The biggest recent development—which was overshadowed by the fiscal cliff negotiations—came on New Year’s Eve, when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a report that raised the question of whether Libyan officials assisted the Benghazi terrorists. The report found that a team of CIA contractors dispatched from Tripoli to Benghazi on the night of the attacks waited at least three hours after arriving at the Benghazi airport before departing to the scene because of negotiations with Libyan government officials. According to the report, members of Congress still don’t know the exact reason for the delay. “Was it simply the result of a difficult Libyan bureaucracy and a chaotic environment or was it part of a plot to keep American help from reaching the Americans under siege in Benghazi?” the report asks…

Meanwhile, the Libyan government was not the only Libyan entity to come under scrutiny in the report. Also singled out was the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, the militia deputized by the Libyan government to provide security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi—which largely failed to do its job on the night of the attacks. The Senate report relays doubts U.S. security personnel had regarding the militia before the attack. For example, diplomatic security personnel believed the brigade was responsible for the extrajudicial detention of people in the area, including one incident involving a U.S. diplomatic employee. And on August 29, the chief diplomatic security officer for Benghazi acknowledged concerns that the contract between the February 17 Brigade and the U.S. embassy had expired. The officer wrote, “We also have the usual concerns re their ultimate loyalties. But they are competent, and give us an added measure of security. For the time being, I don’t think we have a viable alternative.”