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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid