News / USA

US Lawmakers Seek Information on Benghazi Attack

US consulate in Benghazi, Libya after attackUS consulate in Benghazi, Libya after attack
x
US consulate in Benghazi, Libya after attack
US consulate in Benghazi, Libya after attack
Michael Bowman
U.S. lawmakers have received the first post-election briefings on the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Senators are not revealing specific information provided to them by administration officials at the closed-door encounters, but several Republicans say they are far from satisfied with what they have learned so far.

On Congress’s first day of work since the elections, State Department and intelligence officials provided classified briefings to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Emerging from the Foreign Relations Committee briefing, Republican Senator James Risch of Idaho said he wants to know more about the Benghazi attack and the Obama administration’s actions before and after the incident.

“There are still questions.  We are hearing explanations.  But there are a lot of us that want clearer explanations than what we are getting,” Rish said.

Lawmakers are duty-bound not to divulge details from classified briefings, and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois honored that tradition.  But he did speak in general terms about what he learned about the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

“We just went through a detailed chronology in terms of what happened on September 11.  And there were some genuine acts of heroism that were performed there by Americans trying to save those who were in danger and lost their lives,” Durbin said.

Lawmakers are being given access to intelligence reports and classified communications pertaining to events in Libya.  National Intelligence Director James Clapper and acting Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Morell are expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee later this week.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida says another top official should testify: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I think, ultimately, we need to hear from Secretary Clinton.  I am sure she is willing to come in and talk about it.  I know she is traveling, but hopefully she will be back soon and we can get some answers from her,” Rubio said.

Rubio said he wants to know more about security assessments at the consulate prior to the attack, and why some administration officials insisted in the days after September 11 that available information pointed to a spontaneous demonstration rather than a pre-planned assault.

“I do not think there is any reasonable doubt now that this was not a protest gone violent.  This was an attack," said Rubio.

Senator Durbin said there is a reason it has taken weeks for the Obama administration to collect and provide information about the incident.

“It was a chaotic situation [in Benghazi], and it sprung up in a matter of hours.  And there was a limited access to even videotapes [of the attack] afterwards.  And we are trying to put it all together.  But it was a chaotic scene, and we were not able to have people on the ground to inspect that scene for a long period of time," Durbin said.

Complicating matters further is the sudden resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus.  Several senators say that if Petraeus has information to share about events in Benghazi, he should testify on Capitol Hill.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid