Judicial Watch has released it’s own report on the Benghazi attack of September 11, 2012, bolstered by the “expertise and insight” of retired Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent Raymond Fournier.
The report’s opening salvo sets the tone by describing the attack by “approximately 150 heavily armed Islamists” that began at 9:40 PM on Sept. 11th and continued for eight hours.
From there, the report covers President Obama’s reaction, the State Department’s reaction, and the various (early) theories posited to explain away the terrorist roots of the attack–including blaming a YouTube video.
Judicial Watch claims that Libyan officials didn’t believe these excuses; they knew it was terrorism from the start.
The report cites the findings of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) that showed “systemic failures and leadership deficiencies” at the State Department leading up to the attack. It also provides a succinct look at the advance warning of danger that presented itself in Benghazi; Judicial Watch asserts that the State Department was apparently aware of these threats, as is evidenced by the fact that they raised the “danger pay allowance for diplomats” in Benghazi from 25 to 30 percent in July 2012.
Yet when the attack came, and the U.S. seemed unprepared.
According to Special Agent Fournier, the “critical error” leading up to the attack was an inexplicable decision to keep the security at the consulate on par with “security standards for a residence” rather than “a diplomatic mission or workplace.”
Those within the consulate knew this wasn’t sufficient, as is evidenced by an August 16th cable where the State Department’s Regional Security Officer “expressed concerns with the ability to defend [the consulate] in the event of a coordinated attack.”
The report ultimately asks if those responsible for these numerous errors and lax security decisions in the months leading up to Sept. 11 have been singled out and disciplined?
More than just an attack, this was a terrorist event that was enabled by systematic failures inside the State Department.