The Foreign Service Journal - March 2014 - page 16

MARCH 2014
I wonder how many people outraged over the
loss of lives in Benghazi ever gave a second of thought to the
safety of Foreign Service officers and others working over-
seas (often in installations with limited security), and even now would
tell Congress it should appropriate more money to this. How many
will forget about the issue should it fade as a political issue?
Many more Americans died in the bombing of the U.S. embassy
in Beirut in the 1980s, but there was far less outrage and, much more
importantly, no bipartisan push to spend enough money to make our
facilities secure. I was in the Foreign Service, so am acutely aware of
how little most Americans think about security at embassies, con-
sulates, etc. I know people who have been attacked, and even killed,
overseas, [and it] seldommakes the news.
You are absolutely right. It is obscene that critics will
try to use the chant “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi” as a political weapon
against President Obama and Hillary Clinton, but won’t propose or even
support any increase in funding for State Department security. Note to
conspiracy theorists: If you really cared, you would be looking for
ways to keep such a tragedy from happening again.
— From a
Washington Post
writer Eugene Robinson.
Contemporary Quote
IC work together to identify and priori-
tize the largest gaps in coverage for the
protection of U.S. diplomatic, military
and intelligence personnel in the North
Africa region and other high-threat posts
around the world. The small number
of U.S. military resources devoted to
the vast and often ungoverned North
African landscape makes it unlikely that
DOD can respond in short periods to
all potential crises across North Africa.
If DOD cannot always provide help in
an emergency, U.S. personnel on the
ground must make alternative plans to
evacuate in the event of an attack or if
intelligence indicates that an attack is
Unarmed U.S. military surveillance assets
were not delayed when responding to the
attack, and they provided important situ-
ational awareness for those under siege
during the attacks against the Temporary
Mission Facility and the annex on Sept.
11 and 12, 2012.
In finished reports after Sept. 11, 2012,
intelligence analysts inaccurately
referred to the presence of a protest at
the mission facility before the attack
based on open source information and
limited intelligence, but without suffi-
cient intelligence or eyewitness state-
ments to corroborate that assertion. The
IC took too long to correct these errone-
ous reports, which caused confusion
and influenced the public statements of
analysts should more aggressively
request and integrate eyewitness report-
ing—especially from U.S. government
personnel—in the aftermath of a crisis.
The IC should establish a process or
re-evaluate its current procedures
to improve the speed and process
with which operational reporting (for
example, eyewitness reporting) and raw
collection make it into disseminated
intelligence products.
The IC must
act quickly to correct the written record
and address misperceptions in its fin-
ished analytical products. The IC should
avoid repeating erroneous information
in its intelligence products as analysts
continued to do when they wrote there
were “protests” at the Temporary Mission
Facility, which then made its way into
reports disseminated to U.S. policymak-
ers and Congress.
The State Department Bureau of Intel-
ligence and Research did not disseminate
any independent analysis in the year
following the Benghazi attacks.
The commit-
tee urges the Director of National Intel-
ligence and the State Department to con-
duct a review of the types of intelligence
products that INR prepares and to look
for ways to make INR’s products more
timely and responsive to world events,
especially those that directly affect State
Department personnel. The committee
notes that the Independent Panel on Best
Practices has also recommended that
the State Department audit and assess
“how quickly and effectively INR shares
intelligence with DS and all other [State]
Department components.”
The DNI’s Office of Analytic Integrity and
Standards failed to provide complete
and accurate information to Congress
during its review of the Benghazi attacks.
The committee found AIS’s methodology
in assembling documents to be flawed.
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