Senate report: Benghazi attack could have been averted
Iran Press TV
Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:7PM GMT
The September 11, 2012 attacks on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya could have been prevented, according to a new US Senate intelligence report.
The attacks that left four Americans killed, including US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, could have been averted had it not been for the insufficient security and poor communication between diplomatic staff at the mission, the report released Wednesday concluded.
US intelligence agencies had issued multiple warnings on the deteriorating security conditions in Benghazi.
"The committee found 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 US Mission," the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Wednesday in a press release.
Information obtained from oversight hearings, closed interviews, documents, video and staff briefings were used to assemble the report.
"In sum, the Mission facility had a much weaker security posture than the (CIA) Annex, with a significant disparity in the quality and quantity of equipment and security upgrades," the report found.
The report which seeks to put to rest controversies around the attacks mostly echoed a December report by the New York Times which concluded the incident was not pre-planned.
"The collective assessment of the intelligence community remains that the attacks were deliberate and organized, but that their lethality and efficacy did not necessarily indicate extensive planning," the Senate report said.
Along with the criticism of how the Obama administration handled the attack, the three main points of contention in the blame game between Republicans and the White House were whether the attack was pre-planned, if al-Qaeda was involved, or whether it was a spontaneous response to an anti-Muslim video.
The Times' investigation found that there was no involvement from al-Qaeda and that the violent raid was rather led by local militias who had enjoyed "NATO's air power and logistics support" during the uprising against Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
According to NY Time's report, US officials made poor security decisions, trusted the wrong people, and were broadly ill-informed about the nature of the threats around them.
More than a year after the attack, the blame game continues and the Senate report shows that those in Benghazi who helped FBI investigations have paid the highest price.
At least 15 people "supporting the investigation or otherwise helpful to the United States" have been killed since September 2012.
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