The terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four dead, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, must be thoroughly investigated so it does not happen again.
The murder of a U.S. ambassador is very serious. It requires reconsidering the level of security surrounding this diplomat, which was obviously inadequate given what happened. This is particularly true in Libya, a country without a solid government and with numerous armed militias, among them groups linked to al-Qaida. We must find out why requests for increased security were denied.
There are also questions about how information was handled, and how an attack that at first was described as a protest against a video-similar to the events in Cairo-ended up being a planned terrorist attack coinciding with September 11.
Many things need to be found out and recognized in order to correct mistakes. Unfortunately, this situation happened in the middle of a presidential election, when every piece of news becomes an election issue.
For example, it is worth asking ourselves if at any time someone in the federal government wanted to diminish the importance of what was a terrorist act to maintain the narrative of security under the Obama administration.
What we know is that presidential candidate Mitt Romney rushed to criticize the same day of the events, when little was known. Also, the mother of one of the Americans killed in the attack asked Romney not to use her son’s name in his campaign speeches.
It is also unfortunate that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is more interested in pointing out guilty parties than in knowing the facts in order to prevent a repeat of this situation. Its chairman, Darrell Issa, is looking in this case for the top level guilty person he never found in Fast and Furious.
Let’s not lose sight that what matters is knowing what happened in Benghazi, how we got to that situation and what should be done in the future.