Dec 19 2012
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after an independent report was released regarding the attacks on the U.S. mission facility and annex in Benghazi:
“The independent report on the September 11 attacks on our mission facility and annex in Benghazi confirms what we have long known to be true: that Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans who lost their lives in the attacks could have been saved by better protection, a swifter military response and more attentive leadership from Washington. In the months leading up to the attacks, credible reports were brought to the attention of the State Department alleging insufficient security in the area. These reports also contained warnings of rapidly growing radical militias that threatened anti-American attacks. Despite all of the information available to them, the State Department failed to construct an adequate safety plan, declined to provide sufficient security personnel and failed to consider closing the mission given the growing threat.
“This is evidence of a flawed process to access and provide security for our diplomats. Such oversight failure and neglect is unacceptable. The report made strong recommendations regarding personnel who should be held accountable, and I am pleased that some individuals in positions of responsibility have resigned today. However, such resignations are a small step toward addressing this issue, which can only be fully resolved by an open and transparent internal review of the State Department’s relevant policies, operations and procedures. The men and women who represent our nation have the right to expect that our government is taking every possible measure to ensure their safety, and it is now clear that a leadership failure at the State Department led to grossly inadequate protection of our diplomats in Benghazi. I join my colleagues in wishing Secretary Clinton a speedy recovery. However, as she is ultimately responsible for the department and U.S. posts around the world, her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is indispensable to any effort to address this failure and put in place a process to ensure this never happens again.”