Heritage Foundation national security expert James Carafano testified today before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the September 11 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.

He said investigators need to focus on four key questions:

  1. What counterterrorism and early warning measures were in place to proactively address security threats?
  2. What risk assessments were performed and what risk mitigation measures were adopted prior to the attack?
  3. What contingency planning was undertaken and exercised to respond to armed assaults against U.S. facilities in Benghazi?
  4. How is the interagency response to the incident organized and managed?

Carafano, a 25-year veteran of the Army and one of the nation’s leading experts on defense and homeland security issues, acknowledges it’s  impossible to protect every building and potential terrorist target, so the more effective strategy would be to:

Tackle threats as they develop and emerge, before terrorists have the opportunity to strike a target—a strategy that has protected the U.S. from 53 publicly known terrorist plots since 9/11.

For this reason, finding out what was being done to identify and disrupt the terrorist operations in Libya is of utmost importance.

To read Carafano’s full testimony, click here.

 Do you think these hearings will answer the questions that need to be asked to prevent future terrorist attacks?

Comments (58)

Laurence DeBerry - November 16, 2012

Who made the decision to not send someone in to help those under attack? Why, did the administration give us a different view than the truth? Who made that decision and why? Ultimately was there one person that could be named for our failure to protect our people? If not one person, name the cause of the breakdown and what the solution is to keep this from happening again?

duane hardesty - November 16, 2012

NO! The democrats will never allow the truth to see the light of day because they are too weded to the president. I will be shock if we see a Sam Rayborn or anyone remotely resembling him on the democrat side…especially in the senate where Reid is a Dictator. If this were a republican president, you would already have heard the word IMPEACHMENT shouted from every mountain top in America from these left-wing liberals and their sycophants in the news media. The only one covering this story is FoxNews. Jennifer Griffin should receive the Pulitzer Prize for her outstanding work uncovering this cover-up. This makes Watergate look like a girl/boy scout picnic. Sad day for America!

Roger Evans Sr - November 16, 2012

Obama is at fault for he is trying to down grade America, no doubt about it, in my opinion. He should be impeached for steeping on our Constitution. He violates it most of the time for it gets in his way so he goes around Congress and does a president Order. just pay attention folks, and you will learn what he wants, If you paid attention to what Obama said when he thought the mic was off, he told the Russian that he would deal with them on Missiles they do not want and he said then they can not do anything to me, meaning if he gets reelected, you should know he will find a reason to stay in office even after 2016, he or him partner will stay on the same playing field and ruin this great country be awake America.

Frank Beal - November 16, 2012

The hearings will accomplish nothing. No one will be held responsible in this administration and those responsible will likely be promoted based on the Peter principle.

Duane Karjala - November 16, 2012

These hearings will not answer questions. The people of the U.S. are living in a tyranny. Government operatives, from the president on down, can do whatever they want and NOT be held accountable. The sooner the people of america figure this out, the better.

John Chiusano - November 16, 2012

We are just wasting time. The White House will LIE and stone wall this until Mr. & Mrs. Public get tired of hearing about it and it will go away like Fast & Furious. Obama won and our beautiful country has lost maybe forever 🙁 I’m 71 years old. The USA I have known and loved is being taken apart like a turkey on thanksgiving. This breaks my heart, but the liberals have won for now and my grand children and Great grand children will never know what real freedom was like. God help the USA.

Ms Mike Acton - November 16, 2012

NO the investigation going forward right now will NOT tell the American People the Truth. This was a cover up to protect Obama just prior to an election. If the truth was out in the beginning, it might of changed the election results immediately. The sad thing is, most of the Americans between the age of 18 – 40 have been brainwashed via our nations educational program – changed by the progressives. Very sad state – they will pay seriously for it, however it will be to late for some.

Bud - November 16, 2012

Unfortunately, NO!!!

David M Gitchel - November 16, 2012

Yes, but it is all academic. The Obama Administration has plans that have nothing to do with the truth or honest policy. They let this happen delberately and will do whatever they want in the future. After Nov. 6, all such discussions in Congress or elsewhere are a catharsis.

jon lacey - November 16, 2012

Sept. 11th, 2012, president Obama, and Valerie Jarrett, decided to keep him out of the loop, So Valerie sent Susan Rice out, knowing/or not knowing, she was part of the scam she was the diversion, as was Holder, and therefore the FBI, was dragged into the scam.
Everything would have worked, but 3 brave men refused to let an American die without a fight, they went against orders, that’s when the problem for the President started. Their cover up began that day watching our people die!

Winston - November 16, 2012

No, not as long as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stay in their respective roles. Their strings are already being pulled by the CFR and global socialists which seeks the demise of America as a sovereign nation.

Rhonda Tubbs - November 16, 2012

No – the whole truth has not been told, and I really doubt Republicans, FBI, CIA, or anyone else in Washington is going to press the matter hard enough till it does. Obama will go unscathed just like he did in ‘ Fast and Furious’.

This is a sad, very sad state for this Country to be in, and who has the courage and strength to make what’s wrong, right ?

How many people are going to be slaughtered, literally, before congress is going to wake up ? !!!

jon lacey - November 16, 2012

My hope is our Navy, and Marines, will take it on their own, and be ready to do the same thing those 3 American’s opp’s men did. Protect our people, and country at all costs, using good sound beliefs, and training!

John Wells - November 16, 2012

when this is over we will hear rhetoric that says nothing. In the end nothing will change and there will be no accountiblity.

Graden Harger - November 16, 2012

Waste of time trying to pin down administration on motivation. Focus on why no defensive action.

PAUL R ATHERTON - November 16, 2012

My heartfelt thoughts you don’t want to hear about this administration. Now it’s all about damage control and protecting each other’s behinds. Their mindset is ‘the means justify the ends’ including lieing, cover-up, etc to promote and accomplish their marxist/socialist agenda. “Never let a disaster go to waste” I believe was the phrase used !!

Donald DaCosta - November 16, 2012

No, I don’t.

The Democrats are already on their well established and very effective game of obfuscation, denial, misdirection, feigned offense, etc. Have been since 9/11/12.

Now they are ramping up their defense by circling the wagons. David Petraeus, General Allen, Paula Broadwell are all intentional distractions as is Susan Rice, a political pinata to be sacrificed if necessary and portrayed as an innocent victim of Republican racism, bigotry and misogyny.

If nothing else, the 2012 RNC presidential campaign proved they are not capable adversaries of the democratic machine. Benghazi Gate, like every other egregious offense of the Obama administration, will be successfully suppressed.

Obama is firmly entrenched, has no intention of moderating his behavior or agenda and will continue to reveal that he is as radical as his mentors.

Diane Stevens - November 16, 2012

I believe that this administration will stall, dance around, and outright lie before telling the truth. They left Americans to die. No forgiveness for that.

Rex Talmage - November 16, 2012

NO– Our “president” is so interested in keeping his own shirttails clean, he will prohibit anyone from testifying if they know anything adverse to his opinions or policies.

cheryl - November 16, 2012

I find it impossible for the President and his staff not to know what the situation was in Benghazi.
This makes me more assured that he has not been truthful regarding national security events nor will he be truthful in the future.
I don’t believe him or his staff.

Donald G McKeighen - November 16, 2012

You ask if I think that the ‘hearings’ will do anything? I say NO! I think the chancellor has just reinforced his standing and will most likely continue on the way he has for the last four years in total disregard for anyone who has an opposing view, my biggest fear is that at some point in the VERY near future we will begin to see ‘centers’ for thought ‘readustment’, this man frightens me now and the so called ‘leaders’ in the GOP might as well quit the charade and go all in with him, they have a term in prisons for the manner in which the GOP ‘leadership’ is capitulating to the ‘ones’ will, I’ll let you figure that one out. When will the GOP grow a spine and a set?

Ben - November 16, 2012

I don’t think the hearings will answer the questions that need to be asked, if if the right questions are asked. The real problem is that the main-stream media is not pushing for the answers other than to parrot the questions that are being asked by Republicans. That makes it far to easy for the administration and the press to paint this shameful tragedy and cover up as just more partisan finger pointing and bickering. Justice is not being served. Those who should be held accountable are not being held accountable and those who support Obama and his corrupt organization will continue to do so because they are non the wiser. They have been lying to the American people and to Congress. Lying to Congress used to be a crime but no longer appears to be.

Bill McKee - November 16, 2012

Absolutely NOT. As long as continue to elect narcissistic CYA people – who willing lie to the American people – we can’t solve a problem they won’t acknowledge.

Walter - November 16, 2012

Additionally I would ask what did the president know, when did he know it and what did he do about it?

Mark Smith - November 16, 2012

Not until we elect a President with enough authority to deal with foreign affairs will we see any difference in terrorist attacks.Political correctness and appeasment does not and will not work. What would Reagan do?

MK McMillion - November 16, 2012

Do you think these hearings will answer the questions that need to be asked to prevent future terrorist attacks?

They will succeed in their coverup. The only solution is impeachment. The House can; the Senate will not. Do it anyway.

Carl Hendren - November 16, 2012

NO!? Not as long as the DEMOCrates are in control, and as of Nov. 6 they control every dept. in the Goverment, Rember Bill Clenton??????????

Mike - November 16, 2012

The political culture in WDC more than likely will prevent any meaningful hearing outcome. There is a dirth of intellectual integrity in WDC. And let’s be clear that the epicenter of this corruption is on the left side of the aisle.

Roger Baxter - November 16, 2012

Given the current state of affairs, no. This president, and this administration has no interest in protecting American interests, or even America overseas. No matter what we think, America is the world enemy in the mind of the administration.

steamboat - November 16, 2012

The chances of us ever being told the truth by a member of the present federal administration are zero. Worse is it that we will be fed propoganda to cloud their lying and induce ever greater numbers of the ignorant and the takers to keep them in power. If the originalists remaining do not band and act together in the very near term, it’s over. Of course, many have said this. It is unfortunate that so few listen…”too busy”, I guess.

robert fulton - November 16, 2012

The chances of us ever being told the truth by a member of the present federal administration are zero. Worse is it that we will be fed propoganda to cloud their lying and induce ever greater numbers of the ignorant and the takers to keep them in power. If the originalists remaining do not band and act together in the very near term, it’s over. Of course, many have said this. It is unfortunate that so few listen…”too busy”, I guess

Zoli Althea Engel - November 16, 2012

These hearings, like most other “hearings” will reveal only what those speaking will allow to be heard. Who knows what the truth is at this point. We appear to be at a critical time in validating criteria from and for the Intelligence community, in that they are the scape goats of the day. The hearings are indeed a necessary good thing. Let us aspire to a truthful recounting of painful events with the goal of achieving a better plan for security.

Terry Kay - November 16, 2012

Has anyone forecast the possible results of all this “investigation?
Maybe the solution will be worse than the current issue.

Paula Piltz - November 16, 2012

Not under this CIC!! Too many liers to keep anything straight in this administration!!

Barb Hail - November 16, 2012

Who told Susan Rice what to say on five Sunday morning TV shows? Who told that person what to say? Where does the buck stop?

Robert Turner - November 17, 2012

Do I think Carafano’s questions will be answered?

EMPHATICALLY NO!! Not while Obama is on this watch! He will divert any and all attempts to uncover his involvement to deny protection to US citizens any where in the world.

joseph waid - November 17, 2012


Jay - November 17, 2012

No, their answers will be evasive and convoluted. It will be purely an exercise in futility. The administration will hold to their statist arrogance. The Benghazi incident appears in all respects to be a deliberate failure of security by design. It needs to be noted, that in my opinion, it is plausible that Libya’s cache of weapons and missiles may have been the impetus in another “Fast and Furious” incident in support of Syrian rebels.

Glenn Sheridan - November 17, 2012

Absolutely NOT!

Neal Clacher - November 17, 2012

The hearings will not answer the important questions unless and until they have Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice testify along with other key people. Who edited the CIA reports. Why was General Carter Ham relieved from AFRICOM The story line of the two SEALS using lasers to scare the bad guys does not ring true. Lasers are used to spot targets when assets are overhead, were they.

Sue Thomas - November 17, 2012

I am concerned that the Democrats, who are masters at diverting attention away from the real issue with unrighteous indignation over minor points, will create so much confusion that no specifics will come from the hearings. I believe that a special prosecutor is needed to unravel the changing stories of the Administration surrounding the awful murders of the Ambassador and the three other brave men..

Col A R McCahan, USA-Ret - November 17, 2012

If the House Committee members are intelligent, and they have certainly have demonstrated they are more in touch with their constituents than the Senate, apparently have deeper insight, and are willing to at least discuss the concerns among themselves; we may gain some measure of future security for our embassies. But I’m afraid this will be one more illustration of a failed administration playing CYA and continuing their lying to the public, following the lead of the provaricator-in-chief…

Billy - November 17, 2012

Do they really want to get to the source of the problem?
It appears to be evident by the information we are given there was reason to believe that an attack on our ambassador and his protectors was being planned. Why our leaders in Washington did not heed these warnings and request for help prior to the attack is almost inconceivable to me unless they did not want to upset AlQueda and or the Muslim Brotherhood in the area and around the world.

Sam Evans - November 17, 2012

What I’ve heard thus far has centered mainly on blame and fault finding. That may be a primary objective but no one seems to take notice or careabout the Ambassador was doing at the Consulant and purpose of his meeting with the Turkish Ambassador – if that was indeed the case. Reports have been made it involved an arrangement whereby arms were to be shipped out of Bengazi to Syrian rebels via Turkey and Russians were complicit in the arrangement; with all organized and coordinated by the CIA. I have seen but a single TV news report that show the route of delivery and read one Canadian publication which details the subject. If and when our Secretary of State returns she needs to queried about and explain those findings.

Jess Dixon - November 17, 2012

I have lost all confidence in anyone in Government to be able to offer “We the People” the full disclosure and answers the country is eager to hear, regarding what “really” happened in Behghazi. Who issued orders to “STAND DOWN?” When was the President told of the attack, and what did he say then? Who can trust a government who hides the truth from it’s people?

Mary Elizabeth Kuck - November 17, 2012

I do not believe that the hearings will resolve anything of significance. The republicans are weak; they are affraid of the press; they will not do the hard pressuring that is needed. In the meanwhile the Deoocrates will protect their administration and will only stonewall. this failure was due to politics. Obama would not, during the campaign, allow for any indication that the terrorist were still a treat. Obama certainly will not take responsibility, nor will he allow anyone from his administration to do so.

William - November 17, 2012

We’ll just get more lies from the Liar-in-Chief.

Dave - November 17, 2012

These questions are total hogwash. The question that should have been asked is ‘Why did the White House order rescue troops to stand down and allow our people to be killed’. The information is clear that we had active surveillance on seen and ample time to save them but ‘we’ refused to do so!

Bob - November 17, 2012

My comments would be more detail-centric than Mr Carafano’s excellent remarks: Exactly what and when were specific requests made for help in defending the mission in Benghazi? Who specifically made such requests and who responded to them. There needs to be more emphasis on putting faces on these actions/inactions along with detailed timelines. Hopefully one or more of these committees will address questions along these lines. Our murdered Americans and their families deserve no less.

Bernard Carlson - November 17, 2012

Obama’s “transparency” is incredulous. Who besides President Obama can benefit from the invented “uprising caused by a video” to bolster his omniponent control over Islamist extremists? Why had there been no support/aid for months, and no response during the attack, but instead why the order to “stand dowm” Check the White House visitor log. What did Petraeus do for 7 hours way back on May 5, 2012 (I think it was) at the White House. Input to me says that the “lack of security” and “stand down” was a prearranged plan to negotiate the swap of a “live” ambassador for the “blind Shiek” with the Islamists. Why and what did Obama and Petraeus do at the early meeting?
Honesty, integrigy, and respect for the Constitution and America in my opinion is void in Obama

Marti - November 17, 2012

I hope they do, if that is really needed. We, first of all, need to find out if there was a break-down in the chain of relaying the info, or if someone “edited” the CIA report for political or some other reason, as it seems that Gen Petraeus has suggested. It may not be the system that failed and needs an overhaul, but the personnel involved.

Louis G> Bosco - November 18, 2012

Hearings so far have partially answered the questions but more answers are needed. The problem is that the press is not adequately covering this. The New York Times writes mostly about the sexual part of it.and tries to ignore Benghazi.I am afraid that Sen. McCain et al will left crying in the wilderness.

Stacy Varley - November 18, 2012

I just have one really burning question that I’ve not heard anyone pose: WHY WERE NO FORCES SENT TO HELP THOSE BEING ATTACKED? And related to that, Why were our guys told to stand down? Does anybody care that our men were left to die, that our Chief Executive offered NO help, and forbid others to help?

Holly Chapo - November 18, 2012

As long as the House Foreign Affairs committee asks the proper questions and pursues the investigation aggressively, we will probably get some good answers. However, there are too many persons in this administration who are willing to lie and coverup the truth so that good answers may not be as forthcoming as is needed. It will be up to the committee to push back against stonewalling.

dorothy Berran - November 18, 2012

I do not think the questions will be answered, unfortunately they have been lying all along, and they are not going to change now. Four lives were lost; and it’s very sad that all the administration was thinking about was winning an election and not the problems at hand. Why doesn’t Sec. of State Hilary Clinton testify, because she wants to run for President and does not want a scandal, to her name. If they could they would have thrown Gen. Petrasis under the bus even more than they have now. I believe he is telling the truth and the White House said we must win at ANY COST.

J Allen - November 18, 2012

The real question is what is being covered up? Why were reinforcements not called in? Why was the fact that this was a terrorist attack considered classified information? Why did the White House say for 2 wks that the cause was a video? Why was the ambassador meeting with the Turkish official? With the death of 4 Americans, why did the president go on his merry way campaigning as if nothing happened? Why is the administration allowing the media to concentrate on a meaningless affair by CIA head Petraeus?

Patricia Bell - November 18, 2012

I think the Benghazi hearings are meant to cover up our president’s gross negligence and total commitment to destroying our country.

Donald Bradford - November 19, 2012

No, my guess is the Obamanites will continue to delay answering any questions about the matter until the Republicans stop asking, Obama is out of office, or so much time passes people don’t remember the incident anymore.

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