The Benghazi Report

The four Americans killed in the Benghazi 9/11-12/2012
After a rather long long wait in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks of 9/11-12/2012, the Senate intelligence Committee released it's findings on this tragic event. In the report the committee made recommendations on 13 findings from communication between the State Department and the Intelligence Community to better equipping US embassies and the like to defend themselves against deadly terrorist attacks. In this article we will look at the findings that have been of the most contention the so called Stand Down order, the Talking points and what some see as a lack of response of the Obama Administration.

The Talking Points:

The Senate report finds fault with the way the CIA handled the dissemination and the content of the Talking Points. The Intelligence Community moved slowly to update and change the Talking points, thus leading to confusion and many misstatements by those in congress and the news media. The report says the CIA left out details from the security teams on the ground before and during the attacks from their analysis. Instead, the CIA relied too much on open source press and social media of which little was analysed. 

"Although the IC relied heavily on open source press reports in 
the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the IC conducted little analysis of open source extremist-affiliated social media prior to and immediately after 
the attacks."-The Senate Report

This led to the comments Susan Rice made in the days after the attacks. This includes the idea that the attack on the Mission was sparked by a protest of a video, showing Muhammad in a bad light, as had been the case in Cairo, Egypt and other US Embassies around the world. This idea has since been proven wrong. The attacks had nothing to do with any protest of a video and may have had some pre-planning behind them. The report does not find any intentional misinformation from any party the CIA, State Department or the White House. It did find fault in the slowness in which the CIA moved to change the Talking Points to better show the real events of that night.  Also,The report says the Administration moved to slowly on explaining the process of creating the talking points. This lack of speed not only led to misstatements by government officials, but also bred the conspiracy theories of these terrorist attacks that are still being spread to this day. 

"Stand Down" Order and Response: 

First, lets clear up the so called Stand Down order, according to the report this never happened. In fact, many moves were made to try to get aid to the Temporary Mission and the CIA annex. Sadly most help was simply to far away to make it in time. 

One, when the call went out from the mission to the CIA annex for help, help was on the way in Approximately 20-25 minutes as they had to prepare and were 2 miles away. Two, unarmed surveillance drones were moved into position to help coordinate assistance at the Temporary Mission. Three, many assets, such as Marines were moved toward Benghazi while the attacks were in progress, but were unable to make it in time to help. 

"There were no U.S. military resources in position to intervene 
in short order in Benghazi to help defend the Temporary Mission Facility and its Annex on September 11 and 12, 2012."-The Senate Report 

The report went on to say:

"DoD moved aerial assets, teams of Marines, and special operations forces toward Libya as the attacks were ongoing, but in addition to the seven-man reinforcement team from Tripoli, the only additional resources that were able to arrive on scene were unmanned, unarmed aerial surveillance assets."

Others have reported the Ambassador Stevens was just left to die for several hours. The facts do not support this notion. When the team from the CIA Annex arrived at about 10:10pm, roughly 25-30 minutes after the attack started on The Mission compound, the team joined the search for the Ambassador. 

"During this time, State and CIA personnel re-entered the burning compound numerous times in an attempt to locate Ambassador Stevens, but to no avail. Under the impression that the Ambassador had already been taken from that compound and that he'd been 
kidnapped, the leader of the Annex security team decided that U.S. personnel needed to evacuate to the Annex for their safety."
-The Senate Report 

Much of the confusion seems to stem from bad reporting by the Mainstream Media. Many outlets reported as if the attacks all took place at one location and were contentious with no stop. This is not the case. In fact, there were three attacks on two different locations the Temporary Mission and the CIA Annex about 2 miles away. These attacks took place at three different times as well. The first attack started at about 9:40pm at the mission and by 11:30pm all US personal, except the missing Ambassador, including the body of Sean Smith had departed for the Annex thinking Ambassador had been kidnapped. 

At about 11:56pm there was an attack at the CIA Annex this attack lasted for about an hour and dispersed at 1am after the people at the Annex returned fire. Then at 5:15am there was another attack at the Annex in which Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed. After this attack, that lasted only 11 minutes, the decision was made to call for an evacuation. They waited less than an hour and were evacuated to the airport.

"According to testimony by the Chief of Base, it was only 
after this third wave of attacks, when the mortars hit, that he decided it was necessary to evacuate the personnel from the Annex."-The Senate Report 

They were evacuated and locals had helped recover the body of Ambassador Stevens and by 10am US personnel and the bodies of the four Americans killed in the attacks were on their way to Tripoli. Reports later concluded that Ambassador Stevens had died of smoke inhalation, pointing to the idea he died in the first attack, before help had time to arrive even though much effort went in to finding him.

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