A new bipartisan Senate report is making headlines this week for its direct criticism of the Obama administration in regard to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The terrorist plot killed four Americans and caused widespread damage during hours of violence and mayhem. Though White House sources repeatedly claimed the incident was rooted in organic outrage over an irrelevant YouTube video, the Senate Intelligence Committee report offered a different take.
“The attacks were preventable,” the committee found, “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 report is particularly harsh toward Hillary Clinton, who was serving as Secretary of State at the time. According to the panel, a communications failure between the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency was a major factor in creating an environment conducive to such a violent uprising. Furthermore, the report bashes the Defense Department for its failure to identify the threat in Benghazi, a hotbed of Islamic violence, especially on the anniversary of 9/11.
While many of the report’s findings are similar to the accusations of Obama’s political opponents, this bipartisan study is unique in its inclusion of both political parties. As more information becomes available, the evidence increasingly points to the culpability of this administration. Now, even those within his party are beginning to boldly announce such findings.
Though the report does not delve deeply into many specifics, especially the bungled response to the attack by White House representatives, it does indicate that both the FBI and CIA found out the incident was not sparked by “demonstrations or protests” at least six days before the administration made a statement to that effect.
The committee used ample evidence, including numerous accounts from witnesses, in compiling its report. While touting the bravery of individual agents who rushed to the aid of those under attack, an overarching theme of the report was the unpreparedness of federal agencies – specifically the State Department.
Just prior to the Benghazi attack, the report states that a number of security issues were in the area, signaling an increased threat of violence.
While the report sheds light on many aspects of the attack, there are still countless unanswered questions. According to North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, “it is not due to the Committee’s unwillingness to investigate, but the State Department’s intransigence.”
This anticipated report proves that this important matter is far from settled and, contrary to what Hillary Clinton claimed in her disastrous testimony, it does matter how and why this deadly attack was perpetrated against American citizens.
–B. Christopher Agee
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