National Security

CIA Blocked Security Team Departure During Benghazi Attack

Burnt consulate in Benghazi, Libya
Burnt consulate in Benghazi, Libya / AP

The CIA "repeatedly blocked" the departure of a security team that was ready "within minutes" to respond to the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans, according to Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.)

Wolf revealed on the House floor on Monday that "trusted sources have confirmed" to his office "that the security team was ready to respond within minutes after receiving the initial call for help, but the CIA repeatedly blocked their departure for more than 30 minutes."

Although this team "ultimately disobeyed orders," it was "too late to save" Ambassador Chris Stevens and U.S. official Sean Smith, both of whom were murdered during a terror attack on the U.S. compound. 

"Why was the CIA’s security team repeatedly ordered to ‘stand down’ for more than 30 minutes after the attack began?" asked Wolf, who has taken to the House floor each day over the past week to pose what he says are unanswered questions about the Benghazi attack.

"Where did the order to stop the team from responding originate—was it directed by the CIA or someone else in Washington?" Wolf asked.

"If the team had been allowed to respond immediately, could the lives of Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith have been saved?" he asked.

"And has anyone been held accountable for obstructing the security team?" he asked.