The Senate Intelligence Committee revealed that the State Department received “hundreds” of intelligence reports in the months before the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack warning that terrorist groups would strike U.S. facilities in Libya.
The report, released on Wednesday, excoriated the state department for failing to protect the compound and for ignoring repeated admonitions to increase security. Furthermore, the report indicates that the state department had failed to react to the warnings, including alerts that had led the CIA to augment security at its Benghazi base near the diplomatic compound.
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed during the attack. The 60 terrorist attackers easily subdued the undermanned Libyan guards and diplomatic security agents assigned to protect the facility.
The Senate Intelligence Committee report discredits recurrent claims by the White House and then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice that the attack was incited, spontaneously, by protesters of an anti-Muslim film. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and six other Democrats on the panel joined by Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, concluded that the attack was “likely preventable.”