[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 9 (Wednesday, January 15, 2014)]
[Pages H231-H232]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Lankford) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. Speaker, over the past months since September 11, 
2012, we have learned a great deal about what happened in Benghazi that 
fateful night when Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone 
Woods were murdered in our facility. Their work to make the world safer 
and to build peaceful relationships was met with aggression and 
  While we have some answers, I grow weary of asking questions over and 
over again in hearings, letters, and on this floor to get some very 
basic answers for the families and the American people. Let me run some 
of those questions past us again.
  It was known within the State Department at the highest levels that 
neither facility in Libya, the one in Tripoli or the one in Benghazi, 
met the minimum physical security standards set after our Embassy was 
attacked in Kenya in 1998. Who made the decision to put so many 
American diplomats in facilities that did not meet that standard? That 
same question was asked yesterday by a Senate committee intelligence 
report asking the same question. Who made the decision to put people in 
facilities we knew did not meet the minimum security standards?
  The Embassy had access to additional military personnel for security 
and training. They had been there for a long time. The regional 
security officer and the Ambassador requested to keep the additional 
security on the ground. That request was denied in August 2012, and in 
September 2012 there was an attack on our facility, and we did not have 
the manpower to repel them. What was the reason for the decision to 
remove the existing security force from Libya and leave only a small 
security team there?
  In fact, the security force was so small that when the Ambassador 
traveled in Tripoli, it took the entire security team just to travel 
with him. So for long stretches during the day, the other American 
diplomats were completely exposed; so exposed, the diplomats asked the 
security forces to train them how to use a gun so they could defend 
themselves in the moments when they were left with no defense.
  In a country that has just gone through a brutal, long civil war and 
there was no strong central government or national police force, why 
were diplomats left to defend themselves in Tripoli?
  Multiple intelligence reports from the CIA, the Ambassador, and the 
regional security officer all noted increasing violence in Benghazi and 
terrorist training camps nearby. There were more than 20 security 
incidents in that area in the previous month. Every other international 
facility in Benghazi closed in the previous year because of security 
risks. Their facility or personnel was attacked, and they made the 
determination, one of two things, either increase security or pull out. 
They chose to pull out. We had the same option; but, instead, we chose 
to stay and decrease our security. Who made that decision, and what 
information did they use to make that decision?
  We have a joint operation called the Foreign Emergency Support Team 
to assist during and after State Department crises. They never 
mobilized that night because no one ever sent them. Apparently, they 
were too far away. They were stationed in the United States. Can 
someone tell me why we have a Foreign Emergency Support Team if they 
are not for events like this? What level of attack is required to 
mobilize that team? If they are too far away to make a difference, why 
are they stationed in America? We are not worried about our embassies 
in America being attacked. We spend millions of dollars training and 
equipping this team to apparently stand down during an emergency. Why?
  On September 11, our American Embassy in Egypt was stormed about 6 
local time. The mob climbed the walls and put up the al Qaeda flag. I 
would assume it is an event that would warrant some sort of status 
change in our military preparedness, but no one from the State 
Department requested a status change or increased preparedness.

[[Page H232]]

So when the country next-door was attacked 4 hours later, the military 
still was not prepared.
  There are millions of questions about what happened that night. Were 
we overwhelmed by a highly organized military force? Was it a street 
protest that went violent like the administration first claimed? The 
administration claims the attack was so overwhelming that additional 
American security forces would not have made a difference.
  I know how we can resolve this issue: release the video of that 
attack that night. For some reason, the administration cannot identify 
the killers that night because none of them have been brought to 
justice a year and a half later. I have an idea: if the administration 
cannot identify them, show the world the video of the attack and let 
the world help identify who that is.
  If there is a bank robbery, the next day the video footage is on 
television so that everyone can figure out who that person is and they 
can be brought to justice. That is standard practice for the FBI here. 
Why is the video of the attack in Benghazi being withheld? If you 
cannot figure out who attacked the compound, ask CNN or FOX News or The 
New York Times. They have all interviewed the people who attacked the 
compound, but the administration can't seem to find them. Many 
Americans have not even heard there is high quality, multiple angle 
video footage of that night, both on the ground and from the air in 
  There is only one reason why the administration will not release the 
video: they do not want the American people to see what really happened 
that night and to see that two additional security personnel would have 
made a huge difference. We need to release the video, allow the 
American people to see what really happened. Let's get these questions