While most Americans were focused on the Boston Bombings last week, a report on Benghazi terror attack went largely unnoticed. But for those seeking to understand the Obama Administrations curious attitude towards fighting terrorism, the Benghazi attack is a prime case study.
Five Committees of the House of Representatives have completed an interim report on the Benghazi attack that sets the issue in a comprehensive framework for understanding and analysis.
The following is the Executive Summary. The full report is available here.
An ongoing Congressional investigation across five House Committees concerning the events surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya has made several determinations to date, including:The full report goes into detail on each of these points. I'd like to concentrate on point #2 which examines the talking points which falsely claimed a You Tube video was responsible for the attack.
• Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including Secretary Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.
• In the days following the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the Intelligence Community in order to protect the State Department.
• Contrary to Administration rhetoric, the talking points were not edited to protect classified information. Concern for classified information is never mentioned in email traffic among senior Administration officials.
Here are excerpts of the Report on that issue:
The Administration consciously decided not to discuss extremist involvement or previous attacks against Western interests in Benghazi. The U.S. government immediately had information that the attacks were conducted by al-Qa’ida-affiliated terrorists, yet Administration officials downplayed those connections, and focused on the idea that provocation for violence resulted from a YouTube video.
Analysis of the Evolving Drafts of the Talking Points To protect the State Department, the Administration deliberately removed references to al-Qa’ida-linked groups and previous attacks in Benghazi in the talking points used by Ambassador Rice, thereby perpetuating the deliberately misleading and incomplete narrative that the attacks evolved from a demonstration caused by a YouTube video.