On that issue, the report dives into the contentious initial talking points issued by the intelligence community, which helped fuel Republican allegations of an Obama administration cover-up of militant links to the violence.
“Intelligence analysts inaccurately referred to the presence of a protest at the U.S. mission facility before the attack based on open source information and limited intelligence, but without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements to corroborate that assertion,” the report said, adding that U.S. intelligence then took too long to correct the error.
The senators also take the administration to task for failing to bring the attackers to justice more than a year later. They say the U.S. has identified several individuals responsible but can’t capture them because of limited intelligence capabilities in the region and limited cooperation by local governments.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said she hoped the report would put to rest conspiracy theories about the attacks.
Republican Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss said the report showed that despite a deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, the U.S. government did not do enough to prevent the attacks or to protect the diplomatic facility. And Republican committee member Susan Collins of Maine called on the administration to punish those responsible.
“A broken system overseen by senior leadership contributed to the vulnerability of U.S. diplomats … in one of the most dangerous cities in the world,” she said in the report. “And yet the secretary of state has not held anyone responsible for the system’s failings.”