Final Benghazi Report of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

On the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, were attacked by Islamic militants. As a result of these attacks that took place on September 11-12, 2012, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty lost their lives. Since that deadly day, many Americans, both abroad and at home, have had questions and concerns regarding the Benghazi attacks. Last week, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released a report that provides the public with additional information on the attacks. The report, titled, Investigative Report on the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012 is the result of a, “…comprehensive and exhaustive investigation…” that took place over the course of two years.

To complete this investigative report, the HPSCI, “…focused on the activities of the Intelligence Community (“IC”) before, during, and after the attacks.” Activities were examined through the investigation of, “…thousands of pages of intelligence assessments, cables, notes, and emails…” In addition, the HPSCI, “…held 20 Committee events and hearings; and conducted detailed interviews with senior intelligence officials and eyewitnesses to the attacks, including eight security personnel on the ground in Benghazi that night.” As a result of the HPSCI’s investigatory efforts, this report offers the public with both, “…the findings and conclusions…” of the expansive two-year investigation.

Varying conclusions of the Committee are detailed within the 277 page report. These conclusions provide Americans with more information about the security situation at Benghazi, the available intelligence prior to the attacks, those who carried out the attacks, subsequent intelligence assessments, and more. The following Committee conclusions of the report are highlighted below:

  • “…the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and, without a requirement to do so, ably and bravely assisted the State Department on the night of the attacks.”
    • “…the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of air support.”
    • “The Committee…received evidence that the State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day and required CIA assistance.”
  • “…the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks.”
    • “…their IC did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks.”
  • “…the Committee finds that a mixed group of individuals, including those affiliated with Al-Qa’ida, participated in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi…”
    • “…the Committee finds that the intelligence was and remains conflicting about the identifies, affiliations, and motivations of the attackers.”
  • “…the Committee concludes that after the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the Administration’s initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate.”
    • “The Committee found intelligence to Support CIA’s initial assessment that the attacks had evolved out of a protest in Benghazi; but it also found contrary intelligence, which ultimately proved to be the correct intelligence. There was no protest.”

In addition to these Committee conclusions, the investigative report on the Benghazi attacks includes 6 appendices of maps, images, hearing transcripts, and a timeline of events.

For statements made by Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger on the HPSCI Benghazi report, click here.

 

 

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/final-benghazi-report-of-the-house-permanent-select-committee-on-intelligence