The chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation said she was convinced by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey in a closed-door briefing yesterday that the posture of the U.S. forces at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attack was just inadequate.
“I am grateful to General Dempsey for spending the morning with us at this difficult time to discuss a very important issue,” Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) said this morning about the meeting. “General Dempsey confirmed my belief that there was no amount of heroic action on the part of our men and women in uniform that could overcome our lack of preparedness during the horrible Benghazi attack.”
“We simply were not postured to respond in time,” Roby added. “I continue to be concerned that more than a year after the attack, our posture has not improved enough to sufficiently mitigate the risks to Americans serving overseas and in harm’s way.”
The chairwoman said “of particular interest was General Dempsey’s impression of the Administration’s preparations in the days before September 11, 2012.”
“We were eager to understand what consultations took place between General Dempsey and the National Security Staff prior to the White House’s announcement on September 10th that John Brennan had concluded a review of U.S. Security posture to ‘prevent 9/11 related attacks as well as the steps taken to protect U.S. persons and facilities abroad, as well as force protection,’” Roby said.
“General Dempsey confirmed that while he was not personally involved in that review, elements of the Joint Staff were,” she continued. “His description of the process leads me to conclude that while it may have allowed the White House to issue a comforting press release, it was far from the rigorous examination and preparation the security of the American people deserved.”