American embassy officials in terrorist neighborhoods overseas are still in danger because President Obama has not taken the steps to improve military preparedness a year after the deadly Benghazi attacks, a key House investigator has concluded after five open and classified briefings on the scandal.
Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, the chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, said, “I continue to be concerned that more than a year after the attack, our posture has not improved enough to sufficiently mitigate the risks to Americans serving overseas and in harm’s way.”
In an interview with Secrets following a classified briefing with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, she faulted Obama for not taking responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks, and charged that he has not come clean about misleading the public when he said the military was ready for threatened copycat attacks on the 2012 anniversary of 9/11.
“The president has to take responsibility for our lack of preparedness on that day, and take the appropriate steps to insure that our military has what they need to get the job done when we send them into harm’s way,” said Roby, whose subcommittee is preparing a report on the affair.
Rep. Martha RobyShe is especially angered that the White House, on the day before the killing of the nation’s ambassador to Libya and others, issued a release claiming that the administration had put in place the needed security to thwart attacks.
“Why did we not have what we needed, and most importantly why did the White House send out a press release on Sept. 10 saying that we did?” Roby asked.
She said that the administration didn’t even contact the Pentagon’s Africa command to ask if they needed any extra help or equipment due to terror threats in Libya and other nations in the region.
“If you were in the process of making decisions about preparedness in a very dangerous part of the world, don’t you think they should have asked the commander of Africom?” said Roby.
“These are the things where there has to be the responsibility taken, for the president again to own this and take responsibility and say we weren’t prepared, and we told the American people that we were, and weren’t. And here’s what we’re doing to insure that this never happens again.”
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.