17 militia who had been hired to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel and four unarmed Libyan security guards. However, the February 17 militia members were essentially on strike at that time, refusing to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel when they travelled outside the facility.
The State Department Accountability Review Board report criticized the State Department’s reliance on the militia and the unarmed arms.
According to a report published Dec. 31, 2012 by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the video monitor in the security command center at the Benghazi compound showed that the terrorists swarmed through the front gate of the compound without any resistance from either the armed militia or unarmed guards.....snip~
Libyan Gun Control Policies Left Guards Unarmed at U.S. Compound in Benghazi | CNS News
January 9, 2013<<<<< More here WAY more!
Another question would be why the US has not been allowed to take Custody of the Sunni cleric that called upon those in Egypt to Riot over an Anti-Muslim film he never saw. Which then caused that Big Fire in the theatre of 23 Muslim Countries.
I know those that don't think much took place here and don't think that Obama knew what was going on with 4hrs of real time coverage don't want to look at the issue. Many just want this thorn to go away and have the paged turned. But then there is the picture of Libya in itself from the very the beginning of Obama allegedly assisting our pals with Libya in the first place.
I mean both the independent panel and now two different committees are really discovering some major incompetence that was talking place. Myself I tend to notice with such major incompetence there also comes cover-up. By human beings. Now did any of those Progressives and or Liberals want to try and deny that any on Team Obama are not human enough to do the same?