Should the CIA share some of the blame for Benghazi?

Amb. Patrick Kennedy answers questions as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigates the attack on the American consulate in Libya. Amb. Patrick Kennedy answers questions as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigates the attack on the American consulate in Libya. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

For the last month, the media and Congress have been grilling the State Department for the security failures during the deadly assault on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. But what if the State Department is the wrong target of scrutiny?

According to a counter-theory advanced last night by The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, the CIA, not the State Department, bears some responsibility for the security lapse that led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, but is flying under the radar due to the classified nature of its activities there.

The airing of this theory was prompted by yesterday's House Oversight and Government Reform hearing, in which House Republicans attempted to avoid any mention of CIA activities in Benghazi. As it happened, they failed to avoid veiled disclosures of CIA activities from emerging, and the way Milbank sees it, they "left little doubt" that one of the two U.S. compounds in Benghazi was in fact a CIA base. 

In their questioning and in the public testimony they invited, the lawmakers managed to disclose, without ever mentioning [the CIA] directly, that there was a seven-member “rapid response force” in the compound the State Department was calling an annex.

The disclosures came out in a vague sort of way that mostly only Washington experts would realize. For instance, one of the State Department officials revealed that not all of the security personnel in Benghazi "fell under my direct operational control." Who controlled them? An entity members of the hearing described as the "other government agency," which is a typical Washington euphemism for CIA. 

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.