On January 15, 2014 Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for a few minutes regarding the attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Stevens and three others on September 11, 2012.
“Mr. Speaker, over the past months since September 11, 2012, we have learned a great deal about what happened in Benghazi that fateful night when Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods were murdered in our facility. Their work to make the world safer and to build peaceful relationships was met with aggression and brutality. While we have some answers, I grow weary of asking questions over and over again in hearings, letters, and on this floor to get some very basic answers for the families and the American people. Let me run some of those questions past us again.”
“It was known within the State Department at the highest levels that neither facility in Libya, the one in Tripoli or the one in Benghazi, met the minimum physical security standards set after our Embassy was attacked in Kenya in 1998. Who made the decision to put so many American diplomats in facilities that did not meet that standard? That same question was asked yesterday by a Senate committee intelligence report asking the same question. Who made the decision to put people in facilities we knew did not meet the minimum security standards?”, he said.
“The Embassy had access to additional military personnel for security and training. They had been there for a long time. The regional security officer and the Ambassador requested to keep the additional security on the ground. That request was denied in August 2012, and in September 2012 there was an attack on our facility, and we did not have the manpower to repel them. What was the reason for the decision to remove the existing security force from Libya and leave only a small security team there?”, said Rep. Lankford (source: Congressional Record ).