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Security Lapses & Failures: Benghazi U.S. Consulate Attack, Sept 11, 2012. Why did it happen?
Posted November 16, 2012

What this discussion is attempting to bring out is: (1) Were the security policies, procedures and posture appropriate for the geographical location, political situation and threat level for the consulate and U.S. Embassy personnel?  (2) If calls for additional security personnel and equipment were denied, then why?  (3) Why is the “Government”, both Republicans and Democrats, arguing over who’s to blame instead of working together to make sure this does not happen again?

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is currently holding hearings into the September 11th, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. citizens.  To date, several key government representatives and security personnel have testified in regards to the attack and the security situation prior to the attack.

This link (http://oversight.house.gov/hearing/the-security-failures-of-benghazi/) is to the website for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has the opening statement of the committee chairman and four government / security persons with direct knowledge of the.

Other than the General Petraeus scandal and his impending testimony to the committee, several news articles have been posted online by FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, etc., about the incident and differing views / questions / actions taken, etc.  It needs to be noted that several of the articles posted appear to be somewhat biased, either Republican or Democrat, but still ask pertinent questions or make accurate statements based on qualified information or direct testimony.  There are a plethora of online and printed articles about this subject and the following only reflect the first several that were pulled from the internet.

Please click on the associated links, read the entire articles for yourself, to include the testimony given to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (above) and make your own determination.   

Three key questions on the Benghazi scandal
FoxNews.com (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/13/three-key-questions-on-benghazi-scandal/#ixzz2C7pPeB00)

As Congressional hearings on Benghazi start up again this week, three key issues demand answers.

First, why did the Obama administration ignore repeated pleas to strengthen security for our people in Libya, not only from State Department security chief Andrew Wood and the man on the ground in charge of security, Greg Nordstrom; but from Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself, who sent a memo on June 25 headlined “fragile security deteriorating, “ noting the rise of pro-Al Qaeda sentiment across Libya–and why it refuse Stevens additional security for his trip to Benghazi, knowing it might cost him his life?

Second, when did the president and/or his national security staff become aware that an attack was underway at the Benghazi compound, and why was their response so lax? We now know that warning of an imminent attack reached the compound a full hour before it happened.

Third, who first concocted “the spontaneous reaction” to a YouTube video explanation for the attack, ignoring both the Libya CIA station chief’s assessment and that of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the first 24 hours, that this was a planned and coordinated terrorist operation–and claims on Facebook and Twitter by an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist cell that it was responsible?

Military timeline from night of Benghazi attack begs more questions
FoxNews.com (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/11/military-timeline-from-night-benghazi-attack-begs-more-questions/#ixzz2C8BDi3Ym)

After more than nine weeks of trying to reconcile their story line with that of the State Department and the CIA, the Pentagon finally released its timeline of the Libya terror attack during a Friday afternoon, off-camera briefing with an official who could only be quoted anonymously.

The news was overtaken almost immediately by the announcement that Gen. David Petraeus had resigned, due to an extramarital affair. He was slated to testify in closed-door hearings on Capitol Hill this coming week before the Senate and House intelligence committees. Petraeus no longer plans to testify#.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told "Fox News Sunday" that she "absolutely" thinks Petraeus' resignation has no connection to the Libya matter but he could be called to testify before Congress at a later date.

"We may well ask," the California senator told Fox.

However, while the Petraeus resignation has since dominated attention in Washington, an examination of the military’s version of events reveals a number of discrepancies and gaps worth closer scrutiny.

What President Obama really said in that '60 Minutes' interview about Benghazi

FoxNews.com (http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2012/11/05/what-president-obama-really-said-60-minutes-interview-about-benghazi#ixzz2C8asS2bj)

ANALYSIS: Two days before the election, CBS posted additional portions of a Sept. 12 "60 Minutes" interview where President Obama seems to contradict himself on the Benghazi attack. As the Benghazi investigation gets more attention and focus, CBS is once again adding to the Benghazi timeline.   

In the interview, according to the latest portions, Obama would not say whether he thought the attack was terrorism. Yet he would later emphasize at a presidential debate that in the Rose Garden the same day, he had declared the attack an act of terror.

Benghazi Consulate Lacked Protection, Former Security Chief Says
Voice of America (http://www.voanews.com/content/congressional-panel-examines-benghazi-anti-us-attack/1524122.html)

The former head of the U.S. security team in Libya says the consulate in Benghazi never had enough of what it needed to protect itself.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood testified Wednesday at Congressional hearings into the September 11th attack on the consulate that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others.

Republicans have accused the State Department of failing to heed demands from security personnel on ground for more help.

Wood described the security in Benghazi as a struggle the entire time he was assigned to Libya. He said there was only one U.S. diplomatic security agent at the consulate just months before the attack.

Deputy Assistant of State Charlene Lamb, who is responsible for diplomatic security, told the hearing Wednesday that Benghazi had the proper number of security officers at the time of the attack based on intelligence and agreements between officials in the field and Washington.
Republican Congressmen Darrell Issa retorted that such an assessment does not ring true to the American people. He said it took just moments to storm the embassy and kill four people.

But Democrats at the hearing pointed out that Republicans have repeatedly cut funds for diplomatic security.

Republicans have also criticized the Obama administration for initially saying the attack on the consulate was part of the protest against an American-made anti-Islam film before later calling it a planned act of terrorism.

Obama slams GOP criticism of UN Ambassador Rice over Benghazi attack as 'outrageous'
NBCNews.com (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/14/15167694-obama-slams-gop-criticism-of-un-ambassador-rice-over-benghazi-attack-as-outrageous?lite)

President Barack Obama on Wednesday spiritedly defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice over her response to the September attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, assailing Republican criticism of her as "outrageous."

At his first news conference since winning re-election, the president said Rice has done “exemplary work” and accused GOP critics of trying to “besmirch” her reputation.

CIA talking points for Susan Rice called Benghazi attack "spontaneously inspired" by protests
CBSNews.com (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57550337/cia-talking-points-for-susan-rice-called-benghazi-attack-spontaneously-inspired-by-protests/)

CBS News has obtained the CIA talking points given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Sept. 15 regarding the fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, four days earlier. CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan says the talking points, which were also given to members of the House intelligence committee, make no reference to terrorism being a likely factor in the assault, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

Rice, who was considered a likely nominee to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, has been attacked by Republican lawmakers for saying on "Face the Nation" (video) on Sept. 16 that all indications were the attack "began spontaneously" - suggesting it likely sprang from a protest against an anti-Muslim video found on the Internet. Protests of that nature had been seen in other Muslim nations in the days and weeks before the Benghazi attack.

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