On Sept. 11, 2012, four brave American diplomats were killed and 10 other Americans were injured in Benghazi, Libya, by a mob of between 125 and 150 heavily armed Islamists.
This jarring event was a grim reminder of the continued threat to America that exists and should have been a wake-up call to the Obama administration about the deadly nature of radical Islam. But here we are now, nine months later, and there still are no answers or explanations from the Obama administration about what exactly happened, why it happened and what those in charge knew while it was happening.
It's time for answers, and it's time for our commander in chief to stop stonewalling. Americans need and deserve to know the truth.
The attacks occurred, of course, on the anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack ever on American soil and in a region full of anti-Americanism and radical Islam. They were carried out by men wearing tunics and flak jackets, driving trucks with the logo of a known Islamist militant group and screaming, "Allahu akbar."
With just those basic facts, it's not hard to see what happened here. Our American diplomats were the victims of a coordinated terrorist attack carried out by the same type of people who crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 11 years earlier. These were the same people who have been determined to inflict as much harm on us as they possibly can. They're the same people who will continue to target and murder innocents in the name of jihad.
So why has it been so hard for the Obama administration to say this? What did it know about these attacks and when? And in the face of mounting evidence on the nature of the Benghazi tragedy, why isn't it saying anything? Is it the case that the diplomats were concerned about their safety and requested additional security that never arrived? And why was Gregory Hicks, a veteran State Department official who raised questions about the administration's version of what happened, demoted? Those are the questions we want answered. Those are the questions Americans deserved to have answered.
After the attacks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed the incident on an inflammatory low-budget and obscure Internet movie, which supposedly was produced in the U.S. and is offensive to Muslims. In talking points circulated in the administration to be used on television news programs, the attacks were attributed to "spontaneous demonstrations" about what she called the "awful Internet video." Clinton has said the buck stops with her on the Benghazi attacks. If that's true, that responsibility requires answering the important questions about who knew what and when.
Former Senator Rick Santorum is the author of Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.
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