Obama Administration misled the public: We need to know what happened in Libya

Instead of confronting the reality of the situation, the Obama
 Administration’s first reaction was, in the words of former U.S.
 Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, to blame America first. Officials
 pointed to an Internet video as cause for the brutality. They
 hesitated to state what the real motivation was behind these 
incidents: a radical Muslim ideology that detests the God-given rights 
to freedom Americans enjoy.

Before he was killed, Ambassador Chris Stevens worried about security
in Benghazi, the rise of Islamic extremism in the region, and being on 
an Al Qaeda hit list, according to media reports. He seemed to know
 what the Obama Administration won’t admit. He and his colleagues were
 not safe.

The Obama Administration was warned something terrible might
happen — not that any official warnings should have been necessary to
protect American diplomats stationed in the Middle East on a date as
gravely important as September 11th.

Libyan President Mohamed Yousef  El-Magarif has said his government
 was notified an attack was coming and relayed that information to U.S.
 diplomatic officials at least two days before the assault began. His 
statements are at complete odds with those by U.S. Ambassador to the
 United Nations Susan Rice who has publicly stated the Obama 
Administration had no such knowledge.

Prominent pro-government militia members, who aided the Libyan
 government in protecting the consulate, also sounded the alarms by,
according to reports, raising the possibility of closing diplomatic
 missions until conditions were safer.

For some reason, however, these warnings were not heeded. Decisions
 were made that left our diplomats without adequate security. Private
 security forces, for example, were used in Benghazi instead of the
 U.S. military.

This combination of missteps created a situation where Americans were
 needlessly left in danger. Congress has a moral obligation to act
 swiftly to ensure it never happens again.

In order to do that, we must have more information. Too much time has
already gone by without clear answers. The Obama Administration has 
misled the public, creating confusion about the true nature of the
 threat we face.

If our leaders cannot, or will not, describe our enemies, we do not 
stand a chance of defeating them. The White House has used stronger 
language to condemn a YouTube video than it has those responsible for 
the deaths of our fellow Americans in Libya.

Staying silent is not an option. Polite appeasement will never satisfy
 those who do not wish to live in a world where the United States 
exists. If the United States does not assert power, the terrorists 

The administration’s continually changing story about the attacks and
 reluctance to defend America’s freedoms to the world is deeply
 disturbing. First, the White House, shockingly, dignified the idea
 that a YouTube video caused the protests and deaths of our American 
public servants and refused to defend our critical right to free
s peech.

Every person on Earth could probably find something on the Internet
 that offends them or insults their beliefs. The U.S. government 
should never give credence to the idea that violence is a justifiable
r eaction.

Officials claimed the attacks were “spontaneous” and a result of a
 protest that had “spun out of control.”  Ambassador Rice denied it was 
premeditated, stating that the protest was “hijacked by some
 individual clusters of extremists…and then it evolved from there.”

Then, finally, the National Counterterrosim Center Director Matthew 
Olsen stated in a Senate hearing the four Americans were killed “in
 the course of a terror attack” that may have connections to al Qaeda, but that we do not have specific intelligence of “significant advance

Again, this is a different narrative described by Libyan President
 Megariaf, who said the attack was carried out by foreign militants who
 had infiltrated Libya and had been planning these events for months.
 The contradictory and changing stories stemming from the same events 
are worrisome.

It’s far past time to get all the facts. We need a comprehensive
 detailed report rather than waiting for various officials to dribble
 them out one interview at a time.

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and I have introduced legislation to require the Obama
 Administration to conduct an official investigation and issue a report
on the September 11-13, 2012 attacks on United States missions in
 Libya, Egypt, and Yemen within 30 days. It also requires the Secretary 
of State to submit recommended changes to security procedures.

The need for this information is urgent and should not be pushed until 
after the election. Keeping America safe is not a partisan issue, it’s 
a national one.

DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

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