Senate panel: Terror attack on U.S. Consultate in Benghazi was "preventable"
The U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012 (AFP/File)
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A U.S. Senate panel Wednesday issued a report saying although there was no specific terror warning, the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was preventable.
The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans in September 2012. Since then the major parties in Washington have argued about the cause and whether Al Qaeda was involved.
An investigation by the New York Times found an anti-Muslim video in the United States contributed to attack and Al Qaeda was not directly involved.
The report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence split between majority Democrats and minority Republicans.
"The [Democratic] majority believes the terrorist attacks against U.S. personnel at the temporary mission facility and the annex in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 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 situation in Libya," the report said.
"The majority also believes, however, that the Benghazi attacks have been the subject of misinformed speculation and accusations long after the basic facts of the attacks have been determined, thereby distracting attention from more important concerns: the tragic deaths of four Americans, the hunt for their attackers, efforts by the U.S. government to avoid future attacks and the future of U.S.-Libya relationship."
In the report, minority Republicans were far more critical, saying: "The failures of Benghazi can be summed up this way: The Americans serving in Libya were vulnerable, the State Department knew they were vulnerable and no one in the administration really did anything about it. ... The intelligence and warnings from the field were met by this administration with a deafening silence."
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