A scathing Senate committee report on the Benghazi terrorist attack faults the State Department for failing to adequately respond to mounting security threats in the lead-up to the assault. The report says the facility was woefully under-protected at a time when the region, according to a top department official, was "flashing red" -- yet security was not improved, and nobody recommended the compound be shut down.
The report, produced by the Senate homeland security committee and
obtained by Fox News, follows the release of a State
Department-commissioned review earlier in the month. Both are highly
critical of the department.
Click to read the Senate report
The Senate report noted the "large amount of evidence" in the months
preceding the attack that Benghazi was "increasingly dangerous and
unstable," with an attack on Americans becoming "much more likely."
"While this intelligence was effectively shared within the
Intelligence Community (IC) and with key officials at the Department of
State, it did not lead to a commensurate increase in security at
Benghazi nor to a decision to close the American mission there, either
of which would have been more than justified by the intelligence
presented," the report said.
The report said it was "widely understood" that the Libyan government
could not adequately protect U.S. personnel, yet the State Department
did not move to fill the "security gap." The Senate committee said "no
security standards" applied to the Benghazi post -- there were "few
meaningful physical barriers," according to the report.
Despite the increasing threat in the region and the apparent
vulnerability of the compound, the Senate committee said it appears
nobody recommended closing the facility or even temporarily shutting it
down. "That was a grievous mistake," the report said.
The investigation turned up details that show "a shocking
irresponsibility to protect American diplomatic personnel in Benghazi,"
said Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., according to The Wall Street Journal.
The report also cites past internal State Department reports
recommending security measures dating back years that were not widely
According to the report, State Department Under Secretary for
Management Patrick Kennedy told lawmakers that Libya and Benghazi were
"flashing red" by the time of the attack.