Botched in Benghazi:The Red Cross knew to act in the face of a growing and looming terrorist threat but the United States of America didn't?
New evidence on the Libya debacle and false White House spin.
Wall Street Journal editorial
At Wednesday's House oversight hearings into the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, Democrats protested loudly about a GOP political witch hunt. If only such alleged partisanship were always so educational. The Congressional investigation has in a few hours brought greater clarity about what happened before, during and after the events of 9/11/12 than the Obama Administration has provided in a month.
Among the revelations:
• There was no public demonstration whatsoever against an anti-Islam video, or any other grievance, outside the consulate in Benghazi the night of the attack.
"There had been nothing unusual during the day at all outside [our emphasis]," a State Department official told reporters in a Tuesday night briefing hastily organized before the House committee session. Only at 9:40 p.m. on September 11 did a large pack of armed men storm the compound, firing guns and grenades and eventually setting buildings on fire. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were murdered.
For more than a week afterwards, Obama Administration officials said the attacks were the result of a demonstration triggered by anger over a YouTube video, as were protests earlier in the day in Cairo. "What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, prompted by the video," said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice on September 16 on NBC's "Meet the Press."
On Tuesday night, a State Department official said, "That was not our conclusion."
• The frontal attack by an extremist militia group with links to al Qaeda was recognized as such by some Obama Administration officials within 24 hours. Testifying on Wednesday, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood, a Utah National Guard Green Beret who commanded a 16-member security team in Tripoli, said the attacks were "instantly recognizable as a terrorist attack. . . . I almost expected it to come."
• The State Department denied repeated requests to improve security at the Libyan mission. It kept the consulate in Benghazi open after Britain and the Red Cross had pulled out of the city after security deteriorated this year. No special security measures were in place for the anniversary of 9/11.
Lt. Col. Wood said he had argued to extend his team's tour in Libya but was pulled out in August. The State Department approved a 30% "danger pay" bonus for Americans working in Libya, but it turned down an Embassy request to keep a DC-3 plane in the country for security support.
Eric Nordstrom, a State official who was the regional security officer in Libya until June, told the committee about a "complete and total absence of planning" for security. The U.S. was relying on a Libyan government that was "overwhelmed and could not guarantee our protection," according to an October 1 memorandum written by Mr. Nordstrom. [link] [emphasis mine]
We still don't know who it was that refused security precautions in Benghazi.
But we can all guess.
Our only question now is: Will she resign or do we have to fire her?