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Top Republican: Benghazi Attack Planned, Security Lax

by Keith Koffler on September 21, 2012, 10:01 am

The top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee said Thursday that the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was a premeditated terrorist attack, expressing shock that the administration hadn’t provided better security at the outpost.

“I’m just stunned and appalled that there wasn’t better security for all of the American personnel at that consulate, given the high-threat environment,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “The attack in Benghazi was not a black swan, but rather an attack that should have been anticipated based on previous attacks against western targets, the proliferation of dangerous weapons, the presence of al Qaeda in that country and the overall threat environment.

Collins, who spoke during a Homeland Security panel hearing on the attack, rebuffed suggestions from the administration that the operation may not have been planned.

“Based on the briefings I have had, I’ve come to the opposite conclusion,” she said. “I just don’t think that people come to protests equipped with RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] and other heavy weapons. And the reports of complicity — and they are many — with Libyan guards who were assigned to guard the consulate also suggest to me that this was premeditated.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also believes the administration should have done more.

“They had previous warnings of pending attacks – in every way,” McCain said.

Collins, who is one the less partisan Republicans in Congress, and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) fired off a letter to the State Department’s Inspector General demanding “a thorough investigation of the Department’s development of security requirements for the Benghazi Consulate as well as the resource decision-making process to provide security for this post.”

The hearing drew some coverage, as attention in the media appears finally to be shifting from Gov. Mitt Romney’s response to the attacks on the U.S. outposts in Libya and Egypt to whether the Obama administration did enough to protect the Libyan consulate.

The White House had sought to avoid such coverage and questions about whether the administration had let its guard down on 9/11, declaring at first that the attack was nothing more than an assault by protestors angered by a video denigrating Mohammed.

The White House position has since shifted to an acknowledgement that the assault may have been planned, though officials continue to insist that the video served as a catalyst and suggest that planning was not days in the making.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

RickW September 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

Romney got his Xmas present early. If he cannot nail Dear Leader with this information, he does not deserve to win.

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Scullman September 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

Now let’s watch the “Fourth Estate” help with the cover-up of this failed man’s failed policies, including keeping a “low profile” security footprint in Benghazi.

Low enough to get some fine people very dead.

Fore.

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srdem65 September 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

MrObama can pretend he doesn’t know how big our national debt is today, he can claim the laws that are passed are his ideas, but he cannot, shouldnot lie to the American people about our national security.

They lied about the attacks and the murders to protect MrObama’s campaign for reelection. They sacrificed what was left of SusanRice’s honor and dignity by allowing her to repeat the same lie over and over.
All this to hide the fact that MrObama’s appeasement policy in the MiddleEast is a failure.

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JBH September 21, 2012 at 10:43 am

Wow. Susan Collins of all people speaking out like a true Senator should. Is it getting cold outside? Hell might be freezing over!

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AFVET September 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

That might tell you how bad it really is.
However, I think she is going to retire, so what the hell.

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lc southern September 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

Finally someone comes forward with the courage to tell the truth and defy the O…

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Girly1 September 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

For what it’s worth, there is a ‘rumor’ floating around that top level Pentagon and WH officials changed the rules of engagement at various embassies in the ME. In order not to ‘offend’ our ‘friends’, the Islamists, it was decided to keep a ‘low American profile’ at certain hot spots in the ME – Libya being one of them. For this reason, there were NO Marines assigned to protect embassy offcials. Allegedly, the order came from Hillary! Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, especially when we know for a fact that Obama changed the rules of engagement on the battlefield in Afghanistan – no loaded weapons – no bullets. Meanwhile, Valerie Jarrett has 5 body guards with loaded weapons at all times. Obama and the SOS should be tried for treason!

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Just2old September 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

And you see the result of foreign policy via wishful thinking!

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AFVET September 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Yeah,…and she is in THIS country.

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Frank September 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm

The FBI is supposed to be investigating this. I’m wondering if they are free enough of the executive branch to publish their true findings.

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Star September 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

“Not a black swan”–kinda exotic, what?

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Robin H September 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

It’s a reference to a book called The Black Swan. It’s about outlier events and how they may not be as hard to predict as we thought.

I’m shocked that Collins had the nerve to call the WH out on this, she’s usually such a good RINO.

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Susan September 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Disagree with the notion that Susan Collins is less partisan. She’s a progressive in an elephant suit just like her compadres John McCain and Lindsay Graham. She loves nation-building just like every other progressive Republican.

Susan Collins is just posturing and doing a little CYA before the Senate’s Friday recess until after the elections. This letter to dear leader’s regime will get as much attention as every other letter Congress has sent to him over the last four years…nothing but crickets.

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Rob September 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm

My recommendations for securing all of our embassies…
1.) A United States Embassy is not a welcome center, the purpose is to provide normalized relations with the host nation.
2.) All visitors will be strip searched in a secured facility prior to gaining entry.
3.) If you do not want your diplomatic pouch searched, do not bring it on premises.
4.) Fortify each location with adequate defensive capabilities.
…5.) Install a Marine garrison at each embassy and rotate them in/out every 90 days.
6.) Provide enough supplies and munitions to survive a prolonged siege.
7.) Revise Rules of Engagement to allow military personnel to carry live ammunition and shoot to kill.
8.) The State Dept. issues the following statement to the host nation:
a. You are welcome to protest outside the boundaries of our sovereign walls.
b. If you climb that wall we will kill you.
c. If you touch that flagpole we will kill you.
d. If you interfere with our military or Embassy staff we will kill you.

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JBH September 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Right on.

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Naplesugar September 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Rob

Where’s our LIKE button?

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Lizzy September 22, 2012 at 9:37 am

One would think prior to the 9-11 anniversary you would weeks in advance start to quietly up security in all our embassy’s in an abundance of caution? Nothing overt but quietly so as not to offend
the country? It can be done and should be standard procedure when
this sad anniversary comes around. These were needless deaths.
#7 a must. Well best implement the whole list!

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