The Obama administration’s handling of the deadly September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, faces another congressional grilling when outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta testifies Thursday on Capitol Hill.
Nearly five months after the terrorist attack killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at a U.S. diplomatic post in the restive Libyan city, questions remain about the attack and the administration’s shifting explanations for what happened and why.
Beyond pointing at a possible role played by the nebulous grouping of North African Islamists known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), senior Obama administration officials have yet to present a clear narrative of who planned and carried out the attack, critics contend. And if the myriad of congressional hearings that have already been held are any indication, Mr. Panetta’s appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee is unlikely to provide one.
Apart from identifying and apprehending those behind the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, several questions remain unanswered, including: