October 16, 2015

Clinton Dodges Responsibility For Benghazi Security

Today, during an interview with CNN, Hillary Clinton dodged responsibility for the poor security at the Benghazi facility before the September 11, 2012, attack, saying that those decisions should be left to “security professionals.”

However, numerous reports and reviews detailed the poor security situation at Benghazi and Clinton’s State Department’s failure to address it. After its review of the Benghazi attacks, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee reported that “the Department failed to take adequate action to protect its personnel there” in Benghazi. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence added that despite the deteriorating situation in Libya, “few significant improvements were made by the State Department to the security posture of the temporary mission facility” in Benghazi.

Compounding the already dramatic security problems at the Benghazi facility, Poltifact rated as “true” the claim that, before the attacks, Clinton’s “State Department not only failed to honor repeated requests for additional security, but instead actually reduced security in Libya.”

The Senate Select Committeee on Intelligence further reported that the attack was “preventable” based on “known security shortfalls”:

The Majority believes that the terrorist attacks against U.S. personnel at the Temporary Mission Facility and the Annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 and 12, 2012, were likely preventable based on the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission and the significant strategic (although not tactical) warnings from the Intelligence Community about the deteriorating security situation in Libya.

The Accountability Review Board, which Clinton convened and has praised repeatedly, concluded that “in the weeks and months leading up to the attacks, the response from post, Embassy Tripoli, and Washington to a deteriorating security situation was inadequate.”

Although she pushed responsibilty for the security situation onto “security professionals” today, during her February 2013 testimony before Congress, Clinton admitted that she had read reports about the deteriorating security situation in Libya:

Well, I was certainly aware of a number of reports from throughout our Government. I don’t know of the specific one that you are referring to. There were DoD reports, intelligence community reports, State Department reports talking about the decreasing—or the increasing threat environment in eastern Libya. That was what we were trying to address with the Libyans.

It is no surprise that less than a week prior to her testimony before the Benghazi Committee, Clinton will say or do anything to avoid responsibility for her disastrous foreign policy record as Secretary of State.