Benghazi Attack Hearing: Top Intelligence Official Says More Should Have Been Done

The Benghazi attack hearing held by the House Oversight Committee began with testimony from one of the top intelligence officials, who said, "We should have sent help" to the US compound in the Libyan city. The consulate was assaulted on September 11, 2012, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell -- the former deputy director for intelligence at Africa Command -- stated the US military should and could have done more to help Ambassador Stevens, US Foreign Service Information Management officer Sean Smith, former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, and Embassy security officer Tyrone S. Woods.

Lovell is the first high-ranking officer -- who was at the Africa Command during the attack in Benghazi -- to testify about the events that day, and at times during the hearing, he appeared moved as Committee members pressed him on why no action was taken to come to the victims' aid.

In his opening remarks at the Benghazi attack hearing, Lovell said:

"Many with firsthand knowledge have recounted the heroism displayed by the brave Americans in Benghazi that night. They fought the way they trained. That is in the record. Outside of Libya there were discussions that churned on about what we should do. These elements also fought the way they were trained. Specifically, the predisposition to inter-agency influence had the military structure—in the spirit of expeditionary government support—waiting for a request for assistance from the State Department."

"There are accounts of time, space and capability discussions of the question, could we have gotten there in time to make a difference. Well, the discussion is not in the 'could or could not' in relation to time, space and capability—the point is we should have tried. As another saying goes: 'Always move to the sound of the guns,' It is with a sense of duty as a retired General officer that I respectfully submit these thoughts and perspectives."

Additionally, Lovell testified at the hearing that he does not believe the Benghazi attack was the result of an anti-Islamic video -- as the Obama administration characterized the events over and over -- but it was a well planned assault, and the military "should have made a response of some sort."

Lovell added that even though those in leadership positions at the time didn't know how long the attack on the Benghazi compound would last. It was obvious that it was a hostile action and the Americans at the Embassy were in danger.

"This was no demonstration gone terribly awry. To the point of what happened, the facts led to the conclusion of a terrorist attack. The AFRICOM J-2 was focused on attribution. That attacks became attributable very soon after the event."
The Benghazi attack hearing comes as the White House is facing allegations that they tried to cover up the events of September 11, 2012 from the beginning; after assuring the American people the attack was a response to the video. A live stream of the hearing is available to watch here.

[Image via The Inquisitr]