Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the September 11, 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 23, 2013.
WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- A bipartisan report by the Senate intelligence committee
blames the State Department for failing to increase security at the
U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, despite warnings from the CIA and
staff about the danger of militant attacks.
The report also says
that 15 people in Benghazi who have tried to help the FBI investigate
the murders have been killed, though it is not certain all the deaths
were connected to cooperation with the United States.
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," the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence panel said
in a statement.
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other
Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks after having made
requests for more security to the State Department, headed at the time
by Hillary Clinton.
The report faulted intelligence agencies as
well for not sharing information about the existence of the CIA outpost
with the U.S. military in Libya.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, a
Republican on the House Oversight Committee who has been investigating
Benghazi, said the report is further evidence that State's Benghazi
policy was made for political and not security reasons.
bottom line is Hillary Clinton wanted the appearance of normalization"
in Libya, Chaffetz said. "Security was not driving these decisions.
The report, based on hearings and interviews with
officials, government documents and survivors of the attack, says that
six CIA employees responded to the attack.
But the Pentagon has
been criticized by several Republican senators for not coming to the aid
of the Americans in full fashion. The report said the military response
was slow and hindered.
Documents show that the CIA was aware of
the existence of Islamist training camps and militias in Benghazi, said
the report. Some of the local militias had been contracted by State to
provide security at the consulate.
U.S. officials involved in
security at the consulate testified before a House committee last year
that Stevens had informed his superiors of several incidents that
concerned him greatly about the need for improved security. The CIA has
also said it had made its concerns about security known to the White
Among the incidents leading up to the attacks were assaults
on the Red Cross and British embassy personnel, and local militia
charged with protecting U.S. staff acting in suspicious manners. The
Libyan militia that was supposed to protect the consulate did not arrive
to help the Americans during the attack, said the Senate report.
Clinton appointed an Accountability Review Board to look into the
attack too and it faulted a "lack of proactive senior leadership" for
security in Benghazi, and said physical security was "profoundly weak."
testimony before Congress in January 2013, Clinton said that diplomats
"accept a level of risk" in taking posts in dangerous areas and that
they "cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs."
But she said it
was State's responsibility to make sure diplomats have the resources
they need to reduce the risks. Clinton called the attack "one of those
terrible tragic times" when the State Department's security assessment
of the situation failed.
"We are constantly assessing. And sometimes we get it wrong, but it's very - it's rare that we get it wrong," Clinton said.
said she was aware of some security issues in Benghazi but that she had
not personally reviewed an Aug. 12 cable requesting reinforcements for
In a letter to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., she said the
Accountability Review Board "made very clear" that the level of
responsibility for the failures outlined in the cable was set at the
assistant secretary level and below.
In a House report released in
April on Benghazi, Republicans say Clinton personally signed off on
cuts in security at the compound.
The April cable from State
acknowledged then-Ambassador Gene Cretz's formal request for additional
security but still ordered "the withdrawal of security elements to
proceed as planned," the Republicans said.
cables, or internal messages, often are sent with the secretary of
State's signature. The report did not say whether the cable regarding
security was personally signed or drafted by Clinton.
latest report on Benghazi, Chaffetz said significant questions remain
about the lack of military response to the attack, which went on for
several hours after the Pentagon and the White House were aware it had
"You'd think that would get people out of bed - let's get some planes ready - but apparently not," he said.
You may also like...
Weird Florida: A look back at some of the strangest stories of the year
Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant
Broke Bad: Contest winner busted in synthetic drug ring
Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary
Fake Cop: Man arrested 3 times for impersonating officer
Animal tragedy: Girl's miniature horse attacked by dogs
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here