Lieberman Calls for Independent Investigation into Libyan Attack

By Melanie Arter | September 28, 2012 | 5:41 PM EDT

Senate Homeland Security Ranking Member Susan Collins (R.-Me.) and Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joe Lieberman (I.-Conn.)(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( Sen. Joseph Lieberman, chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said Sunday that despite the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has appointed a review board to investigate what happened at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, he still feels there should be an independent investigation by the inspector general.

“Incidentally, the inspector general responded to [ranking member] Senator [Susan] Collins and me just recently that because Secretary Clinton had appointed a review board to investigate what happened at the consulate that he was going to wait. Senator Collins and I feel that he shouldn’t wait,” Lieberman said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.”

 “We feel that what happened at Benghazi was tragic enough and has implications for security at American missions at consulates around the world that there ought to be two investigations, and one of them ought to be totally independent, which the Inspector General is, so I hope he’ll go forward with the investigation,” he added.

“The security at our consulate in Benghazi was obviously inadequate and hindsight is always clearer so we have to say that as a kind of qualifier, but it’s pretty clear now that there was a lot of intelligence coming out that the Benghazi area, eastern Libya was loaded with violent Islamic extremists groups. There had been terrorist attacks,” he said.

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, were killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11. Lieberman said there had been an IED attack outside the consulate in June.

“There had been an improvised explosive devise that blew outside our consulate in June and there had been attacks on British diplomats there, so looking back, you’ve got to say particularly coming up to September 11th that the security there was inadequate, and that’s why Senator Susan Collins, ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee in the Senate and I have requested that the inspector general at the Department of State do an independent investigation of this whole tragedy at the consulate,” Lieberman said.

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