What Will We Discover in the House Select Committee’s Official Benghazi Report? 1

As Americans, some, if not many, patiently await the findings from the final Benghazi report, just released this morning by the Select Committee on Benghazi, it is important to remember the information the committee has been uncovering thus far.

Based on the collective intelligence compiled by the House Select Committee, led by Committee Chairman Congressman Trey Gowdy, the indisputable fact is that there was an intentional and deliberate blatant disregard for any warning signs, an inept and derelict response to the attack, and a dishonest and disingenuous fabricated cover-up; a complete and utter failure of will by the senior leadership of the Obama Administration.

The Obama Administration’s foreign policy in Libya, led by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was a disastrous and dismal failure. Here actions were to say the least despicable. Most notable was the ill-defined and illogical decision by the Secretary of State to pursue the ouster of Libyan leader Muamar Qaddafi both failing to rationalize and understand his change commitments in the war on terror and without having a plan in place for what happened afterward. I talk about this all the time with regard to the political left when it comes to post outcome and second, third and fourth order affects. Further, the State Department maniacal logic of placing trust in the various militia factions to set aside their longstanding differences and establish a governing body in the war-torn country illustrates another amateur mistake. Worst yet, none of these decisions were in the interests of the United States.

Knowing full well, with the deteriorating situation on the ground in Tripoli and Benghazi, hundreds of requests for additional security for the Americans in Libya went on deft ears, were unanswered, or denied. Likewise, no precautionary measures were taken, even as the September 11, 2001 attacks were rapidly approaching, despite intelligence indications and reports to the contrary.

Frantic requests for additional security was denied even though intelligence reports clearly indicated the presence in Libya of al- Qaeda and other terrorist factions and groups associate with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, all hostile to the United States. Even though there had been multiple previous attacks against the diplomatic missions of other countries, to include the UK, and the U.S.’s own outpost in Benghazi, those requests were ignored leading up to the events of September 11th.

Decision-making at the State Department and within the highest levels of the White House, was somewhere between delusional and on the level of lunacy
on a grand scale.

We should expect or at least anticipate the Select Committee will single out a number of high-level Obama administration officials for criticism, including the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Her disregard and inaction on the numerous requests for additional security, in addition to her lack of response on the night of the attack, reveals a serious flaw and lack of competence. It was more of a “crossed fingers” response to the problem – keeping her fingers crossed and hoping for it to go away.  When she realized it was real, integrity and concern was kicked aside, replaced by a more sinister approach of cover-up, distract and lie with the crafting of the far-fetched video story.

Likewise, President Obama and his closest advisors are no doubt criticized for their insufficient and total lack of a response. While an American diplomatic facility was under attack the President should have been more ‘hands-on,’ but unlike the claims that he had been personally engaged in the raid that killed Bin Laden, he simply ignored the terrorist onslaught of a U.S. diplomatic outpost to be over run, leaving the problem and without guidance or course of action for that matter, for others to figure out, and then prepared for and left for a Las Vegas fundraising event while four Americans lay freshly murdered. He and the entire administration were completely disconnected from the life and death situation on the ground in Benghazi, Libya.

Those Americans on the ground in Benghazi were left to fend for themselves when help of any kind, was available most importantly would have been welcomed, and likely successful in preventing the later loss of lives as well as the dozens wounded.

No one launched to help those under fire. No one even tried.  The President’s, whose much need authority and authorization to do so was deliberately ignored, by Mr. Obama himself, and used Mrs. Clinton’s cockamamie and maligned cover-story as his excuse, even though he too knew full well it was a lie – continuing to use it for weeks afterwards.

Furthermore, it should be noted, as soon as then Speaker of the House John Boehner directed the inception of the Select Committee on Benghazi, the Democrat minority party – not having read a single word, nor seen the evidence uncovered – instantly denigrated the Select Committee and the report on Benghazi as nothing more than a partisan hit-job by Republicans in Congress.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The reality is that the Benghazi Select Committee has listened to countless hours of testimony from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, other senior government, and military officials, mid-level bureaucrats, and those who were under fire on the night of the Benghazi raid and attacks. And the years of research and intelligence gathering will all culminate in this final report.

Let us remember, the truth about what happened in Benghazi, as will be outlined in this final report, can hopefully help to prevent something similar from ever happening again. The potential costs of inaction are far too high for our men and women serving overseas.

We should realize that during the many hours that the Benghazi attacks played out, our people on the ground in that eastern Libyan city were abandoned by their leaders in Washington and elsewhere. All of those in the chain of command who could have done something to help, lacked the will to step up and do what was right, and further abandoned all forms of decency when they fabricated a story about a YouTube video to cover up their failure to act. And those that might have been able to respond were prevented by the lack orders, guidance, and authorization to do so from the only personal capable and authorized by law to do so, the President of the United States.

Political consequences be damned, when Americans’ lives are in jeopardy, politics should take a backseat to responsibility and action. But that’s not been the practice of the current administration, or of their presumptive nominee to lead the next administration, who places political expediency over the lives of Americans at risk and in harm’s way.

Loyal, patriotic and dedicated American diplomats, CIA officers, and the members of the military serving in dangerous foreign overseas assignments around the world are all paying close attention to the findings in the House Select Committee’s final report. It will not correct the errors of the past, but hopefully it will provide solace to those sacrificing their lives for our freedom and hold those at the highest level responsible for this tragedy accountable for their actions, deliberate or not directed, or perhaps in this case, lack thereof.

[Please Note: Colonel Waurishuk is VP of the Special Ops-OPSEC Foundation, an organization of former special operations and professional intelligence officers.  The organization conducted the behind the scenes deep research and analysis for the Congressman Trey Gowdy’s House Select Committee on Benghazi, as well as Congressman Frank Wolf’s committee prior U.S. House Benghazi Investigations committee.]

Jim Waurishuk is a retired USAF Colonel, serving nearly 30-years as a career senior intelligence and political-military affairs officer and special mission intelligence officer with expertise in strategic intelligence, international strategic studies and policy, and asymmetric warfare. He served combat and combat-support tours in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as on numerous special operations and special mission intelligence contingencies in Central America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He served as a special mission intelligence officer assigned to multiple Joint Special Operations units, and with the CIA’s Asymmetric Warfare Task Force, as well as in international and foreign advisory positions. He served as Deputy Director for Intelligence for U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) during the peak years of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism. He is a former White House National Security Council staffer and a former Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. He served as a senior advisor to the Commander U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is Vice President of the Special Ops-OPSEC -- which provides strategic and operational security analysis and assessments to governmental and private entities, as well as media organizations on national security issues, policy, and processes. He currently provides advisory and consulting services on national security, international strategic policy, and strategy assessments for the U.S. and foreign private sector and governments entities, media groups and outlets, and to political groups, forums, and political candidates. He is an author and writer providing regular commentary and opinion to national and local TV, radio networks, and for both print and online publications, as well as speaking engagements to business, political, civic and private groups on national security matters – focusing on international strategic policy and engagement, and strategic intelligence, and subject matter expertise on special mission intelligence and operations, counter-terrorism, and asymmetric warfare and conflict.