News / USA

US Senate Panel Slams Security at Benghazi Mission Before Attack

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 31, 2012, to discuss the committee's report on the security deficiencies at the temporary U.S. MissiSenate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 31, 2012, to discuss the committee's report on the security deficiencies at the temporary U.S. Missi
x
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 31, 2012, to discuss the committee's report on the security deficiencies at the temporary U.S. Missi
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 31, 2012, to discuss the committee's report on the security deficiencies at the temporary U.S. Missi
VOA News
A U.S. Senate panel has harshly criticized the State Department's handling of security at the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, calling the security situation at the facility "woefully inadequate" before the deadly September 11 terrorist attack on the compound.

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Senator Joseph Lieberman, said his panel's investigation found a "rising crescendo" of evidence that Benghazi had become unstable and the likelihood of an attack was increasing.

"The tragedy is, however, that the reaction to the flashing red indicators was woefully inadequate to the dangers that the flashing light was indicating and as a result this tragedy occurred," he said. "On the one hand, you have dozens of intelligence reports and acts of violence in Benghazi which make very clear that this is becoming one of the most dangerous places American diplomats and government personnel can be probably outside a war zone like Afghanistan."

The attack on the diplomatic mission and nearby annex killed four people, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Lieberman said Libya did not have the capacity to live up to its responsibility as a host nation to provide adequate security for the diplomatic mission.

"You got a dangerous situation and inadequate security and yet the State Department failed to take adequate steps to fill those security gaps, failed to adequately support security requests from its own personnel in Benghazi, and failed to make the one remaining decision that cries out to me as I look at the evidence here, which was to simply say 'We've got to close this facility because we can't protect American personnel in Benghazi," he said.

He said the Obama administration, in the midst of a heated election campaign, made inconsistent statements about Benghazi, despite it clearly being a terrorist attack.   

Senator Susan Collins, the committee's ranking Republican member, said there were clear warning indicators.

"There had been numerous previous attacks, including two at our own very compound in Benghazi as well as other attacks aimed at Western targets," she said.

Collins said the terrorists "essentially walked into the compound virtually unimpeded and set it ablaze."

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of state over comments she made following the attack on Benghazi, describing it as a "spontaneous" event following anti-American protests.

 

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs