Senate Report on Benghazi Points to Failings

Paul Brandus

Here's the key sentence in Wednesday's  bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya:

"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 U.S. Mission."

But the Republican reaction to the report has been harsh - despite the bipartisan nature of the committee itself - because it failed to find evidence that the Obama administration tried to cover up any terrorist involvement in the attack, which killed four Americans, incuding Ambassador Chris Stevens. It claims the White House merely passed along what the report calls incorrect information it received from the intel community before the now infamous talking points were changed.

But the report does say that  despite warnings about a possible attack, the State Department neglected to beef up security that might have saved the four American lives. It adds that poor communication between the intelligence community and the State Department helped the Sept. 11 attack go undetected.

"[I]ntelligence analysts inaccurately referred to the presence of a protest at the Mission facility before the attack based on open source information and limited intelligence, but without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements to corroborate that assertion," the report says. "The IC took too long to correct these erroneous reports, which caused confusion and influenced the public statements of policymakers."


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