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  1. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    19 Dec '12 04:20
    Forget whatever I said before. This is way worse.


    Dec 18, 9:53 PM EST

    BENGHAZI REVIEW FINDS SYSTEMATIC SECURITY FAULTS
    BY MATTHEW LEE
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- An independent panel charged with investigating the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans has concluded that systematic management and leadership failures at the State Department led to "grossly" inadequate security at the mission in Benghazi.

    "Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place," the panel said.

    The report singled out the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs for criticism, saying there appeared to be a lack of cooperation and confusion over protection at the mission in Benghazi, a city in Eastern Libya that was relatively lawless after the revolution that toppled Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

    Despite those failures, the Accountability Review Board determined that no individual officials ignored or violated their duties and recommended no disciplinary action now. But it also said poor performance by senior managers should be grounds for disciplinary recommendations in the future.

    The report appeared to break little new ground about the timeline of the Benghazi attack during which Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, information specialist Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods - who were contractors working for the CIA - were killed. Stevens' slaying was the first of a U.S. ambassador since 1988.

    But it confirmed that contrary to initial accounts, there was no protest outside the consulate and said responsibility for the incident rested entirely with the terrorists who attacked the mission.

    In the immediate aftermath of the attack, administration officials linked the attack to the spreading protests over an American-made, anti-Islamic film that had begun in Cairo earlier that day. Those comments came after evidence already pointed to a distinct militant attack. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on numerous TV talk shows the Sunday after the attack and used the administration talking points linking it to the film. An ensuing brouhaha in the heat of the presidential campaign eventually led her to withdraw her name from consideration to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state in President Barack Obama's second term.

    The review board determined that there had been no immediate, specific tactical warning of a potential attack on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. However, the report said there had been several worrisome incidents in the run-up to the attack that should have set off warning bells.

    While criticizing State Department management in Washington along with the local militia force and contract guards that the mission depended on for protection, the report said U.S. personnel on the ground in Benghazi "performed with courage and readiness to risk their lives to protect their colleagues in a near-impossible situation."

    It said the response by Diplomatic Security agents on the scene and CIA operatives at a nearby compound that later came under attack itself had been "timely and appropriate" but absolved the military from any blame. "There was simply not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference."

    The State Department sent a classified version of the report to lawmakers on Tuesday and shortly thereafter released an unclassified version. The report made 29 recommendations to improve embassy security, particularly at high threat posts. In an accompanying letter to Congress, Clinton thanked the board for its "clear-eyed, serious look at serious systemic challenges" and said she accepted all the recommendations.

    Some of those challenges were revealed in earlier congressional hearings when several State Department officials discussed competing demands for security and cost prohibitions.

    Clinton said the department had already begun to implement some of the recommendations. They include increasing by several hundred the number of Marine guards stationed at diplomatic missions throughout the world, relying less on local security forces for protection at embassies, consulates and other offices, and increasing hiring and deployment of highly trained Diplomatic Security agents at at-risk posts.

    Members of local Libyan militias provided some security around the consulate, but in the attack it became unclear whose side they were on.

    The report also called on Congress to fully fund the State Department's security initiative, noting that budget constraints in the past had led some management officials to emphasize savings over security despite numerous requests from the Benghazi mission and embassy in Tripoli for enhanced protection.

    "For many years the State Department has been engaged in a struggle to obtain the resources necessary to carry out its work with varying degrees of success," it said. This has led to efficiencies but also "had the effect of conditioning a few State Department managers to favor restricting the use of resources as a general orientation."

    It said the number of Diplomatic Security staff in Benghazi before and on the day of the attack "was inadequate despite repeated requests ... for additional staffing."

    "The solution requires a more serious and sustained commitment from Congress to support State Department needs, which, in total, constitute a small percentage of the full national budget and that spent for national security," it said. "Congress must do its part to meet this challenge and provide necessary resources."

    Congress has denied some funding requests from the State Department for more security.

    In her letter to lawmakers, Clinton urged Congress to support the department's security requests, noting that "all of us ... have a responsibility to provide the men and women serving this country with the best possible security and support."

    Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, led the independent review, studying thousands of pages of cables and other documents, hours of video and intelligence and interviewing more than 100 people, including survivors. They will testify before the House and Senate foreign affairs committees behind closed doors on Wednesday.

    On Thursday, the State Department's two deputy secretaries, William Burns and Thomas Nides, will testify in open sessions before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Clinton was to have appeared at Thursday's hearing but canceled after fainting and sustaining a concussion last week while recovering from a stomach virus that dehydrated her. Clinton is under doctors' orders to rest.

    The Benghazi attack has highlighted the larger question of how U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers can do their jobs in unstable environments, as al-Qaida spreads across Africa, without also expanding their security. Diplomats have said that overreacting to the attack could produce what some are calling a "Benghazi effect" that would wall them off from the people they are supposed to be engaging.

    In her letter to lawmakers, Clinton said, "We will never prevent every act of terrorism or achieve perfect security" but she stressed that "our diplomats cannot work in bunkers."

    "We must accept a level of risk to protect this country we love and to advance our interests and values around the world," she said.

    ---

    AP Intelligence Writer Kimberly Dozier contributed to this report.

    ---

    Online:

    The report: HTTP://WWW.STATE.GOV/DOCUMENTS/ORGANIZATION/202446.PDF
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Dec '12 04:37
    Obviously, the panel is biased against Obama and was paid off by the Romney campaign. After all, Obama did use the word "terror" in the rose garden.

    Duh.
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    19 Dec '12 05:49
    Originally posted by sh76
    Obviously, the panel is biased against Obama and was paid off by the Romney campaign. After all, Obama did use the word "terror" in the rose garden.
    If you're satirizing something someone claimed on this forum, fair enough. I didn't read every single post on this topic so I don't quite get your reference to Romney's connection to this independent panel.

    The Obama administration will welcome the fact that the tragedy was deemed to have been due to systematic failures rather than malfeasance as was asserted time and time again on this forum.
  4. 19 Dec '12 06:23
    I see, so if people do something wrong, it's generally the fault of people, and not unicorns?
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Dec '12 13:02
    Originally posted by FMF
    If you're satirizing something someone claimed on this forum, fair enough. I didn't read every single post on this topic so I don't quite get your reference to Romney's connection to this independent panel.

    The Obama administration will welcome the fact that the tragedy was deemed to have been due to systematic failures rather than malfeasance as was asserted time and time again on this forum.
    I was satirizing the (presumably unintentional) manner in which Candy Crowley's statement during the second debate made the entire Benghazi debate about the use of the word terror in the rose garden. That moment, in which Crowley "corrected" Romney by pointing out that Obama did use the word "terror" on the day after the attack, was perhaps the most important moment in the entire campaign. Crowley herself tried to mitigate her own effect on the debate by immediately pointing out that elements of Romney's claim were also correct, but nobody heard that part. After Romney, by universal acclaim, won the first debate, he was doing okay in the second as well (though not as well as in the first) until that moment. After that enormous soundbite moment for Obama, Romney was rattled and flat for the last 15 minutes. In my judgment, without that moment, the debate would have been seen as no worse than a draw for Romney; but instead it was seen as an Obama win. It also nullified, in a moment, the entire effect of Benghazi on the campaign. Obama's clever quip "Can you say that again?" all but ensured that Benghazi would not cost him the White House.

    In retrospect, given the margin of Obama's win, it's hard to point to any one factor as decisive, but it was as big a moment as any in the campaign.
  6. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    19 Dec '12 13:21
    Originally posted by sh76
    I was satirizing the (presumably unintentional) manner in which Candy Crowley's statement during the second debate made the entire Benghazi debate about the use of the word terror in the rose garden.
    Did Romney have a connection to this independent panel in some way? Or have there been assertions to that effect?
  7. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    19 Dec '12 15:41
    Originally posted by sh76
    Obviously, the panel is biased against Obama and was paid off by the Romney campaign. After all, Obama did use the word "terror" in the rose garden.

    Duh.
    I really don't get what you are crying about. Romney made a false claim and was called on it. Unlike his many other false claims, this one was very easily exposed. If he suffered political damage for it, that was well deserved.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    19 Dec '12 15:47
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Forget whatever I said before. This is way worse.


    Dec 18, 9:53 PM EST

    BENGHAZI REVIEW FINDS SYSTEMATIC SECURITY FAULTS
    BY MATTHEW LEE
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- An independent panel charged with investigating the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans has concluded that systematic ...[text shortened]... t: HTTP://WWW.STATE.GOV/DOCUMENTS/ORGANIZATION/202446.PDF
    I guess we are supposed to forget the literally hundreds of times that you claimed that Obama abandoned the four Americans to die. You lied over and over and over again. The report makes clear that once the attack occurred, the US did everything it could to protect American lives in Benghazi. As to your many claims that US military assets could have somehow been used to save American lives (though you always seemed willing to cause a bloodbath among innocent Libyan civilians) the report is unequivocal:

    There was simply not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference."


    I won't forget what you said before just because you prefer it that way.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Dec '12 15:56
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I really don't get what you are crying about. Romney made a false claim and was called on it. Unlike his many other false claims, this one was very easily exposed. If he suffered political damage for it, that was well deserved.
    He made a claim that was broadly true and had some minor false elements. He was called by a moderator whose job it was to be neutral on a minor aspect in a manner and in a forum that overshadowed the general substantive truth of the claim. It was a classic form over substance "gotcha" moment.
  10. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    19 Dec '12 16:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    He made a claim that was broadly true and had some minor false elements. He was called by a moderator whose job it was to be neutral on a minor aspect in a manner and in a forum that overshadowed the general substantive truth of the claim. It was a classic form over substance "gotcha" moment.
    LMAO!! "Minor false elements"! Now that's classic.

    Romney at the second debate:

    "I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror."


    Is that "broadly true" with "some minor false elements" or is it an outright falsehood?
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Dec '12 17:03 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    LMAO!! "Minor false elements"! Now that's classic.

    Romney at the second debate:

    "I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror."


    Is that "broadly true" with "some minor false elements" or is it an outright falsehood?
    According to factcheck.org, the days after the attack saw the following reactions from the administration:

    Sep. 16, 5 days after the attack:

    Sept. 16: Libya President Mohamed Magariaf says on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the attack on the U.S. consulate was planned months in advance. But Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tells CBS News’ Bob Schieffer: “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.” She says it began “spontaneously … as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo,” and “extremist elements” joined in the protest. (It was later learned that Rice received her information from the CIA.)


    Sep. 18 (7 days after the attack):

    Sept. 18: Obama was asked about the Benghazi attack on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The president said, “Here’s what happened,” and began discussing the impact of the anti-Muslim video. He then said, “Extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the consulate in Libya.” He also said, “As offensive as this video was and, obviously, we’ve denounced it and the United States government had nothing to do with it. That’s never an excuse for violence.”

    Sept. 18: Asked about Magariaf’s assessment that the video had nothing to do with the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the White House spokesman says Obama “would rather wait” for the investigation to be completed. “But at this time, as Ambassador Rice said and as I said, our understanding and our belief based on the information we have is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo, and the video and the unrest in Cairo that helped — that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere,” Carney says. “What other factors were involved is a matter of investigation.”


    Sep. 20 (9 days after the attack):

    Sept. 20: Obama, at a town hall meeting, says “extremists” took advantage of the “natural protests” to the anti-Muslim video to attack the consulate in Benghazi. He does not call it a “terrorist attack.”


    Sep. 24 (13 days after the attack):

    Sept. 24: Obama tapes an appearance on “The View,” and he’s asked by co-host Joy Behar whether the Libya attack was an act of terrorism or caused by the anti-Muslim video. He does not call it a terrorist attack and says, “We’re still doing an investigation.”


    http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

    While administration officials did appear to be all over the map on this issue, it did take about 2 weeks for the administration to stop waffling conclude publicly
    that the attack was premeditated terrorism, rather than a response to the video. Romney was unfortunate or stupid enough to have used a phrase that the President did happen to use in the rose garden; and as far as that is concerned, he clearly told an outright falsehood. His underlying point and what we all know that meant, was that the administration took 2 weeks to stop blaming the video and conclude that it was premeditated terrorism.
  12. 19 Dec '12 19:43
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I guess we are supposed to forget the literally hundreds of times that you claimed that Obama abandoned the four Americans to die. You lied over and over and over again. The report makes clear that once the attack occurred, the US did everything it could to protect American lives in Benghazi. As to your many claims that US military assets could have some ...[text shortened]... "


    I won't forget what you said before just because you prefer it that way.
    Of course, the report didn't offer any discussion of how much time would have been needed for armed U.S. military assets to make a difference. Moreover, the report never claimed that "the US did everything it could to protect American lives in Benghazi once the attack occurred." Rather, the report limited itself to evaluating whether any US personnel breached his duty. It can be inferred from page 39 of the report that a person breaches his duty when he engages in misconduct or willfully ignores his responsibilities. It can further be inferred that a person doesn't breach his duty when he makes bad decisions (this is clear from the report because the State Department made a ton of bad decisions).

    Sasquatch's argument, however, is that US military leadership made the wrong decision by not mobilizing armed military assets. I am unpersuaded that the report's cursory discussion of armed asset response time is a meaningful rebuttal to Sasquatch's argument. To Sasquatch's argument, the Annex was first attacked at around midnight; however, Woods and Doherty were killed at around 5:15 a.m., about five hours after the initial attack on the Annex. The report does not make clear how five hours is "simply not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference."

    Moreover, your accusation that Sasquatch lied is unwarranted. You have produced no evidence that Sasquatch knew facts and intentionally misrepresented or omitted those facts to readers on this forum. Therefore, you must apologize to Sasquatch.
  13. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    19 Dec '12 20:04 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I guess we are supposed to forget the literally hundreds of times that you claimed that Obama abandoned the four Americans to die. You lied over and over and over again. The report makes clear that once the attack occurred, the US did everything it could to protect American lives in Benghazi. As to your many claims that US military assets could have some ...[text shortened]... "


    I won't forget what you said before just because you prefer it that way.
    Uh, no. I don't want you to forget. I don't need you to forget, or believe me. The report's 39 pages of scathing indictments of Obama say it better than I ever could. Twenty attacks in the five months leading to the Jihadi September 11 Anniversary Party, along with our response - a weakening of security in those same months - say what I've been saying all along.

    Obama abandoned those men to die.
  14. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    19 Dec '12 20:37 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by MoneyManMike
    Of course, the report didn't offer any discussion of how much time would have been needed for armed U.S. military assets to make a difference. Moreover, the report never claimed that "the US did everything it could to protect American lives in Benghazi once the attack occurred." Rather, the report limited itself to evaluating whether any US personnel ted those facts to readers on this forum. Therefore, you must apologize to Sasquatch.
    I spent eleven years in the military, five on active duty in the Marine Corps. Here are the 1995 rules: diplomatic rescue missions are assigned the highest priority in the military. No authorization above the unit commander level is needed to mobilize forces in country. The only time authorization is required is when units have to cross a national border. In this instance, overflight requests are made between the US State Department and the host country's foreign ministry. This can occur at the ambassadorial level, or it can occur between the President and the Head of State of the host country.

    Here's the key: the only person who can authorize troops to cross a national border is the President. That order was not given. We know that, because no troops did cross the border into Libya. But with the report, the point of who did or didn't do what that night is irrelevant. The report makes it clear that Obama abandoned those men to die months before they were fatally attacked.

    Now, the report released makes any argument I made far better than I have or could. And no1, keep it up, and I will dissect that report paragraph by paragraph for your pleasure.

    EDIT: In fact, I'd surmise that Obama was provided an advance copy of that report, punched Hillary Clinton in the head, and told Susan Rice she would never again see the light of day.
  15. 19 Dec '12 21:15
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Uh, no. I don't want you to forget. I don't need you to forget, or believe me. The report's 39 pages of scathing indictments of Obama say it better than I ever could. Twenty attacks in the five months leading to the Jihadi September 11 Anniversary Party, along with our response - a weakening of security in those same months - say what I've been saying all along.

    Obama abandoned those men to die.
    Could you get more melodramatic? Do you really think Obama or any president worries about the details of military intelligence or security operations? Clearly some serious errors were made in determining security policies as well as in gathering intelligence. No report was needed for that as it was bleeding obvious from the start, although perhaps the report does give useful recommendations on how to improve security in the future.