The Senate Intelligence Committee has determined that the attack on the U-S Embassy in Benghazi was preventable.
GOP members of the Intelligence committee say failures that led to the attack could be partly related to President Obama’s failure to establish a clear detention policy for terror suspects that gets the most out of intelligence collection. The report says the State Department, then under Hillary Clinton, did not boost security despite warnings from the CIA.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who is a member of the on Armed Services and Defense Appropriations Committee, says he’s troubled by the findings. He says it’s unfortunate that the Intelligence Committee still doesn’t know why the administration failed to increase embassy security in the weeks leading up to the attack, even when it knew the situation on the ground was getting worse.
“Their conclusions are that neither the Defense Department or the State Department handled this the way it could have handled it,” Blunt says, “and all or some of those deaths could have been prevented if the U.S. government had acted on the information it had, particularly the information it had prior to the attacks.”
The Obama administration initially believed the armed assault was triggered by outrage over a U.S.-produced anti-Muslim film. It has since classified it as an organized terror attack. Blunt says it’s evident the attacks were not the result of a mob mentality, though the committee reports terrorists might have been taking advantage of an opportunistic moment on Sept. 11, 2012.
“There was no question that the initial stories about the attacks that they were generated by a mob that suddenly got out of control, it’s just not true, it wasn’t true at the time,” Blunt says.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attacks. Records show Stevens had requested increased security before the attacks.
Blunt says he will continue to work to uncover the facts surrounding the attacks. He says it’s his hope that this report will lead to better security for U.S. officials serving overseas.
AUDIO: Sen. Blunt talks about committee report on Benghazi attacks (2 min.)