ICYMI: Rep. Kelly Criticizes Administration for Security Failures Leading up to 9/11 Benghazi Terrorist Attack
“This falls squarely on the shoulders of the Secretary of State, the Department of State, the President of the United States. They turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to an area that was so unstable.”
Washington, D.C. -- During today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing titled “Benghazi and Beyond: What Went Wrong on September 11, 2012, and How to Prevent it from Happening at other Frontline Posts, Part I,” Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) questioned the Obama Administration’s decision to deny repeated requests for additional security from U.S. personnel serving in Libya prior to the September 11, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attack. Rep. Kelly noted that Libya had become a hotbed of violence in the months leading up to the attack, with 230 acts of violence throughout the country, including 48 attacks in Benghazi, two of which took place at the U.S. compound in Benghazi just months before four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were murdered.
In addition, Rep. Kelly questioned why the Department of State ignored a 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report recommending that the Secretary of State conduct a review of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to identify mission priorities and address challenges faced by the Diplomatic Security. Mr. Michael Courts, Acting Director of International Affairs and Trade at the GAO, testified that the State Department failed to “fully implement” their 2009 recommendations, and urged the Department to take action in order to strategically assess the competing demands on Diplomatic Security and the resulting mission implications.
U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) sent a letter to President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding answers to questions regarding the events leading up to and following the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. The letter, which was signed by 53 members of the House, asks the following:
• Why did administration officials deny repeated requests for stronger security measures from U.S. personnel on the ground in Libya, especially in light of the escalating violence leading up to the September 11 attack?
• Why did the administration withdraw elite Special Forces units from the Benghazi compound and seek to replace them with poorly paid local Libyan contractors, even after the compound had been bombed twice?
• Why did the administration pursue what U.S. personnel on the ground described as a “cookie cutter” approach to security in Libya and impose an “artificial time table” towards “normalization” that ignored the dangerous facts on the ground?
Click here to read the letter.
To read Rep. Kelly’s op-ed on Benghazi titled, “Libya security cut while Vienna embassy gained Chevy Volts,” click here.