A new bipartisan congressional panel revealed that the terrorist attack that resulted in the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, could have been prevented if the State Department had taken the appropriate security measures.
The Hill — The deadly terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, could have been averted, but the State Department failed to take measures necessary to stop it, a bipartisan congressional panel concluded Wednesday.
Republicans immediately seized on a Senate Intelligence Committee finding that the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens was “preventable,” seeing it as damaging to the reputation of Hillary Clinton, front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
The report concluded that under former Secretary of State Clinton’s watch, the department failed to increase security in Benghazi despite intelligence reports that the situation there was deteriorating and warnings ahead of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that U.S. facilities were at risk.
It also faulted the Obama administration and the intelligence community for being slow to dispel false reports that the attack that killed Stevens and three other Americans stemmed from a peaceful protest gone awry.
“The committee found the attacks 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 panel said in a statement on the report, which was endorsed by members of both parties.
Republicans immediately called on Clinton to come back to Capitol Hill to testify about the State Department’s shortcomings. The attack has become a black mark on her record that Republicans are eager to exploit as she weighs another White House run.
“I would hope that the Foreign Relations Committee will take that report and they will look at the unanswered questions,” the top Republican on the Intelligence panel, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), told The Hill. “And that they will bring before the committee anybody — and there’s several others in addition to Hillary Clinton who should come — but anybody who has knowledge of the facts leading up to the lack of proper security at the Benghazi mission before the attack.”