General: We Knew Benghazi Was A ‘Hostile Action,’ State Department Could Have Helped Save Americans

A retired U.S. general serving at U.S. Africa Command headquarters during the Benghazi terrorist attack said that “there was a lot of waiting for State Department” to make a decision during the attack, and confirmed that the U.S. did not do enough to help save the four Americans killed at the U.S. Consulate in Libya in 2012.

The White House insisted after the attack that the American deaths resulted from a spontaneous protest caused by an Internet video mocking Islam. But the general said Thursday that the U.S. knew early on that the attack was a “hostile action.”

“What we did know early on was that this was a hostile action,” Retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell said in a statement presented to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday. “This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.”

Lovell also said that the U.S. military should have tried to save American lives when it had the chance, and that the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton waited a long time to make a decision.

“We should have tried,” Lovell said in testimony before the committee. “…I did not say we did not try. What I’m speaking to is that we as a nation need to try to do more, in preparations, so that in the future … we can support the people and have their backs.”

“We sent a drone overhead. It was desperation…. There was a lot of waiting for State Department for what it was that they wanted,” Lovell said, confirming that the State Department did not order the military to act in Benghazi.

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