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Senate Panel Calls Benghazi Attacks 'Preventable'

A bipartisan report out of the U.S. Senate blames the State Department for failing to prevent the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 15, 2014

Just over a year after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, a bipartisan Senate committee has blamed the State Department for failing to prevent it. 

In a statement, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence faults intelligence officials for failing to boost security at the embassy and calls the attack "preventable" based on "known security shortfalls."

Specifically, the panel determined the U.S. military command in Africa was unaware of the CIA's secret annex and there were not enough resources in place to defend the compound. (Via ITN)

At the same time, the report found there was no specific warning of an imminent attack, suggesting instead it was "opportunistic, not highly-coordinated."

All that said, the report is fairly consistent with previous investigations into the attack and probably won't satisfy the critics — particularly Republicans — who accuse the Obama administration of deliberately misleading the public. (Via Politico

While on the Sunday shows days after the attack, then-U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the attack was a spontaneous response to an anti-Islamic film. The Obama administration has since classified Benghazi as a planned terrorist attack. (Via ABC

The new report says there's no reason to believe the administration's initial conclusion was the result of anything more than simply a failure to communicate. (Via The White House

But the report is slightly at odds with the White House's stance that Al-Qaeda was not involved. The report finds "individuals affiliated with terrorist groups" participated. (Via Channel 4

The Republican senators on the bipartisan committee issued a separate report accusing the Obama administration of downplaying terrorist involvement for political purposes.