The House Select Committee on Benghazi report investigating the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attack finds fault with the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton. During the attack four Americans, two belonging to the diplomatic staff and two CIA contractors tasked with security–were killed.
The committee, which was headed up by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., blamed a “rusty bureaucratic process” that focused on crafting a public response to the attack rather than actually taking action to resolve the crisis. In a finding that directly questions the judgement of the former secretary of state, who is now the likely Democratic nominee, the Benghazi report slammed the repeated calls for additional security that went unanswered.
“Security deficiencies plagued the Benghazi Mission compound in the lead-up to September 2012.”
Those calls went unanswered. The full report released Tuesday follows another report put out by the Democrats on the committee that said security at the Benghazi, Libya facility was “woefully inadequate” but pardoned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally. It denied her role in ignoring the requests from diplomats for additional protection. However, those requests were personally sent to her.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans–foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty–were killed in the attacks. The families of the victims have been publicly criticizing Mrs. Clinton, among other administration officials, for lying to them about the cause of the attack (the YouTube video) and the events that transpired over the 13 hours.
In response, Mrs. Clinton said during an interview with her former employee-turned-journalist George Stephanopolous that the families were lying about her statements in the days after the attack. She later walked back her claims, instead blaming the “fog of war” for her statements, which she now again denies making.
Nevertheless, the committee’s report took aim at the entire administration as it relates to pushing a narrative about the YouTube video. The report also found that the narrative surrounding a protest in the area mirroring events in the region was also falsely pushed and contrary to the evidence, including eyewitness testimony and accounts.
“None of the information coming directly from the agents on the ground in Benghazi during the attacks mentioned anything about a video or a protest. The firsthand accounts made their way to the office of the Secretary through multiple channels quickly,” the report found.
The report interviewed more than 80 witnesses not previously called before Congress to testify or the State Department Accountability Review Board, including Ben Rhodes, the president’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. Rhodes, who with political adviser David Plouffe, prepped then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for her shameful national TV appearances claiming the YouTube video was responsible for the terrorist attack.
As PPD previously reported, a Sept. 14, 2012 memo from Rhodes included the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”
The Rhodes email served as a catalyst for the House Select Committee on Benghazi. It was first obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal court lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, but withheld when requested by Congress outside a federal judge’s power and jurisdiction.
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