CIA Discloses Covert Team’s Rapid Response to Benghazi Embassy Attack
In response to criticism from conservatives and Fox News, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) disclosed for the first time how its agents assisted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, when it came under attack two months ago.
Republicans have tried to score political points by questioning the Obama administration’s reaction to the assault that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
In addition, Fox News reported last week that CIA leaders ordered security officers to “stand down” and not engage those attacking the diplomatic compound. The story also said the security team only responded after officers disobeyed their superiors and repelled the attackers.
The CIA countered these assertions on Thursday, telling the media that security operatives rushed to the compound within 25 minutes of the assault. The agency also organized the evacuation effort and took control of an unarmed U.S. military drone to map possible escape routes, according to the Washington Post.
An unidentified CIA official told the Post that the agency wanted the public to know that there was no delay in sending help once it learned of the attack, and that managers did not get in the way of responding.
To Learn More:
CIA Rushed to Save Diplomats as Libya Attack Was Underway (by Greg Miller, Washington Post)
U.S. Says CIA Responded within 25 Minutes to Benghazi Attack (by Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times)
CIA Officials in Libya Made Key Decisions During Benghazi Attacks (by Mark Hosenball, Reuters)
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