What is the Benghazi controversy?
Recently, I've been hearing bits and pieces regarding some controversy involving the 2012 Benghazi embassy attack
Although It's not hard to find stories about the controversy , I've found it considerably harder to find out exactly what the controversy is starting from the beginning.
- What is the Benghazi controversy?
- What about it draws so much coverage?
- Why is it making such major news now?
There will be many books that will discuss this by the time it ends I think. There fore this question is way to broad for this SE.
@Chad Too Broad? It's a question about a scandal revolving around a very specific event. I'd hardly call it too broad.
There could and probably will be books written about this very question, what happened, why, what caused the news orgs to ignore then pick up the story... I think that there is already one book either about to be released or that has been released from the security team that went in to clean up after
It's absolutely a broad question. TOO broad? I dunno. But we certainly don't have the facts to state what the scandal actually was. A this time, it's still mostly speculation and punditry.
@blip I don't think we have the facts to state what *happened* but we can state what the *scandal is*, or rather, why it is scandalous.
@ThePompitousofLove at best it's a perceived scandal. We know a bit more now than 3 years ago when I left that comment. With hindsight, it was mostly a perceived scandal.
On September 11, 2012, There was an attack on the United-States Embassy in Behghazi. 4 people died in this attack.
It was initially believed by the public that this attack was in response to the movie "Innocence of Muslims".
Several days later, It was confirmed to be a terrorist attack that was related to Al Qaeda.
The accusation is that the Obama Administration knew that it was a terrorist attack, and that they initially tried to cover it up. They are also being accused of not reacting strongly enough to the attacks, and not being prepared enough for such attacks.
On May 8 -
Gregory Hicks, Eric Nordstrom, and Mark Thompson testify before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and were called "whistleblowers" by the committee chairman.
Hicks testified that more assistance from the U.S. military could have been provided, that attempts to send additional forces were told to stand down by another authority, and he was demoted for telling his recollection of events; the Defense Department disputed Hicks' testimony, and the State Department did not respond.
Hicks further stated that since the Libyan government had called the attack a terrorist attack, and the United States did not, complicated the FBI investigation. Thompson testified that a Foreign Emergency Support Team was not sent due to instructions from the State Department, which the State Department said would have taken too long to be effective;
Nordstrom criticized the Accountability Review Board, that it did not look into decisions made by those individuals in higher authority. Furthermore, they testified that their previous attempts to increase security leading up to the attacks were, were denied.
Democrats charged that the Republicans were politicizing the investigation.
House Republicans released a report on the Benghazi attack that was highly critical of the White House and the State Department; the White House dismissed the report, and House Democrats called the report biased.
Among dozens of findings, the report states that:
- "Senior State Department officials knew that the threat environment in Benghazi was high and that the Benghazi compound was vulnerable and unable to withstand an attack, yet the department continued to systematically withdraw security personnel"
- The "[Obama] Administration willfully perpetuated a deliberately misleading and incomplete narrative that the attacks evolved from a political demonstration caused by a YouTube video."
- "... after a White House Deputies Meeting on Saturday, September 15, 2012, the Administration altered the talking points to remove references to the likely participation of Islamic extremists in the attacks. The Administration also removed references to the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya...."
- "The Administration deflected responsibility by blaming the IC [intelligence community] for the information it communicated to the public in both the talking points and the subsequent narrative it perpetuated."
Also the fact that four Americans - including the Ambassador which is supposed to be the person representing US in this country - were killed also makes the matter very serious. If the attack were deflected with no casualties I think the matter would get, even with the same alleged failures, less attention.
Also, you may want to add a point that a part of the scandal was the unprecedented act of jailing of the movie producer as part of the government's reactions.
This clearly outlines part of the complaint. But that doesn't necessarily define the scandal. It's not a bad answer, but not sure it meshes with the wording of the original question.
@StasM the thing is that there were many more attacks and deaths upon embassies under the previous president, so I don't think there's a direct correlation to number of deaths and media attention.
@DA This is not true, no ambassadors were killed on duty under the previous president. See the list of ambassadors killed in office: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambassadors_of_the_United_States#Ambassadors_killed_in_office The death of the ambassador is an exceptional event, as it is a direct attack on a sovereignty of the represented country. It is always a huge deal.
@StasM that statement is true. There were more attacks on, and deaths at US embassies under the previous president: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_attacks_on_U.S._diplomatic_facilities However, in terms of Ambassadors only, you are correct.
Recommend modifying your second line to "The public was initially told that..."
@user4012 your comment sounds as if he was arrested for being the movie producer, while he was arrested for violating his parole terms... or are you suggesting that he should have get immunity because he was the producer of such a film? Roman Polansky is interested in that idea and wants to subscribe to your e-letter.
@SamIam How was the public led to believe the video was responsible for the violence?
@SamIam think that it would be a better answer would include information about why its important (Hillary Clinton is running for Pres.) This is a good answer, though. I don't get why we are voting on closing it.
@DrunkCynic I was a member of the public at the time, and the reason why **I** believed it was a protest to the movie, was because there was a notable protest in Egypt around that same time, which really was about the movie.
"It was initially believed by the public that this attack was in response to the movie Innocence of Muslims" More specifically, it was initially **claimed by the administration** that the attack was in response to a movie. This claim was later shown to be false -- then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to the American People.
You may want to add that Obama flew to a fundraiser the next morning after the attack, a theme in his presidency https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/zoey-dimauro/during-times-crisis-president-obama-goes-golfing-fundraising