As more information surfaces, what we have in the terrorist raid in Benghazi, Libya, is a scandal that continues to grow. The raid on the United States Consulate killed four Americans, including our ambassador, Christopher Stevens, a highly qualified State Department officer.
Testimony given by two former security officers to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and from diplomatic correspondence, was that extra security was requested and it was denied by the State Department. It was reported to the committee that a 16-member security detail was removed from Tripoli last August. Security was relaxed in a move the administration said was made because it wanted a more normal diplomatic presence.
Haven’t we learned from all of our experience in that part of the world that we can’t ever relax where there are terrorists?
The head of that security force that was moved said had those troops been there, their presence could have played a crucial role in beating back the attack.
Right after the attack, the administration and State Department told the world that the attack was “spontaneous” and indicated it was not a planned raid. The official word now is that the initial intelligence was wrong and the first reports on the attack were incorrect. It now is being called a terrorist attack after additional intelligence is studied.
This matter has become political, which always happens, especially in an election year. The Republicans claim the initial public report of the raid was made so as not to damage President Obama’s re-election bid. As mentioned, the Democrats are blaming the entire initial report on faulty intelligence. Politics is alive and well!
It appears that serious mistakes were made that cost American lives and the scandal needs full airing. We don’t know how the State Department can dodge blame and the White House’s role in this needs to be determined, especially as to that inaccurate report given to the United Nations and the world by our ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice. She probably will take the fall and her desire to be the next secretary of state may be a dream that has blown up.