Report: 15 Days Later, FBI Has Not Been To Site Of Benghazi Consulate Attack

More than two weeks after four Americans -- including the U.S. ambassador to Libya -- were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured.

The investigation of the attack on our Consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans,  including Ambassador Stevens, isn’t exactly getting off to a very good start:

(CNN) – More than two weeks after four Americans — including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured, sources said.

“They’ve gotten as far as Tripoli now, but they’ve never gotten to Benghazi,” CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend said Wednesday, citing senior law enforcement officials.

Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that an FBI team had reached Libya earlier in the week.

“In fairness to the secretary, it may be that she wanted to be coy about where they were in Libya for security concerns. That’s understandable. But the fact is, it’s not clear they’ve been in Libya for very long,” Townsend said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°.”

The FBI team has conducted interviews of State Department and U.S. government personnel who were in Libya at the time of the attack, Townsend said, but the FBI’s request to directly question individuals who Libyan authorities have in custody was denied.

There are two troubling aspects here. First, obviously, the fact that the attack was two weeks ago and the scene has not been subjected to investigation likely means, as noted, that whatever evidence might have been at the scene has either been stolen or spoiled at this point. We already know that CNN found Ambassador Stevens’s journal in the rubble of the building. Who knows what else might have been there but is now unavailable? Whether from an investigatory or intelligence gathering point of view, the value of an examination of the scene at this point would be quite less than if the FBI had been able to get to Benghazi shortly after the attack. The second issue this story raises is the fact that the Libyans have not been as cooperative as could be hoped for, both in granting the FBI access to the people it has in custody and allowing them access to the scene of the attack. At this point, it seems like this FBI team is just sitting around a room in Tripoli accomplishing next to nothing.

FILED UNDER: Intelligence, National Security, Quick Takes, Terrorism,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    Obsessed much, Doug?

  2. Nikki says:

    It appears to be the only avenue of attack left open to the rightwing bloggers/Romney campaign.,

  3. john personna says:

    @Nikki:

    I am afraid you are right.

    Lance Corporal Buckley became the 1,990th American service member to die in the war when, on Aug. 10, he and two other Marines were shot inside their base in Helmand Province by a man who appears to have been a member of the Afghan forces they were training.

    When will we get a full report on the death of Lance Corporal Buckley? Oh wait, no one wants one. 2000 deaths in a “Republican” war are not the issue. 4 deaths in an “Obama” war are the most important issue in our democracy.

    The right is obviously and deplorably using these American deaths in Libya for political hay, dishonoring their service and their sacrifice – not to mention the weekly deaths they ignore in the less “politically advantageous” conflict.

  4. anjin-san says:

    When will we get a full report on the death of Lance Corporal Buckley? Oh wait, no one wants one. 2000 deaths in a “Republican” war are not the issue. 4 deaths in an “Obama” war are the most important issue in our democracy.

    That’s about it…

  5. Buzz Buzz says:

    Yeah, Doug, why do you keep pretending that the assassination of a U.S. Ambassador and his aides by terrorists in a country where President Obama’s unilateral kinetic military action recently toppled the government is a big deal?

    Get over it already. None of the drones here care. It’s just some dead Americans.

    Make the hive happy. Put up some more posts bashing Romney. Or Bush. Or whichever Emmanuel Goldstein is the current focus for its Two Minutes’ Endless Hate.

  6. john personna says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    We know the Amb. was an adventurer. He famously hopped a freighter into Libya while the civil war was raging.

    Should the US have stopped him then? Told him we wanted no risk taking on behalf of the Libyans nor US interests?

  7. Jeremy R. says:

    The second issue this story raises is the fact that the Libyans have not been as cooperative as could be hoped for, both in granting the FBI access to the people it has in custody and allowing them access to the scene of the attack.

    This actually ties into all the statements the Libyans have been pushing into the U.S. media to try and define the attack. Their reluctance to allow professional investigator’s access to witnesses suggests a heavy-handed attempt to remain in control of that narrative and should call for additional skepticism from those who have been using their statements to buttress partisan critiques.

  8. Buzz Buzz says:

    @john personna:

    When will we get a full report on the death of Lance Corporal Buckley? Oh wait, no one wants one. 2000 deaths in a “Republican” war are not the issue. 4 deaths in an “Obama” war are the most important issue in our democracy.

    Leaving aside that it is an American war, not a Republican war, Lance Corporal Buckley, who graduated high school in 2009, did not even join up until after President Bush had left office and the Democrats had gained total control of Congress.

    Lance Corporal Buckley was sent to Afghanistan as part of President Obama’s surge. You remember who President Obama is, right? He was Lance Corporal Buckley’s Commander-in-Chief. He’s in charge of the military which is responsible for the “full report” you’re complaining hasn’t been done. Oh, and he’s a Democrat.

    Your effort to twist Lance Corporal Buckley’s murder into some sort of political rap on Republicans is not grounded in reality.

    It is disgusting that you then double down on your dishonesty by blaming Republicans for your own personal decision to dishonor Lance Corporal Buckley’s service and sacrifice by bringing up his death solely to try to score partisan political points on a blog.

  9. john personna says:

    @Buzz Buzz: epic fail

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