GOP Shrugs Off GOP-Led Benghazi Report Which Found The GOP Was All Wrong About Benghazi
The 2012 Benghazi attacks have been the source of much contention in Washington. Certain members of the GOP have frequently used the attacks as ammunition for lambasting Obama, but the exact details and circumstances surrounding the night have remained unclear. Now, after a two-year Republican-led investigation, the House Intelligence Committee has published a full report on the Benghazi attacks. Much to their dismay, the Benghazi report refutes many of the GOP's claims that the Obama administration mishandled the incident and tried to cover up certain elements later. And, surprise surprise, the GOP does not like it.
On September 11, 2012, the first Benghazi attack occurred at the American diplomatic compound, where Islamic militants killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. A second assault occurred hours after the first and left CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty dead. In the aftermath of the attack, Republican opponents accused the Obama administration of wrongdoing in almost every aspect of the attacks, including intelligence incompetence prior to the attacks, an order for CIA operatives to stand down immediately after the incident, cover-up attempts by the Obama administration, manipulation of talking points, and even a secret operation to ship arms from Libya to Syria.
The report, which was made by Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, and committee ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland, found all of these allegations to be false. Many Republicans are outraged by the report, like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who called it "full of crap." He remains adamant that the Obama administration lied to cover up certain elements of the attack and that Mike Morell, deputy director of the CIA at the time, manipulated the talking points on Benghazi. Looks like contention is still strong, even after a two-year investigation led by the GOP.
Here are the biggest revelations from the Benghazi report.
There Was No Intelligence Failure Before the Attacks
The report found that, prior to the attacks, the CIA provided sufficient warning of the deteriorating environment and heightened threat to U.S. officials, including those at the State Department. Also, the Intelligence Committee did not fail to provide warning of the attacks because there was no credible intelligence that could have predicted them before they occurred.
The Compound Had Sufficient Protection
The report refutes claims that the CIA Annex and the U.S. diplomats' Temporary Mission Facility (TMF) were not sufficiently protected. It was found that the Annex was protected by an adequate number of highly trained personnel, and secure CIA operations in the area also provided an extra layer of security. The report also found no evidence that the CIA turned down extra security forces at the Annex, and had actually deployed a separate team from Tripoli during the attacks in order to try and rescue Ambassador Stevens.
The CIA Was Not Shipping Arms From Libya to Syria
According to the report, eyewitness testimonies and thousands of pages of CIA emails suggested no evidence of a secret CIA operation to transport weapons from Libya to Syria.
No CIA Officer Was Told to Stand Down
The report states that nothing from the eyewitness testimony, ISR video footage, closed-circuit television recordings, and other sources suggest that there was ever a stand-down order.
Ambassador Rice's and the Obama Administration Did Not Mean to Mislead the Public
According to the report, Ambassador Susan Rice and the Obama Administration's early narrative of Benghazi was based on inaccurate early intelligence assessments. Rice stated in her talking points that the attacks were spontaneous and stemmed from a protest in Cairo in reaction to an anti-Islamic video, which led to a protest in Benghazi that evolved into a full-on assault.
However, it was confirmed that there was never a protest in Benghazi, which Rice acknowledged later. The report concludes that she, nor the Obama administration, meant to mislead the American public and had been going off of the best available intel at the time, which was, unfortunately, inaccurate. The report also states that the administration testified right away that they believed the attacks were deliberate terrorist acts from the beginning.
The CIA Did Not Prevent Anyone From Testifying
The report stated that all of the CIA agents interviewed by the Intelligence Committee testified that they did not feel intimidated, dissuaded, or otherwise prevented from telling their account of the attacks.
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