First off, apparently the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi didn’t take the time or make the effort to learn who is actually responsible for security at U.S. facilities abroad.  It’s not the Secretary of State.   It’s the State Department’s Diplomatic Security (DS) bureau which consists of around 2,000 professional men and women with expertise in providing physical and technical security.  I know a couple dozen of these folks quite well. I’m also sure that Hillary Clinton doesn’t know the blast standards for a U.S. Embassy.  Why should she?  In fact, as she said, she’s the last person you want to be making such decisions since she has no training, education or expertise in such matters.  But I do.  And so do the excellent folks who work in DS. 

And, of course, I’m sure that the Republican bozoos the Committee knew full well who provides security for our overseas facilities, but, hey, eleven hours of hearings have to be filled with something other that the Sid Blumenthal e-mails so why not ask 600 times why Hillary refused requests for more security 600 times.  

And should you think that the Benghazi Hearings are all about truth finding, well, here’s a list from an exchange on Politico that I’ve snagged for your edification.   

Recent history of attacks on US facilities

Brian 54 minutes ago

After the Benghazi investigation is over maybe Congress can get to work on these other attacks on US soil that were never investigated:

Dec. 15, 2001: Unidentified assailants gunned down a Nepalese security guard of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Jan. 22, 2002: Two assailants attacked the American Center in Calcutta, India. Five policemen died, and 15 others were injured in the attack.

March 20, 2002: A car bomb exploded near the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, killing nine people and injuring 32. The U.S. State Department reported no American casualties, injuries, or damage.

June 14, 2002: A suicide bombing in front of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, left 12 dead and 51 injured.

Nov. 9, 2002: The security supervisor for the U.S. embassy in Nepal was shot dead at his house in Kathmandu. Maoist rebels claimed responsibility for the incident.

May 12, 2003: In a series of attacks, suicide bombers blew themselves up in a truck loaded with explosives in a complex that housed staff working for U.S. defense firm Vinnell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (The contractors worked out of the U.S. embassy.) At least nine American contractors were killed in the incident. Al-Qaida was suspected responsible for the incident. This was one of three attacks, involving at least nine suicide bombers and suspected to have involved 19 perpetrators overall.

July 30, 2004: Two people, including a suicide bomber, were killed and one person was injured as a suicide bomber set off an explosion at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Israeli Embassy and the Uzbekistan Prosecutor General’s Office in Tashkent were also attacked in related incidents.

Oct. 24, 2004: Edward Seitz, the assistant regional security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, died in a mortar or possible rocket attack at Camp Victory near the Baghdad airport. An American soldier was also injured. He was believed to be the first U.S. diplomat killed following the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Nov 25, 2004: Jim Mollen, the U.S. Embassy’s senior consultant to the Iraqi Ministers of Education and Higher Education, was killed just outside the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Dec. 7, 2004: Gunmen belonging to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula stormed the U.S. Consulate in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, triggering a bloody four-hour siege that left nine dead. One American was slightly injured in the assault.

Jan. 29, 2005: Unknown attackers fired either a rocket or a mortar round at the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad. The strike killed two U.S. citizens and left four others injured.

Sept. 7, 2005: Four American contractors employed with a private security firm supporting the regional U.S. embassy office in Basra, Iraq, were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy. Three of the contractors died instantly, and the fourth died in a military hospital after the bombing.

March 2, 2006: An unidentified driver detonated a car bomb while driving past the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing a himself, a U.S. Consulate worker and at least three others.

Sept. 12, 2006: Islamic militants attacked the U.S. embassy in Damascus, Syria, with hand grenades, rifles, and a vehicle rigged with explosives. One guard and the four attackers died.

July 8, 2007: Two Iraqi U.S. Embassy workers were killed when the wife went to deliver a ransom for her husband who had been kidnapped in Baghdad. One of the couple's bodyguards was killed in the failed ransoming.

Jan. 14, 2008: A bomb hidden on a north Beirut highway hit a U.S. Embassy vehicle, killing at least three Lebanese bystanders. The car's Lebanese driver and an American at a nearby school were wounded.

March 18, 2008: Al-Qaida's wing in Yemen, Jund Al-Yemen Brigades, fired between three and five mortar rounds toward the U.S. embassy, but instead they hit a girls’ school nearby, killing a guard and a schoolgirl and injuring 19 others in Sanaa, Yemen.

July 9, 2008: Four unknown gunmen killed three Turkish police at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Sept. 17, 2008: Suspected al-Qaida militants disguised as security forces detonated vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, fired rocket propelled grenades, rockets and firearms on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. A suicide bomber also blew himself up at the embassy. Six Yemeni police, four civilians (including an American civilian), and six attackers were killed while six others were wounded in the attack.

Nov. 27, 2008: A Taliban suicide car bomber targeted the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing four civilians in addition to the suicide bomber and wounding 18 others. The embassy was hosting a Thanksgiving Day event as Americans and other foreigners were arriving at the venue at the time of the attack.

And what of the current investigations in the House/Senate regarding the Benghazi conspiracy you may ask?

The GOP-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the Benghazi attacks and concluded there were issues with Obama administration talking points on the attacks, but overall “no evidence of an intelligence failure” and no one in the CIA was ordered to stand down.

The report concludes a two-year investigation from the committee, and says the CIA did not turn down any requests for increased security and they “received all military support that was available.”

Presented below are all of the report’s key findings:

Finding #1: There is no evidence of an intelligence failure. Prior to the Benghazi attacks, the CIA provided sufficient strategic warning of the deteriorating threat environment to U.S. decision-makers, including those at the State Department. The IC did not fail to provide specific, tactical warning of the attacks in Benghazi because it had no credible intelligence about the attacks before they began.

Finding #2: CIA provided sufficient security personnel, resources, and equipment to defend against the known terrorist threat and to enable CIA operations in Benghazi. There is no evidence that the CIA turned down requests for additional security resources at the Annex.

Finding #3: State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day, and they required CIA assistance.

Finding #4: The CIA was not collecting and shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

Finding #5: A mixed group, including members of al-Qa’ida in the lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AGIM), al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), the Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN), Ansar al-Sharia (AAS), and Abu Abaydah Ibn Jarah Battalion (UJB) participated in the attacks, along with Qadafi loyalists.

Finding #6: Appropriate personnel on the ground in Benghazi made the decision to send CIA officers to rescue the State Department officers at the TMF.

Finding #7: Prior to the CIA security team departing for the TMF, the Annex leadership deliberated thoughtfully, reasonably, and quickly about whether future security could be provided to the team. Although some security officers voiced a greater urgency to depart for the TMF, no officer at CIA was ever told to stand down.

Finding #8: The decision to send CIA officers from Tripoli to Benghazi to rescue the Ambassador and bolster security of the U.S. personnel in Benghazi was a tactical decision appropriately made by the senior officers on the ground.

Finding #9: The Triploi Team;s decision not to move to the hospital to retrieve Ambassador Stevens was based on the best intelligence at the time.

Finding #10: The CIA received all military support that was available. Neither the CIA nor DOD denied requests for air support. One CIA security officer requested a Spectre gunship that he believed was available, but his commanding officer did not relay the request because he correctly knew the gunship was not available.

Finding #11: Ambassador Rice’s September 16 public statements about the existence of a protest, as well as some of the underlying intelligence reports, proved to be inaccurate.

Finding #12: Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell made significant changes to the talking points.

Finding #13: CIA’s Office of Public Affairs also made substantive changes to the talking points by removing the reference to “ties to al-Qa’ida” in the second bullet of the original draft.

Finding #14: Overall, the CIA could have placed more weight on eyewitness sources on the ground and should have challenged its initial assessments about the existence of a protest earlier.

Finding #15: CIA did not intimidate or prevent any officer from speaking to Congress or otherwise telling his story.

Finding #16: There is no evidence that the CIA conducted any unusual polygraph exams related to Benghazi.

Finding #17: While at times the agencies were slow to respond, ultimately the CIA, NCTC, FBI, and other Executive Branch agencies fully cooperated with the Committee’s investigation.

Read the report here (pdf): 

So a total of seven investigations, 13 hearings, 50 briefings, and over 25,000 pages of documents, and an estimated $14 million - the GOP-led House panel investigations into Benghazi have only lead to "debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies.” The two-year investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was NO intelligence failure, NO delay in sending a CIA rescue team, NO missed opportunity for a military rescue, and NO evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria. And yet the GOP continues to insist that there is a conspiracy.

Fact remains that almost every President in the last 50 years has had an attack either on US Soil or an overseas outpost that have resulted in American deaths. And yes, although this attack on the American consulate in Benghazi did result in the death of the Ambassador and three contractors, all other previous incidents shouldn’t go ignored.

In summation, the point of this lengthy post is to show that only now does the GOP want to investigate this one incident to score political points to use against a prospective opponent in the next election cycle and they continue to show little (if any) interest in previous intelligence failures of the past decade.



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