Report on DOD Response to Benghazi Released by House subcommittee

After reviewing thousands of pages of a series of Benghazi-related documents, including classified emails and situation reports, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations released a summary of its members’ particular reviews regarding what is known of the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack and the Department of Defense’s response.

According to Think Progress, the Subcommittee concluded that “there was no way for the U.S. military to have responded in time to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya to save the four Americans killed that night,” but according to the report, “given the uncertainty about the prospective length and scope of the attack, military commanders did not take all possible steps to prepare for a more extended operation.”

In other words, what the Subcommittee concluded appears to sound nothing close to what Think Progress reported.

The White House, the Subcommittee found, failed to address a growing concern related to the deteriorating security situation in Libya, which created a particularly vulnerable situation for U.S. personnel stationed in Benghazi. The Subcommittee also found that the response of our military was “severely degraded because of the location and readiness posture of U.S. forces, and because of lack of clarity about how the terrorist action was unfolding.”

The report also stated that it was indeed found that the official story did not match what Defense Department officials knew from the starting point. The attack had nothing to do with the ire of protesters who were mad about a YouTube film; the burst of violence that led to the death of four Americans on September 11, 2012 was in fact a terrorist attack.

According to the report, the “stand down” order allegedly issued to U.S. military personnel in Tripoli never happened, however, confusion regarding the roles they should play in the operation were mixed due to their lack of sufficient information regarding the attack.

The subcommittee concluded that yes, there was nothing that the U.S. military could have done to save Ambassador Stevens, information Officer Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty once the attack unfolded, but that was mostly due to this administration’s inadequate preparedness when it comes to its approach to dramatic events such as the Benghazi attack.

Security issues appear to have been ignored when the dubious presence of an American diplomatic mission in a very unstable region became a threat to the lives of its personnel, but Washington chose to look past the risks.

There’s still a lot about Benghazi we must learn about before we are able to understand why it all unfolded the way it did.

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