Republican report slams Obama Admin for failures in Benghazi

WASHINGTON, June 28 (KUNA) — A scathing report issued by Republican-majority House of Representatives Tuesday listed failures of Obama Administration in protecting the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which came under attack nearly four years ago resulting in the death of four Americans.
The 800-page document which says the Pentagon did not deploy the military in time, the CIA altered intelligence reports, and the White House cited inaccurate motives for the attack, was immediately dismissed as “conspiracy theories” by the presidential campaign spokesperson for the then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
On September 11, 2012, militants entered the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens as well as a Foreign Service Officer. That same night, two CIA contractors were also killed at another US compound nearby.
Clinton, now the presumptive Democratic nominee for the White House, has been doggedly blasted for her handling of the event, and blamed for not providing enough security to the compound even when the request for additional security was made.
Tuesday’s report found that President Obama’s national security team was confused about which agency was responsible for rescuing staff from the compound. The report said Libyans tied to the regime of Muammar Al-Gaddafi ushered Americans out and took them to the airport.
Republicans pointed to Obama’s “no boots on the ground” policy as the reason help from the Pentagon did not arrive in time. Additionally, the report noted US security personnel’s lack of uniforms, and “wearing civilian clothes so as not to offend the Libyans.” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner was adamant on Tuesday that the Administration “did not have forewarning of an attack of this ferocity, of this intensity” in Benghazi.
“The attack on Benghazi was uniquely intense. We did not have enough assets on the ground to rebuff that and it would have been difficult to have the assets on the ground to rebuff that,” he said.
Clinton, he added, was “fully focused on assessing the situation on the ground in Benghazi and trying to provide, working within the interagency, what support we could during that relevant time period.” Toner noted the 2013 Accountability Review Board (ARB) “in its findings did assign some level of accountability in saying that there were bureaucratic failings within the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. We all know that. We’re all aware of those findings, and we have worked to address them in a variety of ways.” He continued: “No one takes Benghazi and the lessons we’ve learned from it more seriously than the State Department.” The ARB, however, is an internal body within the State Department.
Of the 29 recommendations it made, 26 have been implemented, Toner said.
“The ongoing recommendations, the reasons we haven’t implemented them fully yet is because they concern long term security upgrades and construction, which obviously that takes a while,” he added. (end) ys.bs

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