Chicago Tribune | Flashing red in Benghazi

For months, questions have piled up about how and why U.S. officials failed to protect a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in a U.S. consulate in Benghazi last Sept. 11. We know the system was flashing red. We know there were warnings from security officers on the ground in that dangerous Libyan city and pleas for more security.

Now a blunt Senate committee report provides vital answers about why Washington failed to respond effectively.

The search for these answers is about much more than doling out bureaucratic blame or seeking political advantage. Knowing what went wrong is crucial if Washington is to protect U.S. diplomats around the globe, many of whom serve in hostile locales. The mistakes in Benghazi must never be repeated.

The report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs found that the State Department had "a clear and vivid picture of a rapidly deteriorating threat environment" in Benghazi, which should have jolted Washington to action.

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