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Why Is Benghazi Still Being Treated as a Law Enforcement Issue?

It’s been over 20 days since the attack in Libya, and while the Obama administration has finally acknowledged that it was an act of terrorism, it’s still being handled as a law enforcement issue. Reports indicate that the FBI still hasn’t been able to get into Benghazi to investigate, due to security concerns — concerns that are apparently very new, since the consulate was not heavily secured before the attack.

Sen. Bob Corker sent a letter to the administration yesterday, demanding to know when and why the security situation became so perilous in Benghazi that even the FBI could not get to the city:

As of this morning, reports indicate that our well-trained FBI agents still have not been able to get into Benghazi to investigate. Yet just 18 days ago the administration apparently judged that it was appropriate for our consulate to be lightly guarded and it was safe for our ambassador to come through the city with a small security detail. What has changed in Libya in such a short time that even FBI agents, our most elite investigative personnel, cannot safely enter the city?

What has led to such a precipitous decline?

Good question. Nobody expected the FBI to be there the next day. But why is it taking weeks to set up a secure area for investigators to operate from?

The FBI has offices in war zones. For years agents have worked alongside combat troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Bureau has an International Fusion Cell, staffed with well-trained agents who have deployed multiple times. And yet Benghazi is too dangerous?

If that’s the case, why is the Obama administration still treating this as a law enforcement issue? Reports indicate the attack was carried out by an al Qaeda-affiliated group, which should give Obama the power to respond with military force under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.

By the time the Bureau gets to Benghazi, what exactly will agents be able to do? By all accounts, the crime scene has already been picked over. CNN reporters made it to the consulate before the FBI. This is, frankly, an embarrassment.

The United States is the greatest superpower in the world. Twenty days after a terrorist attack, we’re still waiting for enough security so that the FBI — the best of the best — is safe enough to enter Benghazi and sift through the charred remains of our consulate. Four Americans were murdered, and the terrorists who killed them are still walking around as free men. Where is the urgency?