January 16th, 2014

Senate Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi released

I’m not at all sure most people will care, because the left has succeeded in making just the word “Benghazi” a big yawn for way too many people. But for what it’s worth, the Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a fairly blistering report on the Benghazi debacle.

Aside from some all-important pre-2016 minimizing of Hillary Clinton’s role by the majority Democrats, who claim that the early “it was a video” emphasis was the result of poor communication by US intelligence rather than an administration coverup, here are the some of the highlights (or lowlights, depending how you look at it) of the report’s findings, as described by Ed Morrissey at The Fiscal times:

The committee found that a string of terrorist attacks in Benghazi against Western targets, especially one three months before the final attack on the US facility itself, should have alerted State to the danger it faced. Furthermore, the committee questioned how State could have ignored its own security standards to approve the use of the building, a decision reapplied in July when State renewed the lease – just weeks after the previous attack.

These two issues – of the terrorist activity and the inexplicable waivers for proper security – drive most of the bipartisan condemnation of the report. The committee pointedly notes that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) warned the Obama administration in June 2012 of the growing threat against Western interests in Benghazi in a report with a title that should have grabbed attention: “Libya: Terrorists Now Targeting U.S. and Western Interests.”…

The CIA did not formally share knowledge of the existence of their annex with the Department of Defense. The commander of US Africa Command, General Carter Ham, had no idea that there were more personnel to protect until the attack, leading the Republicans to muse: “We are puzzled as to how the military leadership expected to effectively respond and rescue Americans in the event of an emergency when it did not even know of the existence of one of the U.S. facilities.”…

It’s as if the Pentagon, CIA, and State Department set out to ignore the red flags they themselves had been raising all year long. No one was prepared on the anniversary of 9/11 for an attack in the region where everyone knew al Qaeda to be “establishing sanctuary,” openly operating, and where the US predicted attacks would escalate.

The State Department in particular didn’t take action to bring its facility into compliance with its own security requirements, purposefully waiving them, in a city where terrorist attacks had already begun to escalate – including one on the facility itself – nor took action to get Americans out of harm’s way, despite the departure of other Western nations from Benghazi earlier in the year.

One does not need a name at the top of this report to know where responsibility rests for this massive failure. Hillary Clinton ran State, Leon Panetta ran Defense, and David Petraeus ran the CIA. But the distributed nature of the failure indicts the Obama administration and Barack Obama himself, too. The White House is responsible for interagency coordination, for one thing, especially when it comes to national security and diplomatic enterprises.

However, Obama’s responsibility extends farther and more specifically, too. The reason that eastern Libya had transformed into a terrorist haven in the first place was because of the Obama-led NATO intervention that deposed Moammar Qaddafi without any effort to fill the security vacuum his abrupt departure created.

Americans, who should care, seem to be sleepwalking through all of this. The fact that the Democratic majority on the committee signed off on it is unusual enough to be worthy of note and should be significant. But unless both parties are prepared to make a big stink about it, I’m afraid that nothing will happen as a result.

10 Responses to “Senate Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi released”

  1. Don Carlos Says:

    Who’s sleepwalking us?
    The NYT had a tiny headline at the left bottom of its webpage, so yes, it “reported” the story, but in patently minimizing fashion.

  2. physicsguy Says:

    Once again, for the upteenth time during the last 5 years, it’s the MSM who is ignoring the story. Close air support knocking out the counter attack of the Benghazi forces again.

  3. J.J. Says:

    The MSM has become an arm of the DNC. Only Fox news is reporting this in any depth.

    Consider this. Thomas Donilon and John Brennan were two of his National Security advisors at the time. Here’s a link to a photo of Obama meeting with his NSAs in September of 2012: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photo/2012/09/president-obama-meets-national-security-advisors

    Donilon is primarily a political operative and lawyer who has hardly been out of the country. No military, intelligence, or law enforcement background. Brennan was a career CIA officer who, in many public settings, has shown his affection for, and sympathies with, the Muslim Ummah. For more on that see this: http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2012/10/obamas-national-security-advisor.html

    The attack happened at a time when the campaign dominated the White House agenda. As Andrew McCarthy said in a piece at National Review :
    “Obama and Clinton had been the architects of American foreign policy. As Election Day 2012 loomed, each of them had a powerful motive to promote the impressions (a) that al-Qaeda had been decimated; (b) that the administration’s deft handling of the Arab Spring — by empowering Islamists — had been a boon for democracy, regional stability, and American national security; and (c) that our real security problem was “Islamophobia” and the “violent extremism” it allegedly causes — which was why Obama and Clinton had worked for years with Islamists, both overseas and at home, to promote international resolutions that would make it illegal to incite hostility to Islam, the First Amendment be damned.
    All of that being the case, I am puzzled why so little attention has been paid to the Obama-Clinton phone call at 10 P.M. on the night of September 11.”

    With all those facts at hand, it is easy to see the political motivations behind the cover up. What we need now is to find some reporters with the guts to go get the story ala Woodward and Berrnstein. I’m not holding my breath.

  4. parker Says:

    The powers that be will not do what it takes for justice to be done, that is a given. However, Benghazi is a potent campaign tool for any democrat running against HRC in the primaries and any republican running against her in the general election. The 3 AM call came and neither HRC or BHO answered the phone. Perhaps justice at the ballot box is the best we can hope to achieve for now. Justice in the legal system may have to wait….. indefinitely. :-(

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The Democratic majority on the committee signed off on it because the actual facts of the matter are far, far more damaging than this report. This is damage control, nothing more.

    They knew it was a terrorist attack from the very beginning. Everything Obama did and did not do was driven strictly by political concerns and the top officials in his administration and the top military officials knew it and collaborated in the entire affair.

  6. blert Says:

    The report is a “modified, limited, hang-out.”

    It’s how damage control is done in the era of spin.

  7. Matt_SE Says:

    I remember when Baby Doc Duvallier was shuttled out of Haiti, in order to “smooth the transition.”
    So for expedience, the Powers that Be abetted a criminal dictator in his escape, and if Justice was considered at all it was an afterthought.

    He hasn’t been the only dictator so treated, but oddly enough, it never seems to improve the situation. One dictator is usually replaced by another.

    I think a strong moral case can be made for aggressive prosecution by the new regime. Wrongs may have been committed, and if so they must be put right. The rule of law itself is at stake.

    Therefore, the criminal Obama and all his cronies should stand trial after their time is over. It shouldn’t be too hard to get something on them…not with all that NSA data on record.

  8. betsybounds Says:

    I would not be at all surprised if we were, one day, to learn that Benghazi was a hit

  9. Eric Says:

    “However, Obama’s responsibility extends farther and more specifically, too. The reason that eastern Libya had transformed into a terrorist haven in the first place was because of the Obama-led NATO intervention that deposed Moammar Qaddafi without any effort to fill the security vacuum his abrupt departure created.”

    I believe this points to Obama’s main motivation. His foreign policy has been determined first by partisan political calculation rather than effective foreign policy.

    As such, Obama overtly sold his Libya policy to the public as his antithetical antidote to the Bush Iraq policy which would demonstrate Bush’s wrongness and his own rightness in foreign policy. (Already a false premise on Obama’s part given the very different situations, histories, and stakes defining the Iraq and Libya missions, but I’m just talking about how it was sold to the public politically.)

    When Plan A hits reality, Plan A suffers. That’s normal. Plan B may not work, either. But eventually, a real leader finds a way to adapt and adjust in order to achieve the mission goal. Bush did that in Iraq.

    However, Obama’s mission goal seems not to have been success within the four corners of the Libya mission but rather the political claim that his Libya policy discredits the Bush Iraq policy.

    Therefore, the mission on the ground in Libya was ordered to adhere to Obama’s fiction for political reasons rather than adapt and adjust to the reality on the ground in order to accomplish the Libya mission.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    So what does the Stupid Senate report want to tell their zombies now?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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