Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "Benghazi" ...

  • Benghazi: Rescue Interrupted

    Within days of the House Benghazi Committee releasing the results of its investigation, we sort through the partisanship and reveal new facts never before reported. These new facts, provided by multiple Obama administration insiders, undercut claims by Obama officials as well as both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt_WzSNasG0
  • Embassy Construction

    For this story, Nancy Cordes and the producers working with her took a much closer look at the State Department’s new “Design Excellence” initiative for embassy construction and found it had some serious problems. The new embassy in London, nicknamed ‘The Cube’ that is currently under construction is $100 million over the original cost estimate. CBS found its glass was problematic to say the least. We broke the news that the thick glass for the building is acquired in Germany, shipped to Connecticut and then shipped back to London for construction. Critics told us they are concerned that the State Department is sacrificing safety and cost to make new embassies “pretty”. Our story looked at other embassies as well including a new building in Papua New Guinea where the cost has ballooned from $50 million to $211 million. In light of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, an independent review of embassy construction by former State Department officials found that delays in “design excellence” embassies meant that State Department employees were in harm’s way for longer periods of time.
  • Return to Benghazi

    In Return to Benghazi, Arwa Damon takes viewers back to the scene of a deadly embassy attack by unknown assailants. Damon's landmark reporting in this program led the U.S. to name the first suspect believed to be involved in the attack. On the night of September 11, 2012, four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed. It was a violent, well-coordinated attack that shocked the world. No one took responsibility for the killings. Libyan and U.S. officials did not know who to blame. A political firestorm erupted in the U.S. amongst lawmakers demanding to know what U.S. officials knew about the leadup to the attack. CNN's Arwa Damon arrived in Benghazi just days after the attack to cover the story. She spoke to witnesses and visited the compound where the Ambassador lived. It was there where she found Ambassador Stevens' diary. The FBI and the Libyan government vowed to find those responsible and bring them to justice, but justice did not come swiftly. It would be weeks before FBI teams would inspect the crime scene. Months passed and still no suspects were identified. Several months after the attack, Arwa Damon goes back to Benghazi to get an update on the investigation. She finds a changed city where westerners have fled and citizens face unexplained violence. Militias increasingly rule the streets and security forces struggle to keep control. Even more omonous, are the alarming signs of support for Al Qaeda that have emerged in less than a year. Damon tracks down the headquarters of Ansar Al Sharia, a group many Libyans and U.S. officials suspected might be behind the attack, but the group isn't talking. She also speaks to a Libyan rebel intelligence chief who blames a factions of Al Quada for the attack. The government is reluctant to move against either of them. In a rare interview, Arwa Damon sits down with a man U.S. officials have often suggested they would be interested in speaking to about the night of the attack: Ahmed Abu Khattala. He admits to Damon that he was at the compound that night while the attack was taking place. He also tells her no one from the FBI had tried to contact him, but that he would be willing to meet with them if it was a conversation and not an interrogation. After the program aired, an outraged U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz told reporters, "News out today that CNN was able to go in and talk to one of the suspected terrorists, how come the military hasn't been able to get after them and capture or kill the people? How come the FBI isn't doing this and yet CNN is?" U.S. federal authorities then filed charges against against Khattala, suspecting him for being involved in the attack. Arwa Damon's reporting in Return to Benghazi not only showcased the powerful investigative journalism that CNN is known for, but it also sparked movement in the stalled investigation of the September 11, 2012 embassy attack.
  • Benghazi

    The Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead, shocked Americans, and the murky sequence of events that night almost instantly became politicized, spun and distorted in the heat of a bitter presidential campaign. Amidst the shock and debate, a team of Wall Street Journal reporters, working on the ground in Libya and in Washington, laid out in a series of exclusive, objective and careful reports on what actually occurred that day, and on the mistakes and missteps that contributed to the tragedy. The Journal’s reporting disclosed important facts of the attack—facts subsequently confirmed in the State Department’s official report—and gave readers information needed to cut through the fog and distortions of political debate. The stories came from hard reporting with deep sources and careful sifting of sometimes-conflicting accounts. It was public accountability journalism at its best.
  • Libya: Dying for Security

    CBS News was first to interview the key witness in the denied security requests leading up to the attack on the US Mission at Benghazi: the Commander of a Special Forces Unit Lt. Col. Andrew Wood. In a series of exclusive reports, Col. Wood told his compelling story: how those on the ground, including Amb. Christopher Stevens, documented a drastically deteriorating security situation in Libya and made repeated requests for continued or enhanced security only to have them all denied.
  • Benghazi: US Consulate Attack

    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.