Benghazi: US Consulate Attack

Number 25627
Subject Military
Source CNN
State U.S.
Year 2012
Publication Date 09/14/2012; 09/18/2012; 09/22/2012; 09/24/2012; 09/28/2012
Summary On September 11, when a militant group overran the US consulate in Benghazi resulting in the death of the ambassador, the initial information was contradictory. Much of it got mixed up with other reports out of the Middle East about anti-American demonstrations over an inflammatory film on the Internet that was said to insult Islam. Damon arrived quickly in Benghazi to sort out the conflicting information and went to the burnt consulate ruins, which, though looted, held valuable clues to the truth. Her reporting revealed that there was not a demonstration and that it appeared to have been a planned attack that unfolded simultaneously from three sides. She discovered that U.S. diplomats had been warned by Libyan officials three days before the attack that the security situation in the city was out of their control. Though her reporting received harsh public criticism from the State Department at the time, the U.S. government’s own investigation later proved her reporting to be accurate in an episode that continues to reverberate politically. Damon also spoke to Libyans that tried to save the ambassador that night, shedding light on what happened to him during his final hours. While she was in Benghazi, demonstrations erupted against the militia believed to be responsible for the attack, and Damon further reported on the rise in extremism in the newly-liberated country. Her reporting provided additional valuable context about the milieu in which the consulate attack occurred.
Category Contest Entry
Pages
Keywords Middle East; Libya; U.S. ambassador; Benghazi; militant group
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