Lankford: State Department fails to tell consistent story

After attending yesterday’s House Oversight Committee’s hearing entitled, “The Security Failures of Benghazi,” Representative James Lankford (R-OK) expressed serious concern over the State Department response to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

In that attack, four Americans including the ambassador were killed in a planned, well-organized, complicated terror action on American soil.  President Obama and his administration blamed a mob motivated by an obscure video, but records recently revealed show the administration knew there was no mob protest and that they could have anticipated such an attack on the anniversary of 9/11 had they not been so driven by  domestic politics. 

The following is a transcript of the Congressman’s remarks:

“I’m Congressman James Lankford from Oklahoma’s Fifth District. I’m just stepping out of the hearing on what happened in Benghazi, Libya from this hearing for the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. There are lots of unanswered questions we’re trying to get answers to today. And some of them we have gotten answers, too, but there are still many more to come.  

“Issues like, we had four Americans that were killed when there’s a lot of terrorist activity that was happening in Benghazi but doesn’t seem to be any preparation for that in our facility there. The American Red Cross had already pulled out because of multiple terrorist attacks in Benghazi. The United Kingdom had already pulled out their facility from Benghazi. But we still sat there with this smaller force that was well below what was requested by the security personnel on the ground. They had requested at least 18 additional people than what was actually there. And we’re trying to figure out why those requests were turned down.

“We’re also trying to get answers to the question of why the story has changed so much afterwards. I understand that there’s been a major terrorist attack that has occurred there. But these initial stories about a video don’t pan out with what happened on the ground, and what we now know, the State Department was tracking it form their command center live when the attack was occurring and from Tripoli as soon as it was over. So, they knew immediately, yet five days later, seven days later, the story was still coming out this was from some protest that we now know there was no protest there at all.  It was just a straight-on terrorist attack. So, we’re trying to get answers on why that story changed and why that story came out at all from there.  

“So, lots of questions. We’re getting some answers. But this will affect our foreign policy in the days ahead and how we plan and how we secure our facilities overseas. So, it’s important we get these answers so we move forward in safety.”

To view the video of his remarks, click here.

For a video of the Congressman’s questions to witnesses, click here.