May 10 2013
Rubio: "We need to bring those behind this attack to justice and make sure that a tragedy like Benghazi does not happen again."
By Senator Marco Rubio
May 9, 2013
Eight months after the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, key questions remain unanswered.
Instead of ensuring that these terrible events are not repeated, the White House and its allies seem more interested in accusing those seeking answers of playing politics than getting to the bottom of what happened that night.
Perhaps most concerning is the fact that no one has yet been held accountable. How is it that the United States of America, with our global reach and capabilities, has been unable to identify, apprehend or kill those responsible for the deaths of these four Americans?
This week, we've heard a career diplomat testify that he was "stunned" and "embarrassed" to hear Ambassador Susan Rice claim five days after the attack that it was a demonstration about a YouTube video that precipitated those terrible events, given that he and others on the ground in Libya immediately recognized that it was terrorists, not demonstrators, who had overrun the consulate. The House hearing raises new questions about Secretary Hillary Clinton's role in the administration's efforts to portray the attack as the result of a spontaneous demonstration, despite abundant evidence to the contrary and efforts by one of her top lieutenants to intimidate those who were asking the right questions.
It is also unclear what actions the State Department has taken to reform the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to address the problems highlighted by the Accountability Review Board, and why officials involved in the decision to not provide additional security to the consulate in the months prior to the attack have not faced real consequences. Inexplicably, the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security remains vacant.
Finally, as we contemplate how the United States can respond to other crises such as Syria, we need to examine what Benghazi tells us about the implications of the Obama administration's preferred strategy of "leading from behind." In the months since the attack on our consulate, it is not clear that the security situation in Libya has improved. The United States should be leading the effort to support our Libyan allies as they try to exert control over their country, not running away from a problem we should have anticipated prior to the 2011 intervention.
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