A nearly two-year House probe into the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stephens, counters many claims used by opponents of Obama administration to portray the incident as a White House failure.
It rejects assertions that the CIA was secretly shipping arms to Syria from Benghazi, that the CIA had ordered potential rescuers to stand down, and that the government bullied people into not testifying or speaking about the Benghazi attacks.
The House Intelligence Committee's findings do not place blame on the administration for failing during the attacks. However, they do assert that the State Department knew that it could not defend the Benghazi consulate from an “armed assault.”
The report also faults the Obama administration for using a “flawed” process to generate much-criticized talking points for administration officials and lawmakers in the aftermath of the attacks. Ambassador Susan Rice received significant scrutiny for asserting that the violence was inspired by a protest over an anti-Muslim video. The administration later said the attack was the result of a terrorist plot.
The whole reason Democrats allowed a vote on this in the first place was to try and save Mary Landrieu's seat by proving that she could "get things done" in the Senate. This was a stupid idea in the first place, because she likely has no chance in the runoff election regardless, so it was basically giving away a major issue for nothing, and it looks like a worse idea now because, apparently, she can't actually get things done in the Senate.
BEIRUT — The Obama administration’s Syria strategy suffered a major setback Sunday after fighters linked to al-Qaeda routed U.S.-backed rebels from their main northern strongholds, capturing significant quantities of weaponry, triggering widespread defections and ending hopes that Washington will readily find Syrian partners in its war against the Islamic State.
Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through the towns and villages the moderates controlled in the northern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be a concerted push to vanquish the moderate Free Syrian Army, according to rebel commanders, activists and analysts.
Other moderate fighters were on the run, headed for the Turkish border as the extremists closed in, heralding a significant defeat for the rebel forces Washington had been counting on as a bulwark against the Islamic State.
These groups were supposed to be the great hope of America's strategy in Syria. That they were defeated so roundly and so soon after the US began implementing its new anti-ISIS strategy is proof positive of a wider truth: America's strategy for Syria has already fallen apart. Despite a spate of ISIS setbacks in recent months, America's effort to defeat ISIS in Syria appears to be making negative progress. Part of what's driving this is that every other available option is terrible, forcing the US to stick with a losing strategy that it knows well is losing.