US House Hearings On Consulate Attack Reveals Ineptness, Dishonesty – OpEd
By Jim Kouri
A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee probe today into the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is revealing an inept, uninformed and dishonest Obama administration and State Department.
Prior to the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Ambassador Chris Stevens’ request for additional security officials was turned down by the Obama administration in order to project a friendly atmosphere to the distrusting Islamic population, a State Department security official in Washington, D.C., told a Congressional panel Wednesday.
“In the immediate aftermath of the attack, and then for several days, administration officials contended that the attack on the consulate was a spontaneous reaction to a crude anti-Islamic movie trailer posted to YouTube. The New York Times, Reuters, and Fox News have in the last few days published stories, based on what these news organizations said were reliable sources, that “within hours” of the attack, U.S. intelligence agencies submitted dozens of reports to high officials suggesting that an al Qaeda-affiliated Libyan militia was behind the attack,” according to Homeland Security Newswire.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders had previously sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking why requests for more protection were denied to the U.S. mission in Libya by Washington officials prior to the violent and deadly terrorist attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The denials came after repeated attacks and security threats to U.S. personnel, according to Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA), the committee chairman, and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) the subcommittee chairman.
“While the written requests were unemotional and respectful, verbal requests were pleas from American foreign service personnel who were terrified of their surroundings and their vulnerability in a turbulent environment,” said the Law Enforcement Examiner source. “So far, the investigation of this dreadful security failure proves that the Obama administration possesses a far too limited understanding of radical Islamists and terrorism,” he added.
“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012. It was clearly never, as Administration officials insisted, the result of a popular protest,” said Issa and Chaffetz.
“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the [Oversight] Committee that, prior to the attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington,” the congressmen alleged.
The letter to Secretary Clinton outlined 13 security threats during the six months prior to the attack that claimed the lives of Stevens, two Navy SEALs and a consulate staff member.
For example, on June 6, 2012, in BENGHAZI, under cover of darkness, assailants placed an IED on the north gate of Consulate Benghazi, blowing a hole in the security perimeter that was described by one individual as, “big enough for forty men to go through.”
Also in Benghazi, on June 10, a two-car convoy carrying the British Ambassador to Libya from a conference on reforming Libyan military law was attacked in broad daylight by a militant with an RPG. This attack was an important escalation in the violence against Western targets in Benghazi, as prior attacks had been at night and were often preceded by warnings from the attackers.
“Put together, these events indicated a clear pattern of security threats that could only be reasonably interpreted to justify increased security for U.S. personnel and facilities in Benghazi,” chairmen Issa said.
Several Republican lawmakers expressed their frustration with the obvious slow response to the attack, with some claiming that Secretary Hillary Clinton and her State Department are waiting until after the presidential election to conclude the investigation and announce its results. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), on Wednesday renewed their demand for documents relating to the attack after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to hand over the cables they initially requested.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) believes Obama had political reasons for avoiding calling the Benghazi attack terrorism. “What I believe is that President [Obama] is so fixated on convincing the American people that he has defeated al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda is no longer a real threat by saying this was a terrorist attack, or by acknowledging a terrorist attack would be looked upon as a defeat for his policies against al-Qaeda,” King says.
“King is 1,000% right! This was another snafu by an incompetent and politicized White House and State Department. The reason for the slow reaction by the White House press corps to the Obama administration ineptitude is their belief in the myth that Obama and Hillary Clinton are political giants, instead of the incompetent Democratic Party hacks they truly are. Did the media forget that Hillary lies at the drop of a hat and her only experience in military affairs is her being married to a draft-dodger,” said former military intelligence officer and New York police detective Michael Snopes.