A Benghazi report, compiled by the Senate intelligence committee, confirms the attack was preventable. The committee blames the State Department and US intelligence agencies for failing to secure a CIA annex and an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
On September 11, 2012, more than 100 gunmen stormed the American diplomatic mission. The following day, the same group attacked the CIA annex. The attacks left 11 injured and four dead.
In their official report, the Senate committee said increased security could have prevented the attacks. As reported by the Washington Post, the report outlines the committee’s findings:
“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 Benghazi report also says the investigation into the incident was stalled due to continued attacks. Throughout the FBI’s investigation, 15 people “supporting the investigation” were killed in Benghazi. Although the deaths were not conclusively tied to the investigation, the committee suggests the timing was suspicious.
Committee Vice Chairman Senator Saxby Chambliss said the United States Government failed to heed numerous warnings. He said government officials “simply did not do enough” to “ensure the safety of those serving in Benghazi.”
The Benghazi report specifically blames the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) branches of the Al Qaeda for the attack. Although the committee admits the ambush was carried out by terrorists, they said the attack was “opportunistic” rather than “highly coordinated.”
Fox News reports the US government has faced stark criticism for downplaying the involvement of Al Qaeda. The administration initially blamed the attacks on increased protest in the region. However, the Senate committee found no evidence of ongoing protests around the buildings.
While the Senate’s Benghazi Report does attempt to answer some important questions, will it be enough to silence the criticism of the Obama Administration’s role in this terrible tragedy?