Today’s report by the House Select Committee on Benghazi is a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the four brave Americans who lost their lives in the deadly terrorist attacks against U.S. facilities in Libya on the night of September 11, 2012.
The report also brings to light the extraordinary failure on the part of officials at the State Department, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, to grasp the security risks in Libya and Benghazi in particular, and take the appropriate action to protect Americans stationed in that country. It raises concerning questions about why it took so long for military assets to respond that night and the State Department’s elevation of concerns about perceptions about our response above the goal of saving American lives. We have long known about the steady stream of diplomatic cables and intelligence reports highlighting the deteriorating situation in Eastern Libya and the fact that little was done to meet the requests of those stationed there for more support. This report highlights the manner in which the Obama administration responds to national security crises with spin designed to influence the media rather than with facts based on accounts from the ground.
Following the attack, the administration’s spread of misinformation, which is now confirmed in this official report, and its lack of meaningful action to hold those involved in this terrorist attack accountable or even to discipline anyone at the State Department were a further disgrace to the memories of the four fathers, husbands, and sons who lost their lives that night. Secretary Clinton’s failure to adequately address these issues during her tenure at the State Department is a glaring indictment of her leadership and the way in which she lied to grieving families one thing about the facts that night, while privately admitting the true nature of the terrorist attack is truly appalling.
It is my hope that this report serves as a reminder of the importance of allocating the appropriate resources to keep all Americans safe, both at home and around the world. This requires strong leadership from those tasked with ensuring that U.S. personnel have the support they need from Washington. That leadership was sadly lacking in this case and resulted in disaster. Congress and the Executive Branch need to work together to do everything possible to make sure something like this does not happen again.