News / USA

US Lawmakers Continue to Probe Benghazi Attack

An interior view of the damage at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen in Benghazi on September 12, 2012. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three embassy staff were killed as they rushed away from the consulate building, stormed by al Qaeda-linked gunmen.
An interior view of the damage at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen in Benghazi on September 12, 2012. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three embassy staff were killed as they rushed away from the consulate building, stormed by al Qaeda-linked gunmen.
Michael Bowman
U.S. lawmakers investigating the September terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya said they are troubled by inadequate security measures at the consulate as well as the lack of U.S. military intervention during the assault that killed four Americans. The Senate's Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs received a four-hour classified briefing from federal officials on Thursday.
 
The September 11 attack in Benghazi came in waves over several hours.

Committee Chairman, Independent Joe Lieberman said U.S. armed forces should have been able to intervene and save American lives.

Senator Joe Lieberman during a Senate hearing in Washington, September 19, 2012.Senator Joe Lieberman during a Senate hearing in Washington, September 19, 2012.
x
Senator Joe Lieberman during a Senate hearing in Washington, September 19, 2012.
Senator Joe Lieberman during a Senate hearing in Washington, September 19, 2012.
“The Department of Defense, obviously, did not have personnel or assets close enough to Benghazi to bring them to the scene of the terrorist attack in a timely way so they could protect American personnel there,” he said.

Military, intelligence, diplomatic and law enforcement officials briefed the committee during a marathon, closed-door session.

Joining Lieberman to speak with reporters afterward was the committee’s top Republican, Susan Collins, who said the Benghazi incident points to a U.S. military that is stretched too thin.

“There has been a significant reduction in our military presence in the Mediterranean [region], despite the fact that we are seeing growing instability and violence, and an increased presence of al-Qaida and affiliated groups in northern Africa,” said Collins.

Senator Lieberman agreed, saying, “This really goes to the budget debates that are going on right now because the American military is stretched.”

Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said American forces were on heightened alert on September 11, but did not have adequate intelligence about the Benghazi attack as it was occurring, and opted not to put additional U.S. personnel at risk.

Senators Lieberman and Collins also criticized security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Collins noted that long before the attack, a U.S. government report recommended enhancing security measures at vulnerable diplomatic outposts.  Lieberman said classified video of the attack showed “the terrorists broke through the gates and basically walked in and set the facility on fire.”

The senators said they plan to conclude the Benghazi probe next month. Several other legislative committees also are conducting investigations.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs