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  • Congress Seeks Answers on Benghazi

    The laundry room at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (Photo: MCT/Newscom)

    On Thursday, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees should bring us closer to an understanding of what went so disastrously wrong at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during the terrorist attack on September 11 that left one U.S. ambassador and three CIA security personnel dead.

    The answers, however, will have implications beyond Benghazi for American diplomatic security and for the war against terrorism.

    As noted in a recent Heritage Issue Brief, “Lessons from Benghazi: Rethinking U.S. National Security” by James Carafano and Morgan Roach, the questions Congress should ask tomorrow include:

    1)      What counterterrorism and early warning measures were in place to proactively address security threats? There was overwhelming evidence that the security situation was deteriorating in Benghazi, and Congress needs to know from the State Department what measures were used to provide early warnings of terrorist operations against embassy personnel.

    2)      What was done to assess the risks and mitigate the vulnerability of State Department staff in Benghazi? Eastern Libya has long been a base for extremist militias, and as the U.S. consulate was located in a former private residence, it had to be fortified significantly. Not enough was done, clearly, as an explosion on June 6 blew a hole in the wall big enough for 40 men to walk through.

    3)      What contingency planning was undertaken and exercised to respond to armed assaults against U.S. facilities in Benghazi? Contingencies are inevitable in a volatile environment such as Libya, even when good early warning systems are in place. By the way events unfolded in Benghazi, contingency planning does not appear to have been well developed.

    4)      How is the interagency response to the incident organized and planned? In Washington, several agencies need immediate cooperation and coordination to execute a response to an attack on a U.S. embassy, including the White House, the Pentagon, intelligence agencies, and State. What mechanisms are in place, and how quickly can they respond when needed? One such interagency group, the Counterterrorism Security Group, was apparently never convened during the Benghazi crisis—despite the fact that it fit precisely its mission.

    Getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi is critical for the future security of U.S. embassies. Members of congressional committees have an obligation to ask the tough questions—and the Obama Administration has an obligation to finally provide some clear answers.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Congress Seeks Answers on Benghazi

    1. KKevin J says:

      We all know they had live video of the attack. We all know that normal protests do not include RPG and Mortar fire. With just those 2 facts, the story about the video protest doesn’t hold water. The Whitehouse knew those facts at least by day 2, if not in real time. That makes Obama a liar, because we ALL know that it was Obama who ordered the story about the video. It may not have been his idea, but something of this nature had better be being approved by the President.

      The question that MUST be asked is who ordered the troops to stand down. Who ordered NO military response. The ONLY logical answer to this is Obama. I do not believe ANY military person at any level would ever have made that choice. They live to protect, as evidenced by the agents that refused the orders and became heros.

      With these assumptions this makes Obama guilty of treason

    2. Victoria Bingham says:

      Where are the hard questions? These read like a blase assessment of implementing better practices for future events… what about..' WHO gave the order to stand down and leave the Americans helpless and without the reinforcements they begged for?'

    3. Dan says:

      Why is it so hard to get an honest answer from Obama ? I'm sure this will be covered up some how. The media has a way of doing that for him. Everyone's fault but his. Slap on the hands unless the true story is told . Worse than Watergate or Clintons Whitehouse romp..

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Did you not listen to Obama press conference yesterday. Did the media ask important questions? Did Obama answer questions? Did we get "answers" for Fast and Furous? Are you naive enough to believe the American people will get "answers" as long as Obama and the Dems remain in office and the media continues to lie and distort?

    5. Shirley Cameron says:

      Let's stay on this until we get the answers we need. Don't let Obama get away with murder! Never give up or we are doomed! This liar in chief needs to be brought to justice and exposed for the fraud he is!

    6. Diana says:

      Legally and following the rule of law in this country, what can our Congress do other than have a committee and ask questions about what happened. How do we know even then we are getting the whole truth? I mean look at what happened in "Fast and Furious". I personally am very worried for the state of our dear country!!!

    7. Eyesea4 says:

      Why is no one talking about the detainees the CIA released to Libyan Officials as they evacuated? Were they detained pre or post Consulate attack? If pre, was the detention lawful? Were they reason for the attack?

      Could they be the reason for the cover up with both the Administration and the CIA?

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