Evidence casts doubt on ex-CIA leaders’ claims on Benghazi mortar attack

benghazi 8By :

If former CIA Director David Petraeus and his ex-deputy Michael Morell are recalled to testify on Benghazi, they can expect hard questions about the mortar attack on the CIA annex which killed two former Navy SEALs.

Republican Mike Rogers, chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, is weighing whether to recall one or both of those officials over their Benghazi congressional testimony.

Rogers said the evidence suggests a highly skilled team carried out the mortar strike. Fox News has confirmed five rounds were fired in under a minute, with three hitting the annex roof — a target roughly the size of two convenience stores.

“This was exceptionally good shooting. It was clearly accurate. They adjusted their fire, which is a term a mortar crew might use, so they went a little long and a little short and they fired for effect,” Rogers said. “When you fire for effect and you have three rounds hit exactly where they were intended that ended up taking the lives of our American heroes there, that tells me that they knew exactly what they were doing. So that was either significantly preplanned, or it was a mortar crew that was exceptionally good.”

In addition to Rogers’ assessment, military experts say the mortar strike on the CIA base was evidence of a planned terror attack, and because it forced the evacuation of the annex, it must have been known immediately in Washington. But in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2013,Morell said “the nature of the attacks suggested they did not involve significant pre-planning.”

Mortar crews have specialized training to prepare rounds for launch which includes calculations for distance, direction and altitude. Mortars are called “indirect fire” because in most cases, especially urban environments like Benghazi, the crew can’t see the target.

A U.S. official familiar with the investigation said an early lead on the mortar site, a field a half -mile southeast of the annex, did not pan out in part because a forensic review showed the mortars were fired from a greater distance.

Given the accuracy, and the fact the rounds were fired in darkness, five military officers, including retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, concluded the terrorists pre-set the location.

“For this mortar crew to put three rounds of the first five — right on target — means to me that even in the day of GPS … the site for the mortar had to be pre-selected,”Peters explained.”That would be a good score for a U.S. infantry, well-trained mortar crew.”

Retired Army Gen. Bob Scales, who has written extensively on artillery fire, concurred. “This took an enormous amount of planning, an enormous amount of training. It required preparation at a firing point, not only the mortar but also the ammunition, and something like this can’t be done overnight. This is something that probably took weeks in preparation in order to pull it off.”

Separately, Morell is accused by Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee of misleading lawmakers over the White House’s role in the so-called Benghazi talking points by stating the text was provided to the administration for their awareness, not for their input. Emails later released by the administration showed otherwise. Morell, who excised half of the talking points text, previously told Fox News that “neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”

Read more at Fox News

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Benghazi Panel to Boehner: Time for a Bipartisan Commission

jw010814a (1)Breitbart, by :

The National Security Action Conference hosted by Breitbart News across the street from CPAC featured a panel on the Benghazi scandal Thursday. There was a consistent message at the panel: We haven’t heard the complete truth about what happened in Benghazi and it’s time for Speaker Boehner to authorize a bipartisan commission to investigate.

Featured speakers at the pane included Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin (now Executive Vice President at the Family Research Council), Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch and Charles Woods, father Tyrone Woods. Lt. The event was hosted by Frank Gaffney.

Gen. Boykin opened the panel by recalling his own service. “I was the commander of Delta Force,” he said, “when we fought the battle called Black Hawk down.” He pointed out that he focus of that fight was an attempt to recover two fallen soldiers whose bodies could not be left behind even if that meant taking additional casualties. “A basic ethos of America has been violated” in Benghazi Boykin said, adding “You don’t leave Americans behind.”

Because he believes the decisions made after the attack began are fundamentally in conflict with this “basic ethos,” Boykin promised he would continue to press the issue. He believes the next step is for Speaker Boehner to “call together a bipartisan commission that will get to the truth.”

Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch followed Gen. Boykin at the podium. He highlighted his organization’s role in releasing documents including the first photos of the scene of the attack. He went on to criticize former CIA acting Director Michael Morrell saying there was evidence Morrell “deliberately” made “misleading statements” to Congress.

Farrell believes there is a specific reason Speaker Boehner has so far refused to appoint a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. He suggested Boehner had knowledge of weapons transfers out of Libya which he does not want revealed. Like Lt. Gen Boykin, Farrell promised his organization was “going to pursue this until we finally get answers.”

Last to the podium was Charles Woods father of Tyrone Woods, the Navy Seal who was working with the CIA in Benghazi. “There were four American heroes killed in Benghazi” Woods said before pausing, clearly overcome by a wave of emotion, “One of those heroes was my son.” Woods also directed his comments toward Speaker Boehner who he said “is the only person that is standing in the way of that select committee being formed.” Woods then made the appeal personal saying “As a family member, I would strongly encourage Speaker Boehner” to call for the committee.

Woods was also critical of General Carter Ham, recounting how Gen. Ham’s story seemed to change between the time he spoke to Rep. Chaffetz in Libya and more recently when he testified behind closed doors to members of Congress. Woods closed the story by saying “I believe it was Mark Twain who said ‘If you’re going to be a good liar you have to have a good memory.’”

There was a brief Q&A during which Gen. Boykin stated that the people who he believes attacked our compound in Benghazi are “the people we gave weapons to when we went to war” in Libya. Chris Farrell followed up by saying he believes the CIA was not only gathering up dangerous surface-to-air missiles but also sending them to rebels in Syria. Some of the Syrian rebels have been classified as extremists. One town in northern Syria was recently taken over by a group who instituted a “dhimmi” tax on Christians. (For more background on the shipment of arms into and out of Libya see this previous piece.) Farrell believes the administration’s behavior after the attack make sense if one considers the headline which could be written based on our actual mission in Benghazi, “Obama Administration Arms Al Qaeda.”

LYONS: Benghazi was a planned tragedy

3_3_2014_b3-lyons-libya-puzz8201_s160x149By James A. Lyons:

The recent reports by the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Armed Services Committee make clear that no organization in the chain of command, including the White House, should have been surprised by the tragic events that occurred at our Benghazi Special Mission Compound (SMC) on Sept. 11, 2012.

Clearly, there was both strategic and tactical warnings.

The security situation in eastern Libya, particularly Benghazi, was out of control. Trying to explain our failure to protect the SMC as a lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the deteriorating security situation or incompetence does not pass muster. This was a planned event and explains the massive cover-up.

There were numerous hostile acts leading up to the attack on the compound. For example, on April 6, 2012, an attack with improvised explosive devices was conducted on the outer wall of the compound.

On May 22, the Benghazi International Red Cross office was hit by two rocket-propelled grenades. On June 1, a car bomb exploded outside the Benghazi hotel where the British ambassador was staying. On June 6, an IED blew a hole in the compound’s perimeter wall. On June 7, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens requested two mobile security teams for his protection but was denied by the State Department.

On June 11, the British ambassador’s convoy was hit by RPGs. On June 17, the U.K. closes its Benghazi consulate, and the International Red Cross closes its office. On June 19, the Tunisian Consulate is stormed by the rebel group Ansar al Shariah.

Then on July 9, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli requests continued security support for an additional 60 days, but receives no answer from the State Department.

On Aug. 2, Stevens requests 11 additional personal-security bodyguards. He calls the security situation unpredictable and violent, but his requests are turned down by State. Stevens sent a cable to State on Aug, 16 stating that the compound cannot withstand a coordinated attack.

The State Department’s reaction was to withdraw the three Quick Reaction Units at our embassy in Tripoli under the command of Col. Andy Wood over the objection of the embassy and Col. Wood.

At this point, AFRICOM offers to provide additional security, but Stevens feels compelled to turn down the offer owing to State denying all his requests for increased security.

The State Department turning down all of Stevens‘ requests for increased security as well as drawing down security assets in country is more than puzzling, particularly since an internal State Department analysis completed two months after the compound opened stated that unless security was increased, the compound should be closed. This assessment is buried in the Accountability Review Board (ARB) report.

The question that needs to be answered is, with the out-of-control security situation in eastern Libya, why were there no contingency plans or forces pre-positioned ready to respond to potential attacks on the anniversary of 9/11?

According to one report, the administration was focused on Tunisia, not Libya. Mind-boggling. Nonetheless, if that were the case, where were the forces positioned to respond to an attack on Tunisia?

On the day of the attack, according to a report in The Guardian, the readiness of the ambassador’s five-member security detail raises questions. Three of the four agents with Stevens, according to the report, left their rifles, helmets and body armor in another area under orders by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, which was confirmed by the ARB report.

This makes no sense, given that standard operating procedures in a hostile environment require that weapon be kept at the ready all times. Another question that needs to be answered: Why would the secretary of state give such an order?

Read more at Washington Times

James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired Admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

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Via Western Journalism:

Hillary Clinton Implicated In Benghazi Murders

Editor’s note: This video was inspired by the “Killary Klinton” image created by iOwnTheWorld.

The Butcher of Benghazi, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has blood on her hands: the blood of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty.

This according to a scathing report entitled “Breach of Duty: Hillary Clinton and Catastrophic Failure in Benghazi,” put together by Special Ops OPSEC, the same group that produced the viral documentary Dishonorable Disclosures.

Western Center for Journalism has analyzed this groundbreaking report and found that Hillary Rodham Clinton has indeed been implicated in murder.

Watch our exclusive video for all the details about “The Butcher of Benghazi Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Rice: No Regrets on Benghazi Sunday Show Appearances

By Washington Free Beacon:

National Security Adviser Susan Rice said she had no regrets about her Sunday show appearances in September 2012, where she falsely claimed numerous times that the Benghazi terrorist attack was the result of an anti-Islam video.

Then the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Rice appeared on all five major talk shows and repeated the talking point that the attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya was a “spontaneous” response to the video. This was later disproven as al Qaeda’s role in planning the attack became clear, and critics pointed to the Obama administration for misleading Americans in order to push the campaign narrative of having “al Qaeda on the run.”

The talking points were heavily edited by senior administration officials to obscure a truth they knew almost immediately about Benghazi: that it was an orchestrated terrorist attack.

Yet when Rice was asked by Meet the Press host David Gregory Sunday if she had regrets, she replied, “David, no.”

“That information turned out in some respects not to be 100 percent correct, but the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false, and I think that that’s been amply demonstrated,” Rice said.

Full exchange:

DAVID GREGORY: When you were last here, Ambassador Rice, it was an eventful morning on a story of Benghazi and the horrible attack on our compound there. We haven’t seen you in a while. As you look back at your involvement in all of that, do you have any regrets?

SUSAN RICE: David, no. Because what I said to you that morning and what I did every day since was to share the best information that we had at the time. The information I provided, which I explained to you, was what we had at the moment. It could change. I commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning was provided to me and my colleagues and indeed to Congress by the intelligence community, and that’s been well validated in many different ways since. And that information turned out in some respects not to be 100 percent correct, but the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false, and I think that that’s been amply demonstrated.

bullshitmeter011 (1)

Obama’s ‘Blame It on The Video’ Was a Fraud for Cairo as Well as Benghazi — More Proof

liarsNRO, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

The “blame it on the video” fraud so carefully orchestrated by the Obama administration in connection with the Benghazi massacre on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has always rested on a premise that remains unquestioned by the mainstream media – and that is itself a fraud. To wit: the Libyan violence, in which a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were murdered, was triggered by rioting at the U.S. embassy in neighboring Egypt which was unquestionably provoked by an anti-Islamic video (an obscure trailer for the more obscure film, Innocence of Muslims).

As I’ve previously recounted, “blame it on the video” was a fraud as to Egypt as well – a calculated fraud set in motion by State Department officials in Cairo who began tweeting about their outrage over the video before the rioting started. At the time they did so, our government well knew both that there would be demonstrations at the embassy and that those demonstrations were being spearheaded by al Qaeda. In addition to the general animus against the United States that is its raison d’etre, the terror network and its Egyptian confederates were animated by their long-running campaign demanding that the U.S. release the Blind Sheikh (Omar Abdel Rahman, the master jihadist I prosecuted in the nineties and who Osama bin Laden later credited with issuing the fatwa that approved the 9/11 suicide hijackings).

There is now more evidence corroborating the fact that al Qaeda-linked jihadists, not the video, propelled the Cairo rioting — just as al-Qaeda-linked jihadists, not the video, propelled the Benghazi attack. Tom Joscelyn of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who is the nation’s best informed analyst of the global jihad and its tentacles, recently testified before the House homeland security committee (specifically, the subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence). The testimony, on the topic of al Qaeda’s expansion into Egypt, has been posted at the invaluable Long War Journal site. While it is all worth reading, Tom offers the following observations on the Cairo rioting:

In addition, a contingent of EIJ [Egyptian Islamic Jihad] leaders loyal to al Qaeda’s leader [Ayman al-Zawahiri -- the EIJ leader who merged EIJ into al Qaeda] became especially active inside Egypt after their release from prison [following the fall of Mubarak]. They were led by Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of Ayman al Zawahiri. Until he was re-arrested in 2013, Mohammed al Zawahiri used the permissive environment following the fall of Mubarak to proselytize, often under the banner of “Ansar al Sharia Egypt.” This group was established by one of his former EIJ comrades, Ahmed Ashush. In interviews, Ashush proclaimed his allegiance to al Qaeda, saying that he was “honored to be an extension of al Qaeda.” Although Mohammed al Zawahiri spent much of his trying to win new converts for al Qaeda’s ideology, he likely returned to terrorist operations and was in contact with his brother as well.

Mohammed al Zawahiri was one of the chief instigators of the September 11, 2012, protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The protest turned into an all-out assault on the compound, with the stars and stripes being ripped down and replaced by al Qaeda’a black banner. The protest-turned-assault was a pro-al Qaeda event from the first, with protesters openly praising Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. I have identified at least three other senior al Qaeda-linked jihadists who helped spark the protest: Tawfiq Al ‘Afani, ‘Adel Shehato, and Rifai Ahmed Taha Musa. Al ‘Afani and Shehato are longtime EIJ ideologues and leaders. Shehato has since been re-arrested and charged with leading the so-called Nasr City Cell, which had multiple ties to al Qaeda.

Rifai Ahmed Taha Musa once led the IG and was a close confidante of the Blind Sheikh. He was very close to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. He even signed al Qaeda’s 1998 fatwa declaring the formation of a “World Islamic Front for Confronting the Jews and Crusaders.” [ACM: That fatwa is considered al Qaeda’s clearest declaration of war against the United States and presaged the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, and the 9/11 attacks.] The CIA considered Taha Musa to be such an important terrorist that he was tracked down in Syria, where he was detained and deported to Egypt in late 2001.

President Obama’s policy of supporting Islamic supremacists throughout the Middle East led, directly and inexorably, to the empowerment of anti-American jihadists in Egypt and Libya. That is why the administration, in the run-up to what promised to be a close presidential election, worked so hard to deceive Americans into believing the story (absurd on its face) that the murderous violence was caused by a virtually unseen video. I stand by what I concluded last year in arguing that “blame it on the video” was just as fraudulent in the case of the Cairo rioting as in that of the Benghazi slaughter:

Obama’s re-election campaign was premised on the claims that he had decimated al Qaeda, that the war on terror was thus nearing an end, and that his Middle East policy of aiding Islamic supremacists in places like Egypt and Libya was stabilizing the region and fostering the birth of real democracy. The campaign could not afford powerful demonstrations that al Qaeda was anything but in its death throes; that terrorists were still targeting American facilities and killing American officials; and that, under Obama’s policies, Egypt and much of Libya were now controlled by rabidly anti-American Islamic supremacists.

The video fraud enabled the administration and Obama’s reelection campaign to stay on offense – aggressively pummeling the strawman of “Islamophobia” – rather than in the defensive crouch required to explain, or try to explain, the Obama administration’s performance in Egypt, Libya, and the broader Middle East. It worked: The Romney campaign was cowed and accountability for the Benghazi massacre would have to wait many months.

Former CIA official accused of misleading lawmakers on Benghazi

020314_sr_herridge_640By :

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell is facing accusations from Republicans that he misled lawmakers about the Obama administration’s role in crafting the bogus storyline that a protest gone awry was to blame for the deadly Benghazi attack.

Among other discrepancies, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee allege Morell insisted the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes, and not for their input — but emails, later released by the administration, showed otherwise.

“We found that there was actual coordination which could influence then — and did influence — what CIA conveyed to the committees about what happened [in Benghazi],” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., told Fox News.

Burr was one of six Republicans who leveled the allegations against Morell, who also served as acting director, in an addendum to a recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report. According to the claims, in late 2012, Morell testified the so-called Benghazi talking points were sent to the White House “for their awareness, not for their coordination.”

The 16-page addendum continues, “No effort was made to correct the record … the Acting Director’s (Morell) testimony perpetuated the myth that the White House played no part in the drafting or editing of the talking points.”

After Morell’s 2012 testimony, committee Republicans say they insisted on reading the raw email traffic in the days leading up to then-Ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial Sunday show appearances, where she linked the attack to a protest. Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told Fox News in a recent interview that they only got the emails between the CIA, State Department and White House because lawmakers threatened to hold up former White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director.

Once the emails were released, Republican lawmakers say the conflict with Morell’s testimony was clear. Morell, who at the time was CIA Director David Petraeus’ deputy, was at the heart of the process, cutting some 50 percent of the text — and Republicans say White House coordination began at the earliest stages.

Also in late 2012, Morell and Rice met with Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. In a statement released at the time, the senators said Morell blamed the FBI for cutting references to Al Qaeda and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.

“What I found curious is that he did not accept responsibility for changing the talking points. He told me the FBI had done this. I called the FBI. They went ballistic,” Graham said in a recent interview. “Within 24 hours, his statement was changed where he admitted the CIA had done it.”

Graham’s characterization of the meeting was backed up by Ayotte in a recent interview. “I was in that meeting when Susan Rice was with Director Morell when he blamed the FBI for changing those talking points, and you know then we call the FBI, the FBI goes crazy and said ‘we didn’t change the talking points.’ And so you have to wonder particularly now that we know that he may have received that email the day before what was going on.”

The email Ayotte is referring to was sent by the CIA’s top operative on the ground in Libya to Morell, and others at the CIA, one day before Rice’s Sunday show appearances. In the Sept. 15, 2012 email, first publicly documented in the bipartisan section of the Senate Intelligence Committee report, the CIA chief of station in Tripoli reported the attacks were “not/not an escalation of protests.”

One Republican lawmaker, Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, is now urging that Morell be recalled to clear up his testimony.

Read more at Fox News

 

 

Also see:

New photos of Nasr City cell members published

Long War Journal, By THOMAS JOSCELYN:

New photos of members of the Nasr City cell have been published in the Egyptian press. [See below.] Many of the cell’s members, who are currently awaiting trial, were detained in late 2012.

The cell has multiple, direct ties to al Qaeda. In particular, Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, who has long served as a subordinate to Ayman al Zawahiri, is one of the cell’s leaders. Jamal founded his own al Qaeda network (conveniently referred to as the “Muhammad Jamal Network,” or MJN, in the West) after being released from prison in 2011. According to terrorist designations issued by both the US State Department and the United Nations, Jamal worked with al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The designations by the State Department and the UN confirmed previous reporting by The Long War Journal. We were the first to report, at least in the English-speaking press, that Jamal was in direct contact with Zawahiri in 2011 and 2012. Jamal’s letters to Zawahiri revealed his ties to AQAP and AQIM.

Some of Jamal’s fighters participated in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Jamal established training camps in both the Sinai and eastern Libya prior to the attack.

Here is one of the newly published photos of Jamal. It is almost as if he is trying to tell us something. According to my colleague Oren Adaki, the note Jamal is holding reads, “Al Qaeda is perched on the hearts of the believers.”

Jamal holding photo of bin Laden

Jamal brandishes the photo of bin Laden in other pictures as well. We previously published another photo of Jamal at The Long War Journal.

The Nasr City cell loves the picture of bin Laden. Below is a picture of Sheikh Adel Shehato, a founding member of the cell, holding up the image. Like Jamal, Shehato was a senior member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which was led by Ayman al Zawahiri and merged with bin Laden’s venture before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Shehato was also one of the key al Qaeda ideologues who helped instigate the protest in front of the US Embassy in Cairo on the morning of Sept. 11, 2012 – just hours before the US Mission and Annex in Benghazi were overrun.

Adel Shehato holding pic of OBL

The story of the Nasr City cell and the Muhammad Jamal Network is a fascinating one. It challenges so many of the widely-held assumptions about al Qaeda’s current operations. The MJN is a good example of how various al Qaeda organizations and parties are linked in a global network, with Jamal receiving cash and assistance from AQAP while he is also working with AQIM. The story also shows that Zawahiri is still very much in the game. Jamal’s letters to the al Qaeda master in 2011 and 2012 were fawning, and clearly showed that he was seeking Zawahiri’s permission for his operations.

But sometimes a picture, or pictures, are worth a thousand words. Jamal, Shehato, and the other Nasr City cell defendants are quite proud of their al Qaeda roles.

Also see:

New Report Highlights Hillary Clinton’s Role in the “Preventable” Benghazi Attack That Left Four Americans Dead

20140218_Breachofduty_benghazi_hillary_large

 

 

Family Security Matters, by OPSEC TEAM:

A new OPSEC report combines for the first time in a single document the findings of multiple official investigations and media reports about Hillary Clinton’s role before, during and after the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi – an attack a bipartisan committee of U.S. senators called “preventable.”

 

According to Reuters:

The group charges Clinton with failing to ask the Pentagon and spy agencies to help U.S. personnel besieged in Benghazi and with not discussing the attack with President Barack Obama until more than six hours after it started. They also say she was not candid in her own accounts of what happened.

The report, entitled “Breach of Duty: Hillary Clinton and Catastrophic Failure in Benghazi,” says that due to a lack of due diligence by Congress, the “full story about Hillary Clinton’s deadly failure of leadership may never be completely told.” It calls for a special congressional investigation of the affair.

View PDF – click here

 

What the News Media Missed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi Report

2053728933By Fred Fleitz:

Last month’s Senate Intelligence Committee report on the September 2012 terrorist attacks against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi made headlines for its bipartisan conclusions that the attacks could have been prevented and for citing four al-Qaeda groups that were involved in the attacks or contributed participants.  While some of the report was debatable and watered-down, its findings are significant and further discredits the Obama Administration’s contention that the attacks were the result of demonstrations outside the consulate due to an anti-Muslim video.
Although it is an important bipartisan report on the Benghazi tragedy, reading the whole report carefully indicates much less agreement than the committee’s Democratic majority and the news media have claimed and suggests the report only got out the door after committee members agreed to discuss their substantial disagreements in an “additional views” appendix.  The report’s additional views are far more interesting than the body of the report and reflect the continuing wide partisan differences over the Benghazi tragedy and the Obama administration’s refusal to fully cooperate with congressional investigations of the attacks.
Additional views are not unusual for congressional reports and are usually part of Senate Intelligence committee reports.  The Benghazi report included additional views by the Democratic majority, by the committee’s Republican members (except for Senator Susan Collins), and a separate set of additional views by Collins.
The committee’s Democratic members submitted five pages of additional views that preview how Hillary Clinton is certain to respond to criticism about her handling of the Benghazi attacks if she runs for president: the controversy over this tragedy is political, has been generated by “misinformed speculation and accusations” and it is time to move on.
The Democratic additional views focus on the infamous talking points about the Benghazi attacks provided to the intelligence committees on September 15, 2012, claiming that they were “flawed but mostly accurate.”  This document, initially drafted by the CIA and cleared through several government agencies and senior Obama officials at the National Security Council, was used by Ambassador Susan Rice on Sunday morning talk shows on September 16th and echoed by Obama officials for weeks.  The talking points said the consulate attacks were due to demonstrations stemming from an anti-Muslim video.
The committee’s Democratic members blamed the CIA for inaccurate information in the talking points and said the CIA – not the NSC – removed references to al-Qaeda prior to sending the document around for inter-agency clearance.  They concluded that there were no efforts by the White House or others in the Executive Branch to cover-up facts or make alterations for political purposes.
The Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats had to overlook a lot of inconvenient facts to come to such conclusions.
By contrast, in their 16-pages of additional views, six of the seven Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee present alternative views that are a powerful indictment of how the Obama administration mishandled the Benghazi tragedy and its efforts to cover-up the facts of the attacks before the November 2012 election.  The most important sentence of the Republican additional views is this:
“Many of us were frustrated and astounded by the great pains the Administration took after the attacks to avoid the clear linkage of what happened in Benghazi to the threat from international terrorism.”
Concerning the talking points, the six Republicans found that the administration took steps to mislead Congress and the American people about the Benghazi attacks and the threat from al-Qaeda before the 2012 election.
“Rather than provide Congress with the best intelligence and on-the-ground assessments, the Administration chose to try to frame the story in a way that minimized any connection to terrorism.  Before the Benghazi attacks—in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election, the administration continued to script the narrative that al-Qaeda had been decimated and on the run.  The Benghazi terrorist attacks inconveniently, and overwhelmingly, interfered with this fictitious and false narrative.”
The additional views by the six Republicans rejected the charge that the CIA was at fault for erroneous language in the talking points, noting that emails reluctantly released to the committee clearly show the White House was asked to coordinate on the talking points from the earliest moments and had the final say in approving them.  The Republican members noted that this does not comport with what Acting CIA Director Morell told the intelligence committees in November 2012.
“. . . in spite of his [CIA Director Petraeus] own misgivings, the final content of the talking points was the ‘[National Security Staff’s] call, to be sure.’  In contrast, the Acting Director’s testimony perpetuated the myth that the White House played no part in the drafting or editing of the talking points.”
This observation by the six Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans are supported by a Feb. 4 story by Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge that Morell – who is now a member of a Washington, DC consulting firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton – may have altered the Benghazi talking points to benefit the Obama administration before the November 2012 election by removing the word “Islamic” but keeping the word “demonstration.”
The committee Democrats complained in their additional views that “controversy over the CIA talking points consumed a regrettable and disproportionate amount of time during the committee’s substantive review of the Benghazi attacks.”  Of course the Democrats said this because they were trying to paper over and shift the blame for an unprecedented and brazen scheme by the Obama Administration to manipulate the facts about the Benghazi attacks to ensure this tragedy did not prevent Mr Obama from being reelected.  The six Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans are to be given credit for not mincing their words about this abuse of the American people’s trust by President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other senior Obama officials.
The six committee Republicans had several other devastating criticisms of the Obama Administration concerning the Benghazi tragedy that have received little attention by the news media.  These include:
  • A complete absence of accountability.  The body of the report says nothing about holding White House, State Department, and Pentagon officials accountable for the Benghazi tragedy and devotes only one page to the failure to bring the attackers to justice.  The additional views by the six committee Republicans are sharply critical of the Obama Administration over these failures and notes that “the final responsibility for security at diplomatic compounds rests with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”  Not only have key officials not been held accountable, the Republicans said “a strong case can be made that State engaged in retaliation against witnesses who were willing to speak with Congress” and that witnesses such as Charlene Lamb [Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs] who were shielded from or avoided committee requests for interviews were returned to duty.  An excellent majority staff report by the House Foreign Affairs Committee issued on Feb. 7 “Benghazi: Where is the Accountability?” makes these same points in greater depth.
  • Unknowns remain due to the Obama Administration’s obstructionism.  The additional views by the six Republicans detail how White House and State Department officials appeared to do everything possible to block the committee’s investigation.  This included blocking access to witnesses and documents, abusing executive privilege, and playing games with committee jurisdiction rules.  The committee Republicans noted how for seven months the Obama administration refused to provide the full paper trail for the talking points and instead provided a “re-creation” of the drafts to which it only gave the committee limited, “read only” access.  Because of this obstructionism, the six committee Republicans said important issues still need to be addressed to assess why Americans died in Benghazi and why no one has been held accountable.  The Republicans believe this needs to be investigated by “a committee that can and will use subpoena authority to obtain information from an uncooperative State Department.”  In my opinion, a House special committee to do this is long overdue.  Speaker Boehner should approve one immediately.
  • The State Department’s absurd attempt to shift blame to the CIA for security shortfalls in Benghazi.  According to the six Republicans, the State Department objected to language in a draft of the committee report concerning security at the Benghazi consulate by claiming that since the same number of people died at the CIA Annex, the CIA should be held equally responsible for its lack of security at the Annex.  The Republican additional views found this argument to be absurd, noting that “there is a tremendous difference between a fortified facility [the CIA Annex] that suffers a fatal blow from a mortar attack and a porous compound that yields to a basic ground assault.”  The six Republicans noted that the two men killed at the CIA Annex (Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty) were killed on the roof after being attacked by mortars and that there likely would have been more American casualties if it were not for the successful rescue efforts by the CIA Annex personnel.

OPSEC to Publish New Report on Hillary Clinton, Benghazi

Inside of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after the attack on Sept. 11, 2012 / AP

Inside of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after the attack on Sept. 11, 2012 / AP

BY: 
February 13, 2014 4:43 pm

OPSEC will release a new report this week that is critical of Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi, Reuters reports.

The OPSEC (military slang for “operational security”) report says Clinton made crucial choices during the attack on Benghazi, which enabled the attack.

“The attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012, actually consisted of three distinct but interconnected phases: an unsupported diplomatic expansion into the city that enabled the attack; an uncoordinated and unresponsive reaction to the attack itself; and a concerted effort after the attack to remain unaccountable,” the report says. “Although a wide range of decisions contributed to each of these individual phases, only one person was responsible for the most critical choices during all three: Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

The report also says the attack was not caused by inadequate information but by inadequate leadership.

According to Reuters:

The group charges Clinton with failing to ask the Pentagon and spy agencies to help U.S. personnel besieged in Benghazi and with not discussing the attack with President Barack Obama until more than six hours after it started. They also say she was not candid in her own accounts of what happened.

The report, entitled “Breach of Duty: Hillary Clinton and Catastrophic Failure in Benghazi,” says that due to a lack of due diligence by Congress, the “full story about Hillary Clinton’s deadly failure of leadership may never be completely told.” It calls for a special congressional investigation of the affair.

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ACT! for America:

** IMPORTANT BENGHAZI UPDATE & ACTION ALERT **

TURNING UP THE HEAT:
FOUR NEW MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
CO-SPONSOR BENGHAZI LEGISLATION

Today, we have some very good news to report about H. Res. 36, legislation introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) which would create a special congressional committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.

As Ronald Reagan famously said, “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” Well, we can tell you that your combined voices on the Benghazi issue are really heating up Capitol Hill!

More and more federal legislators understand that when you say you want a special committee convened to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador – you mean business.

THANK YOU.

Over the last few days alone, FOUR Members of Congress have decided to cosponsor Rep. Wolf’s Benghazi bill, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 184. That’s over 80 percent of Republicans in the House of Representatives! Though this is wonderful progress, we must now redouble our efforts so that Speaker Boehner brings H. Res. 36 to the House floor for a vote.

In addition, former Representative Pete Hoekstra (Chair of the House Intelligence Committee) recently commented to Fox news about the ineffectiveness of having five separate congressional committees investigate Benghazi – as opposed to one, focused, committee. The article, “Rep: GOP Disunity Hurts Benghazi Investigation” is well worth a read.

The four newest cosponsors of H. Res. 36 are:

       •  Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX/12)
•  Rep. George Holding (R-NC/13)
•  Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL/1)
 Note: Replaced Rep. Jo Bonner
       •  Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA/3)

(If one of these legislators represents you, please take a moment to say “thank you!” It goes a long way.)

Does your House legislator place a Benghazi investigation at a high priority? Click HERE for a list of Members of Congress who are NOT cosponsors of H. Res. 36. If you see your legislator’s name on that list he/she needs to hear from you.

Will you help out by taking the easy and quick action noted below?

** Important Benghazi Action Item **

If your House legislator has still not cosponsored H. Res. 36, please contact him/her to ask why, and to express your support for legislation creating a special congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. As always, please be respectful at all times.

(NOTE: H. Res. 36 is NOT the same as H. R. 36. Please be sure to accurately identify the legislation we are supporting, to avoid confusion.)

Click HERE for a list of House Members, by state, who still have NOT cosponsored Rep. Wolf’s bill.

Is your legislator on that list? If so, please contact him/her via phone call or e-mail and request that he/she sign on to H.Res.36 as a cosponsorLet your legislator know that this is a very important issue to you, and one that you will have in mind when you cast your vote this November.

Click HERE to obtain contact information for your House legislator.

After all this time, there is no excuse for a Member of Congress not to support a special Benghazi committee. We’ve had months and months of hearings and political theatre on this issue and the important questions remain unanswered.

Let’s keep the heat on high in the U.S. Congress when it comes to Benghazi.

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Sign the petition to End the Benghazigate Cover-up and appoint a select committee to investigate!

 

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Catherine Herridge: Was early Benghazi intelligence politicized?

CIA Files From Benghazi: Now in the Hands of Al Qaeda?

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15 individuals with information helpful to the U.S. Benghazi investigation have been killed? Did Al Qaeda find out who they were?

BY CLARE LOPEZ:

The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) released its Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012 on January 15, 2014.

One of the most disturbing sections in the entire report comes on page 42, where the report cites then-FBI Director Robert Mueller in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies telling Congress that “as many as 15 individuals supporting the investigation or otherwise helpful to the United States have been killed in Benghazi since the attacks [of September 11, 2012].”

While Director Mueller rightly noted the “lawless and chaotic circumstances in eastern Libya,” the SSCI report also added that “It is unclear whether their killings were related to the Benghazi investigation.”

While calling post-Qaddafi Libya “lawless and chaotic” is something of an understatement, the SSCI’s suspicions about these particular killings and the possibility that they could be connected to the Benghazi investigation should be noted and noted carefully.

The identity of these individuals has not been revealed publicly, but it is certain that the SSCI and the Intelligence Community for which it holds oversight responsibility know who they were. And while it is certainly possible that each and every one of these 15 killings can be explained by the continuing battles among the Al Qaeda militias that led the uprising against former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, the possibility that these are targeted killings – assassinations – must also be considered, even as the SSCI seems to hint that it has thought of this, too.

In an insightful early report about the Benghazi attacks, the Wall Street Journal reported on November 1, 2012 that “…the day after the attack…the CIA appears to have dispatched local Libyan agents to the annex to destroy any sensitive documents and equipment there.”

The WSJ use of the term “agents” would seem to indicate that these local Libyans were CIA recruited assets, who either were trusted enough for this assignment or perhaps were all they had to turn to at that point. They may have been Libyan officials, whether uniformed police or others such as intelligence and security officials.

We do not know and the SSCI report does not tell us. In any case, what that short section of the SSCI report does tell us, at a minimum, is that sensitive documents and equipment were believed by the CIA to have remained in the CIA Annex the day after the attack, that they had not been destroyed or removed by the fleeing Americans and were of sufficient concern to the CIA that it was willing to take a chance on tasking local Libyans to retrieve whatever was there.

What became of any such materials and whether they were successfully recovered or not is not noted in the SSCI report. Tom Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), writing in the Weekly Standard on January 7, 2014 about the Obama administration’s belated admission about the role that Abu Sufian Ben Qumu (a former GITMO detainee) and his group — the Derna, Libya branch of Ansar al-Shariah — played in the Benghazi attack provides a possible follow-up, however.

In the very last line of his piece, “Obama Administration’s Benghazi Bombshell,” Joscelyn writes that two U.S. intelligence officials say that Faraj al Chalabi, an identified Libyan jihadi, “is suspected of bringing materials from the compound in Benghazi to senior al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.”

This report begs the question: How is it possible for U.S. intelligence officials to so specifically name al-Chalabi as someone who may have taken materials from Benghazi to al-Qa’eda leadership in Pakistan?

What materials have they identified as having been removed from the CIA Annex and how do they know (or why would they suspect) such materials have been taken to Ayman al-Zawahiri in Pakistan in the first place? In fact, it doesn’t seem possible – unless U.S. intelligence officials themselves perhaps were the ones who dispatched al-Chalabi or an associate to the compound to recover those “documents and equipment.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Report: White House, State Dept Failed to Recognize Security Situation in Benghazi

csBy :

The White House and State Department failed to recognize the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, Libya, and left the military inadequately prepared to respond to the terrorist attacks there, according to a new report.

Lawmakers continue to review the actions of U.S. officials regarding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

The Senate Intelligence Committee found in a bipartisan report released last month that the “attacks were preventable.” It faulted both the State Department and intelligence community for not increasing security at the diplomatic facility and sharing information about a nearby CIA annex.

A report released Tuesday by Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) focused on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) response to the Benghazi attacks.

While the report noted that military commanders could have taken more steps to prepare for an extended operation during the attacks, the authors largely determined that White House officials “failed to comprehend or ignored the dramatically deteriorating security situation in Libya” and did not “direct a change in military force posture.”

The interim government that took control after strongman Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in October 2011 struggled to curtail violent infighting among militia groups, the report said.

British and United Nations diplomats were attacked—prompting the United Kingdom to close its diplomatic mission in June 2012. Additionally, the U.S. intelligence community circulated “hundreds” of reports in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks warning that militias and al Qaeda-linked groups could strike U.S. facilities.

A White House press statement said on Sept. 10, 2012, that President Barack Obama met with his national security staff and discussed their review of the U.S. security posture ahead of the 11th anniversary of the 2001 attacks.

However, the HASC report said “this description may have overstated the extent of the White House involvement and the rigor of its posture analysis.”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee that neither he nor then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered specialized military units to shorten their potential response times after the security review by White House staff.

Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, at the time of the attacks, also told the committee that he felt the weakening Libyan government “created opportunities for al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist organizations to, in some cases, reinsert themselves or operatives into Libya.”

Actions by the Obama administration did not appear to address the security concerns of military officials, the report said.

“Administration decision makers were apparently reluctant to discuss publicly the deteriorating security situation in Libya or make changes in the U.S. diplomatic presence or military force posture that might have mitigated the dangers there,” the report said.

Additional U.S. military forces were dispatched to Yemen per a State Department request before Sept. 11—a “stark contrast” to “the inaction in Libya,” the report added.

Read more at Free Beacon

Also see:

JW Gets Map of Military Fleet Positions During Benghazi Attack:

“Destroyers could have responded to the attack,” Schmidt said adding that the military also has “rapid reaction forces” in the region as well as “armed predators.” Air craft could have also been deployed, according to Schmidt, but the Department of Defense (DOD) has refused his requests for records involving the air fleet on that day. “The point is there were enough forces to respond,” Schmidt says.

 

Bachmann on Bipartisan Senate Benghazi Report:

House Foreign Affairs Benghazi Report Short On New Information

benghazi_cloud_white_house_10-28-12-2Breitbart, by KERRY PICKET:

GOP members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee released on Friday a report showing the State Department’s lack of accountability following the deadly terrorist attacks at the compound and the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

The report itself did not present anything new other than elements of the most recently released Senate Select Intelligence Committee report related to the Benghazi investigation, which did present new information. Additionally, the House Foreign Affairs report makes repeated references to an Accountability Reform bill, authored by Chairman Ed Royce (R – CA), that is not related to theBenghazi investigation. However, Royce’s own bill has not moved beyond his own committee for nearly a year.

Among other points, the report admonishes then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as present Secretary of State John Kerry for not holding accountable any State Department personnel  “for the flawed decisions about security in Benghazi.” The committee also goes after the those who put together the ARB report for not interviewing top State Department officials during their investigation.

Although, the committee makes a reference to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Benghazi report regarding the lack of accountability State Department official Patrick F. Kennedy has received since the attack, the House Foreign Affairs Committee does not appear to make an effort to hold Kennedy accountable or announce that they’re hauling him back up to reconcile his conflicting testimony.

Royce’s press Committee office would not respond as to why the latest report appeared to only be rehashing established issues regarding the attack in Benghazi and if he believed it was time to investigate the matters through a House Select Committee. A number of members on Royce’s committee are supporters of Rep. Frank Wolf’s effort to form a select committee to look into the the terrorist attack and the investigation after the attack. However, Royce has not signed on as a co-sponsor and House Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) refuses to appoint a committee. The resolution currently has 182 co-sponsors.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL) said:

“Many Congressional reports have been useful in helping to collect information about the truth behind the Benghazi terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. However, I have cosponsored legislation to establish a select committee whose sole purpose is to investigate what happened before, during, and after the attack at Benghazi in order to prevent a similar attack in the future at our diplomatic posts. We must continue to ask the Obama administration officials more questions about what they knew and when did they know in order to get to the bottom of this because the American people deserve answers regarding this horrific terrorist attack.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R – AZ) , who chairs the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere,  is also a co-sponsor of legislation (H.Res.36) to create a select committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi. “I continue to believe the most appropriate and thorough way to investigate the Benghazi tragedy is to establish an investigative select committee that will cut across jurisdictional barriers and provide a comprehensive picture of what went wrong and ensure it does not happen again,” Salmon said in a statement to Breitbart News.

Rep. Wolf has long said that a select committee would give subpoena power to members to compel witnesses to testify under oath, while streamlining the investigative process of all the committees. Although, the House Oversight Committee can issue subpoenas, such a move would happen very rarely.

“The two subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee today for two of the State Department survivors from the Benghazi attacks to testify before Congress is a welcome and, frankly, long overdue step – but it’s not nearly enough,” Wolf asked in a statement in September of 2013,  “Why has it taken more than a year for these first subpoenas to be issued?  “Will another year go by before the next subpoenas are issued?

A spokesman of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R – SC) told Breitbart News that “Congressman Duncan has been saying from the very beginning that he only believes the select committee process is able to effective in uncovering the truth.”

Rep. Tom Marino (R – PA) told Breitbart News, “Absolutely.  And that’s why I support Congressman Wolf’s legislation.  Our consulate was attacked, our ambassador was murdered and no one at State has been held accountable.  If the Administration isn’t willing to take action, Congress should.”

Other House Foreign Affair Committee members who are co-sponsors for a select committee are: Rep. Mo Brooks (R – AL), Rep. Tom Cotton (R – AR), Rep. Chris Smith (R -NJ), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Steve Chabot (R – OH), Rep. Joe Wilson (R – SC), Rep. Mike McCaul (R – TX), Rep. Ted Poe (R – TX), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R -IL), Rep. Paul Cook (R – CA), Rep. Randy Weber (R – TX), Rep. Scott Perry (R – PA), Rep. Steve Stockman (R – TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R – NC), Rep. Ted Yoho (R – FL), Rep. Luke Messer (R – IN), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R – FL).

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CJR: The Benghazi cover up goes way beyond protecting Obama’s re-election bid from a mere failed foreign policy of underestimating al Qaeda. The shocking truth is that Obama has joined forces with al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in order to overthrow governments in the Middle East and change the balance of power. Obama is negotiating with Iran, a US designated state sponsor of terror, and allowing them to become a nuclear power. The net result of Obama’s policies has been to weaken the US and its allies while empowering its enemies.

Obama’s actions amount to material support for terror. This is the cover up. This is why we need a select committee to expose the truth.

The following articles spell it out:

Committee Majority Staff Issues Report on Lack of State Department Accountability for Benghazi Attacks

!cid_image006_jpg@01CF23FBWashington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee majority staff issued a report detailing the lack of accountability within the State Department following the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks at the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya.  The report, entitled, “Benghazi:  Where is the State Department Accountability,” follows the majority investigative staff’s extensive 16-month oversight, during which staff examined the State Department’s conduct before, during, and after the terrorist attacks.

The report is available HERE.

The report contains the following key findings:

  • Before September 11, 2012, U.S. intelligence agencies provided extensive warning of the deteriorating security environment in eastern Libya, including al-Qaeda’s expanding operations and the mounting risk to U.S. personnel and facilities.
  • These threats were well-understood by even the most senior officials in Washington; then-Secretary Clinton “was certainly aware” of this reporting, as well as the fact that extremists claiming to be affiliated with al-Qaeda were active in the area.
  • Despite this increasingly dangerous environment, State Department officials in Washington denied requests for additional security from Department personnel on the ground in Libya, and insisted on an aggressive timeline for drawing down support.  By contrast, the CIA increased security at its facilities in Benghazi.
  • The Accountability Review Board (ARB) convened in response to the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam recommended that the Secretary of State “take a personal and active role in carrying out the responsibility of ensuring the security of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad.”
  • The ARB convened by Secretary Clinton after the Benghazi attack was seriously deficient in several respects, most notably in its failure to review or comment on the actions of the Department’s most senior officials, including Secretary Clinton herself.
  • Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry have failed to hold anyone accountable for the flawed decisions about security in Benghazi.  Instead, the four employees cited by the ARB were temporarily suspended with pay and ultimately reassigned to new positions within the Department.  Two of these officials subsequently retired voluntarily, and not as the result of disciplinary action.
  • The “talking points” controversy further revealed a Department leadership more interested in its reputation than establishing the facts and accountability.
  • Tellingly, during the entirety of Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the State Department went for a historically long period without a permanent Inspector General, a position central to ensuring a culture of accountability within the Department.
  • State Department personnel serve the nation with distinction, operating in the most dangerous areas of the world.  Their security cannot be guaranteed, nor do they expect it to be guaranteed.  What they do expect and deserve is a Department in which everyone is held accountable for his or her performance.
  • While the Committee will continue to press for accountability, it is incumbent upon President Obama and Secretary Kerry to recognize the failures of senior officials and hold them accountable.  Otherwise, another Benghazi scenario, in which U.S. personnel are left vulnerable by irresponsible decision making in Washington, is inevitable.

The report comes two days after the House Republican Leadership published a new website, GOP.gov/Benghazi, devoted to the Benghazi investigations.

 

 

 

Also see:

O’Reilly to Chaffetz: ‘Get Your Butt In Gear’ and Subpoena Leon Panetta

BY: :

Bill O’Reilly blasted the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) for failing to subpoena former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta over Benghazi Thursday on The O’Reilly Factor.

O’Reilly expressed his frustration that Panetta has yet to be subpoenaed considering he was informed the night of Benghazi that the assault was in fact a terrorist attack. President Obama was careful to avoid the exact verbiage of what Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told him the night of September 11, 2012 in his Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly.

The Fox News host said Chaffetz and the House OGR need to get their “butts in gear” and subpoena Panetta to find out what exactly transpired between the former defense secretary and President Obama the night of the Benghazi attack:

BIll O’REILLY: This is the story. This is it. Panetta is it. And nobody has asked him under oath if he told his boss, the president, the commander in chief, that it was a terror attack. If Panetta says that, all hell breaks loose. And you guys haven’t done it. So, it’s a cheap shotting Obama, all right, to complain about him when you guys haven’t brought in the guy that could break the story wide open. And I tried to get it from President Obama but he wouldn’t answer it. So now I’m asking you, Congressman, to get your butt in gear and get your committee to get Panetta in there. Is that unreasonable?

JASON CHAFFETZ: No, it’s not unreasonable at all. What we did in the Armed Services group brought in General Ham. That’s where these quotes came out.

O’REILLY: That’s right.

CHAFFETZ: Just two weeks ago.

O’REILLY: But you didn’t follow up to the big guy.

CHAFFETZ: I know. That was a couple weeks ago. This investigation is not done. To me it feels like halftime because this administration has been stonewalling us for a long time we have got to hear from for instance I want the public. This is amazing to me. The public has never heard from anybody who was on the ground that night in Benghazi and that is so wrong.

O’REILLY: That doesn’t matter.

CHAFFETZ: It does matter Bill.

O’REILLY: It doesn’t matter because the story is whether the President of the United States, all right, went along with his re-election committee and falsely put out a narrative to protect his re-election chances. That’s the story. And Panetta is the guy.