About the Benghazi Attack
The Benghazi attack is one of the most consequential attacks led by Islamic militants. It happened on the evening of September 11, 2012 at the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information management Officer, Sean Smith were killed in the vehement attack which resulted in immediate increase in security at diplomatic and military facilities throughout the world by the United States.
The attack was followed by a second attack several hours later at a different compound which is located a mile away from the first. The second attack killed CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. The assault also injured 10 others.
Most of the Libyan population condemned the attacks and held demonstrations to protest against the militias who were suspected of the attacks. As the secretary of State, Hillary Clinton took responsibility for the security lapses which were a reason behind the attack. The state department officials were criticized because requests for increasing the security at the consulate before the attacks were denied.
The attacks were suspected to be triggered by an anti-Muslim video – Innocence of Muslims – which has led to spontaneous protests. However, investigations determined that there was no evidence of any protest of the kind, and the attacks were planned.
Mustafa Abushagur’s (Libyan Prime Minister) office condemned the outrageous attacks and offered condolences. Demonstrations on Benghazi and Tripoli on September 12 showed that people were against such assaults. The overall Libyan response was that they were against terrorism and Libyans were positively inclined towards their relationship with the United States.
Libyan President, Mohammed Magariaf stated that the attack was pre-calculated and was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. consulate.
Anti-militia demonstrations and subsequent actions taken by the government
On September 21, approximately thirty thousands (30,000) Libyans marched all the way through Benghazi asking for the government to bring a conclusion to the armed militias that were formed during the Libyan Civil War in order to oppose Colonel Gaddafi. The war ended but the armed militias continued to survive.
Many militia members were forced to leave the militia headquarters when the demonstrators stormed into a number of militia headquarters.
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The government took advantage of the rising anger of the Libyans and on September 23, the Libyan President announced that the militias had 48 hours to disband. The success of the protests showed on September 29, when hundreds of Libyans handed over their arms in the city centers of Benghazi and Tripoli. The campaigns were less successful in other regions of Libya.
U.S. Government Response
On September 12, President Barack Obama condemned the attacks and claimed these attacks to be outrageous. He claimed that acts of terror could not shake the nation and justice will be done. He ensured that security was increased at all such facilities worldwide. The FBI set to investigate the possibility of the attack being a planned one. On September 14 the remains of those who lost their lives were returned to the United States.
How the United States messed up?
Top U.S. commanders testified that the military were not prepared for attacks in Africa and the Middle East. The U.S. did not place any attack aircrafts of high alert, especially because September 11 commemorated the 9/11 attacks. The closest fighter planes to handle trouble in North Africa were located in Aviano, Italy.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton were suspected to have lied about the attacks in order to use the attack to gain political advantage. The attacks were claimed to be spontaneous protests caused because of the video. However, investigations show that the attacks were pre-meditated and increased security at the sites could have averted the attacks.
Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Run
Hillary had stated that the attack was caused because of an “inflammatory video” which went viral on the internet. However investigations show that she was aware that the attack was led by terrorists and she has emailed her daughter and was in conversation with Libyan President that the attack was a terrorist attack and responsibility of the attack was being taken by Ansar al Sharia which is a terrorist group.
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Hillary is now being seen as a liar who chose to hide details from the Americans. This can lead to a huge change in the number of supporters who were with Hillary Clinton. With the Presidential Run gaining momentum, the details of the Benghazi attack can make a huge difference. A final report of the Benghazi attack is due to be released this year. Trey Gowdy who is chairperson of the committee that will be releasing the report has stated that Obama’s administration officials and Secretary Clinton have not been very co-operative which has delayed the report.
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