A beginners guide to Benghazi

Alex Forster, Staff Writer 

 Graphic by Sammy Dewey. 

Graphic by Sammy Dewey. 

On Sept. 11 2012, in the city of Benghazi, Libya, there was an attack on the U.S. embassy. The attack resulted in the death of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. The attack has been a topic of controversy for more than three years amongst many politicians and public figures.

During the attack, and for a few days after, details of what exactly happened at the embassy were somewhat unclear. There were many different reports about who had done what, who had died and what the motives behind the attack were.

Two days after the attack, the government would not say that it was a premeditated act of terror. Instead, they alluded that it was a spontaneous attack, in response to an anti-Muslim movie that had recently been released.

Members of the Senate were briefed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and when they spoke to the public, they made it clear that the attack was a pre-planned terrorist attack. Although an Islamist militia group named Ansar al-Sharia claimed credit for the attack almost immediately after it happened, White House officials did not credit them with the attack. It is now widely accepted that Ansar al-Sharia was in fact responsible for the attack.

One of the biggest issues still surrounding the Benghazi attack is the requests for additional troops and increased security sent by ambassador Stevens and others at the embassy. There were many emails released to the public that had been sent to the State Department from officials in Benghazi, voicing their concern for personal safety. None of the requests were granted, and no additional security was provided. Many people blame former Secretary of State,  Hillary Clinton, for neglecting the cries for help.

There have been numerous investigations into the Benghazi attack, millions of dollars have been spent, yet no significant progress has been made to make light of the attack or to put the issue to rest once and for all.

Unfortunately, the entire situation is used constantly to make political attacks against members of opposite parties, and the fact that four Americans lost their lives is a sometimes overlooked in the mess. Instead of treating it as a tragedy, it is used as political ammo.