The administration ignored the danger before, did nothing during, lied about it afterward and refused to co-operate with the investigation.
Republican Benghazi committee members and Reps. Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo released a 48-page summary of the 800-page committee report that bores in an on the gory details and the politics-first-last-and-always stance of the president and would-be president and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Actually, Mitt Romney summed it up pretty well on the spot:
“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
With 56 days to go until the election in 2012 it was all about avoiding responsibility for the turmoil created by overthrowing Libyan strongman Qhaddafi without a plan for cleaning up the mess and blaming everything on a YouTube video that “justifiably” upset the natives.
The summary includes a telling chronological list of statements made by key figures in the moments and days after the attack contrasting public and private statements.
Clinton’s public remark on Sept. 12: “We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet.”
Clinton in private on Sept. 12 to Egyptian prime minister: “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack – not a protest. … Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”
Beforehand, there was a lack of due diligence as the summary details:
In August 2012, however, it did not take an expert to see that the State Department facility in Benghazi should have been closed if additional security was not to be provided. The location and the risk demanded Secretary Clinton’s attention. The Benghazi facility was wholly unique and there is no evidence that Secretary Clinton asked her experts — let alone Ambassador Stevens who she personally chose for the position — the hard questions. The robust host-nation security forces that the United States takes for granted in other countries did not exist in Libya. Rather, competing militias — some friendly, some not — filled the vacuum left by 40-plus years of Qhaddafi’s rule. And escalating violence against the U.S. compound and others in Libya — 230 incidents since June 2011 alone — made a terrorist attack all but inevitable. These were the facts known in August 2012. And in August 2012 Secretary Clinton had the last, clear chance to provide adequate protection or, failing that, to close the facility and pull our people out. She did neither.
Post-Qhaddafi Benghazi I told him that this was a suicide mission; that there was a very good chance that everybody here was going to die; that there was absolutely no ability here to prevent an attack whatever. *** [H]he said, “everybody back here in D.C. knows that people are going to die in Benghazi, and nobody cares and nobody is going to care until somebody does die.”
— State Diplomatic Security Agent #1077
And what happened during the attack?
Those in Washington decided that once the initial attack at the State compound had ended and our men moved to the Annex, the enemy had retreated as well. For those fighting for their lives in Benghazi that night, however, it was one long battle for survival. But the terrorists did not retreat. This view from Washington that the fight had ended is a lapse in judgment that may well haunt our nation for years to come. At the same time Secretary Clinton appears to have concluded that the attack was over, the men on the ground knew better. In the end, two men died from smoke inhalation at the State Department’s compound during an initial attack involving dozens of extremists. Two more died from mortar fire at the end of a continuous, hours-long siege by approximately a hundred heavily armed and highly trained fighters at the CIA Annex.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met with Obama at 6 p.m. on Sept. 11 but had no further contact during the attack. Panetta and Clinton did not speak at all. Clinton spoke with CIA Director David Petraeus at about 5:30 p.m. but not again that night.
Four years later only one person is in custody and charged with the attack, but the administration is refusing to seek the death penalty.
Who you gonna call at 3 a.m.?
Clinton response? “Time to move on.”