Today, the House Select Committee On Benghazi has issued its final report.
I have just read a detailed account of its “highlights” (maybe “lowlights” is more accurate) from Stephen Collinson’s article for CNN – which, let’s remember, is not exactly the house organ for Trump 2016.
I will show you just one small part below – with the understanding that there is a ton more that you should use the link I’ve provided to read in full:
INADEQUATE SECURITY IN BENGHAZI
Throughout late 2011 and through 2012, security became perilous in Benghazi and there were at least two attacks on the compound and on diplomats and other international facilities.
— A diplomatic security agent in the city in November 2011 told the committee that security was “woefully inadequate” with no perimeter security, low walls and no lighting.
— The report said the Benghazi mission made repeated requests for new agents in late 2011 and early 2012. After a series of attacks on international targets in the city, more requests were made. But “no additional resources were provided by Washington D.C. to fortify the compound after the first two attacks. No additional personnel were sent to secure the facility, despite repeated requests for security experts on the ground.”
— At one point, then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland emailed Stevens to ask how to publicly describe the security incidents in 2012 : “Washington D.C. dismissed Stevens’ multiple requests for additional security personnel while also asking for help in messaging the very violence he was seeking security from,” the report said.
— The report, citing a cable from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, suggests there simply were not sufficient resources in the unstable nation to send to properly protect Benghazi. In early August 2012, there were only 34 security staff at the embassy. By the end of the month there were only six.
— Such shortages might explain the overreliance on the February 17 local militia in Benghazi to help secure the outpost — but a diplomatic security agent quoted in the report said the group was “undisciplined and unskilled.”
— In 2011 and early 2012, security sometimes became so difficult in Benghazi that staff were unable to do their jobs reaching out Libyans to report back to Washington on the restive political situation in the city. But the report says that in February 2012, the lead diplomatic security agent at the Tripoli Embassy told the post that “substantive reporting” was not its job anyway.
“[U]nfortunately, nobody has advised the (principal diplomatic officer) that Benghazi is there to support [redacted] operations, not conduct substantive reporting,” the agent wrote, in a possible sign that the primary purpose of the mission was in fact to support the CIA.
— The report also finds that the military did not carry out then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s order to deploy U.S. forces to help rescue Americans under fire in Benghazi, according to portions obtained by NBC News.
“What was disturbing from the evidence the Committee found was that at the time of the final lethal attack at the Annex, no asset ordered deployed by the Secretary had even left the ground,” the report says.
— The panel also argues that initial administration talking points framing the attack as the result of an angry protest over an anti-Muslim video released in the U.S. were drawn up by administration officials and did not include accounts from eyewitnesses or the Americans under attack, according to portions of the report obtained by Fox News.
The report quotes an agent at the Benghazi compound as hearing chanting before a full-on attack begins, including explosions and gunfire and “70 people rushing into the compound with an assortment of “AK-47s, grenades, RPG’s … a couple of different assault rifles.”
Another security officer described the assault as “a full on attack against our compound.”
Asked if he had seen a protest before the attacks, the officer said: “zip, nothing, nada.”
Simply stated, this makes Hillary Clinton out to be an incompetent, an insensitive jerk, and a liar.
I’ll wait to see how mainstream media handle this information before commenting. But experience has taught me not to be at all confident that it will be given neutral reportage.
Please join me in hoping my low confidence level is unfounded.