The United States Senate has released its report on the Attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Here are some key takeaways.
The late Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador, has been partially implicated for the failure of adequate security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi. The report notes that Mr. Stevens was aware of all of the intelligence reporting on Libya, including updates on the increased risks of anti-Western terrorist attacks that had prompted the C.I.A. to substantially upgrade the security at its own Benghazi facility in June 2012.
At times, Mr. Stevens requested additional security personnel from the State Department in Washington. But the inquiry also found that in June 2012, around the time the threats were mounting, Mr. Stevens recommended hiring and training local Libyan guards to form security teams in Tripoli and Benghazi. The plan showed a faith in local Libyan support that proved misplaced on the night of the attack.
During an Aug. 15, 2012, meeting on the deteriorating security around Benghazi that Mr. Stevens attended, a diplomat stationed there described the situation as “trending negatively,” according to a cable sent the next day and quoted in the report. A diplomatic security officer “expressed concerns with the ability to defend post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound.”
A C.I.A. officer at the meeting pointed out the location of approximately 10 Islamist militias and Al Qaeda training camps within Benghazi, according to the same cable.
After reading the cable, Gen. Carter F. Ham, then the commander of the United States Africa Command, called Mr. Stevens to ask if the embassy in Tripoli needed additional military personnel, potentially for use in Benghazi, “but Stevens told Ham it did not,” the report said. A short time later, General Ham reiterated the offer at a meeting in Germany, and “Stevens again declined,” the report said.
The same Aug. 16 cable had also promised that requests “for additional physical security upgrades and staffing needs” for the Benghazi mission would be submitted through the Tripoli embassy, but “the committee has not seen any evidence that those requests were passed on by the embassy, including by the ambassador, to State Department headquarters before the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi.”
The Senate reports notes that the CIA bolstered its security at the annex, located near the diplomatic compound and actually paid attention to these reports. Stevens and the people at the State Department in DC did not. The person at the State Department specifically responsible for security at diplomatic compounds was Patrick F Kennedy. Kennedy held a similar job in 1998 when two American Embassies in East Africa were bombed. Clearly, Mr. Kennedy is not capable of doing his job and should never be allowed to be responsible in such a capacity again.
Nowhere in the report do we see secret plots or cover ups that we have been hearing squeak from inside the right wing bubble. No evidence that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama turned down additional security requests. This bloviation can be summed up quite simply as this. Sorry, folks, the president is better at foreign policy and international security than George W. Bush. Deal with it.
With this new information, I'm expecting some retractions from people who claim they can admit when they are wrong. Let's with Kevin Baker and his bullshit lying.