Senate Intelligence Committee finds 2012 Benghazi attacks were ‘preventable’

BY newsdesk  January 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM EST
Photo by STR/AFP/GettyImages

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. Photo by STR/AFP/GettyImages

After months of investigations, meetings, interviews and oversight hearings, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a declassified report which reviews the Sept. 11-12, 2012, attacks against two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

The committee found the attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya–to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets–and given the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission.

The attacks that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, sparked a large number of allegations about what did not happen on the day of the attacks.

“I hope this report will put to rest many of the conspiracy theories and political accusations about what happened in Benghazi,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement released Wednesday. She and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., announced the release of the report, which was approved with bipartisan support.

The committee concluded that there had been “ample strategic warning” that U.S. facilities in Benghazi were at risk and that the state department failed to increase security measures to address the higher threat levels.

In addition to summarizing a timeline of the events leading up to, during and after the attacks, including U.S. military and government response, the report also includes 18 recommendations that are intended to improve U.S. security.

Read the full report from the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.