House Intel Committee’s Benghazi Report Concludes ‘No Intelligence Failure’
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the Benghazi attacks and concluded there were issues with Obama administration talking points on the attacks, but overall “no evidence of an intelligence failure” and no one in the CIA was ordered to stand down.
The report concludes a two-year investigation from the committee, and says the CIA did not turn down any requests for increased security and they “received all military support that was available.”
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Presented below are all of the report’s key findings:
Finding #1: There is no evidence of an intelligence failure. Prior to the Benghazi attacks, the CIA provided sufficient strategic warning of the deteriorating threat environment to U.S. decision-makers, including those at the State Department. The IC did not fail to provide specific, tactical warning of the attacks in Benghazi because it had no credible intelligence about the attacks before they began.
Finding #2: CIA provided sufficient security personnel, resources, and equipment to defend against the known terrorist threat and to enable CIA operations in Benghazi. There is no evidence that the CIA turned down requests for additional security resources at the Annex.
Finding #3: State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day, and they required CIA assistance.
Finding #4: The CIA was not collecting and shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
Finding #5: A mixed group, including members of al-Qa’ida in the lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AGIM), al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), the Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN), Ansar al-Sharia (AAS), and Abu Abaydah Ibn Jarah Battalion (UJB) participated in the attacks, along with Qadafi loyalists.
Finding #6: Appropriate personnel on the ground in Benghazi made the decision to send CIA officers to rescue the State Department officers at the TMF.
Finding #7: Prior to the CIA security team departing for the TMF, the Annex leadership deliberated thoughtfully, reasonably, and quickly about whether future security could be provided to the team. Although some security officers voiced a greater urgency to depart for the TMF, no officer at CIA was ever told to stand down.
Finding #8: The decision to send CIA officers from Tripoli to Benghazi to rescue the Ambassador and bolster security of the U.S. personnel in Benghazi was a tactical decision appropriately made by the senior officers on the ground.
Finding #9: The Triploi Team;s decision not to move to the hospital to retrieve Ambassador Stevens was based on the best intelligence at the time.
Finding #10: The CIA received all military support that was available. Neither the CIA nor DOD denied requests for air support. One CIA security officer requested a Spectre gunship that he believed was available, but his commanding officer did not relay the request because he correctly knew the gunship was not available.
Finding #11: Ambassador Rice’s September 16 public statements about the existence of a protest, as well as some of the underlying intelligence reports, proved to be inaccurate.
Finding #12: Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell made significant changes to the talking points.
Finding #13: CIA’s Office of Public Affairs also made substantive changes to the talking points by removing the reference to “ties to al-Qa’ida” in the second bullet of the original draft.
Finding #14: Overall, the CIA could have placed more weight on eyewitness sources on the ground and should have challenged its initial assessments about the existence of a protest earlier.
Finding #15: CIA did not intimidate or prevent any officer from speaking to Congress or otherwise telling his story.
Finding #16: There is no evidence that the CIA conducted any unusual polygraph exams related to Benghazi.
Finding #17: While at times the agencies were slow to respond, ultimately the CIA, NCTC, FBI, and other Executive Branch agencies fully cooperated with the Committee’s investigation.
You can read the committee’s full report here [PDF].
[image via screengrab]
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