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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid