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The Benghazi report: Damning conclusions

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Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
 

An abysmal lack of security at the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, despite warnings about deteriorating conditions, left Americans needlessly exposed to the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks by terrorists, according to a bipartisan Senate committee report that slams the State Department.

“The attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya,” according to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Murdered in the rampage were U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Add to that body count 15 people in Benghazi who tried to help the FBI investigate the killings, although it's unclear whether all had cooperated with the United States, according to USA Today.

What's clear, and has been since the Obama administration initially denied that it was a terrorist attack, was the stunning lack of attention to security after assaults on Red Cross and British embassy personnel. Even Mr. Stevens is implicated in this disregard in the Senate report.

“The bottom line is that (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton wanted the appearance of normalization” in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, says Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in response to the Senate report. “Security was not driving these decisions.”

Still smouldering in the rubble are questions about the ineffectual military “response” to the attacks, which continued for several hours after the White House and Pentagon were informed. And the nation is no closer to answers or any measure of accountability.

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