Chaffetz: Administration Pretended June 6 Terror Attack on Benghazi Consulate 'Never Happened’

By Michael W. Chapman and Jon Street | October 10, 2012 | 6:45pm EDT

In this Sept. 13, 2012 file photo, a Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)

( – Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said at a Wednesday hearing that the Obama administration acted as if a June 6 terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had never happened.

The attack--which happened more than three months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador--was a clear warning of the terror threat in the country and the need for heightened security at U.S. diplomatic facilities there.

Showing photographs of the June 6 bombing attack, Chaffetz said, “We didn’t talk about it. We pretended it didn’t happen.”

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Chaffetz made his remarks during a hearing today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi.

In an Oct. 2 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chaffetz listed acts of violence and terrorism against Western interests in Libya that occurred before the Sept. 11 attack. In the hearing today, Chaffetz  specifically noted the incident that occurred on June 6, 2012, in Benghazi when, as the letter reads, “Under cover of darkness, assailants placed an IED on the north gate of Consulate Benghazi, blowing a hole in the security perimeter that was described by one individual as ‘big enough for forty men to go through.’”

In his remarks, Chaffetz said, “These pictures are of an attack that happened in Benghazi. The first was a so-called fish bomb. This is the compound in Benghazi before the attack. ... The second bombing was an improvised explosive device [IED] that was placed on the north gate, breaching the wall [on June 6]. It was a test by terrorists and it was successful, and we didn’t respond fully and adequately.”

“We didn’t acknowledge it,” said Chaffetz.  “We didn’t talk about it. We pretended it didn’t happen. It was a terrorist attack on a U.S. asset in Libya and it was never exposed. We pretended it didn’t happen.”

“Well, guess what?” he said.  “The third time the terrorists came to attack us they were even more successful, killing four Americans. I believe personally, with more assets, more resource -- just meeting the minimum standards -- we could have and should have saved the life of Ambassador Stevens and the other people that were there.”

“Now this was a massive attack, no doubt about it,” said Chaffetz.  “We’re getting new details, and I believe, Mr. Chairman, the reason we have those details is because of this hearing. Mysteriously, the State Department decided to give a press briefing last night. We weren’t invited, certain news outlets weren’t invited. Any reasonable person looking at the security situation in Libya had to come to the conclusion that it was tumultuous at best.”

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