The Truth About Benghazi

No matter how they try to paint it, the attack in Benghazi that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on sovereign U.S. territory reflects badly on President Obama and his administration.   Not only was their handling of the situation embarrassingly poor; they added insult to injury by falsely claiming that the incident was simply a spontaneous outburst of anger due to a movie trailer.

Unfortunately for them, the American people are not that naive.  Heritage knew well in advance that “radical Islamist factions, warring militia commanders, tribal rivalries, a lack of democratic traditions, and a civil society ravaged by decades of authoritarian rule” made Libya’s future uncertain and proved the area was still subject to unrest.  The administration did not heed Heritage’s advice that the U.S. should “adopt a cautious policy towards the Libyan rebel coalition.”

Sadly, this administration was too busy boasting of its accomplishments to adopt good policy in the area.  Now, as Heritage suspected, new information has surfaced that indicates that the attack in Benghazi was likely a planned terrorist attack perpetrated by al-Qaeda and that the ambassador had expressed concern for some time about insufficient security in the area.  Reuters reports:

“U.S. State Department officials on Tuesday offered their most detailed description yet of the dramatic events in Benghazi that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador, but they backed away from earlier assertions that the events were triggered by protests against an anti-Islam video.”

Heritage’s Peter Brooks explained the motivation for the misinformation:

The last thing the White House wanted to tell us in the heat of a tight presidential campaign was that al-Qaida terrorists had just attacked sovereign American territory on the 11th anniversary of 9/11… Instead, they seemingly chose to ignore the significance of the date of the attack; the lawlessness of eastern Libya; the sophistication of the assault on the Benghazi consulate and secure annex — and blamed it on a movie trailer.”

Nevertheless, the administration’s foolish attempt to save face is backfiring as their story unravels and their dishonesty is revealed.  The Heritage video above documents, in great detail, the administration’s lies and subsequent retraction.

In addition, officials of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security will testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform  today at noon to determine whether “the State Department rejected requests from diplomats to increase security at the Libya mission after months of violent incidents.”

The hearing, entitled “The Security Failures of Benghazi,” can be viewed here.

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