Tuesday, June 28, 2016

5 Big Takeaways From The House Benghazi Report


A congressional committee responsible for investigating the 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, has issued its final report.

Here are the five big takeaways from the U.S. House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, Libya, gleaned from a summary report by Reps. Jim Jordan, R-OH, and Mike Pompeo, R-KS.


1. Administration Misled Public Immediately and Continually

Even though U.S. officials — including Hillary Clinton — knew immediately that the siege in Benghazi was a highly coordinated terror attack, they chose to mislead the public with statements about spontaneous protests caused by a YouTube video.

The report indicates that political considerations were on the minds of State Department officials learning about the attack. Before the Benghazi attack even ended, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland sent an email to two other, high-level Clinton aides, Jacob Sullivan and Phillipe Reines, that noted top Obama aide Ben Rhodes was worried or upset about Mitt Romney’s comments on the attack. As Jordan and Pompeo put it:


And so on this highly charged political stage — just 56 days before the presidential election — events forced the administration to make a choice about what to tell the American people: Tell the truth that heavily armed terrorists had killed one American and possibly kidnapped a second — and increase the risk of losing the election. Say we do not know what happened. Or blame a video-inspired protest by tying Benghazi to what had occurred earlier in the day in Cairo. The administration chose the third, a statement with the least factual support but that would help the most politically.

Obama’s reelection campaign was a prominent consideration, but Hillary Clinton’s signature policy achievement was her push to invade Libya, so the political ramifications were serious for her as well. As her Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Jacob Sullivan characterized it in 2011, Clinton had “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s Libya policy from start to finish.” Buddy Sidney Blumenthal, who had business interests in Libya, praised Clinton for following his advice on invading Libya and encouraged her to take full credit for the invasion.

The Benghazi committee shows that the administration told a public story designed to connect the attack to the video and protests in Cairo and a private story that acknowledged the reality that it was a terrorist attack. Clinton’s September 11 statement referred to a “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” while internal documents about the al-Qaeda-like terror attack didn’t mention any video or protest.

Clinton’s public statement on September 12 again referred to “a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” while her private chat with the Egyptian prime minister clearly said, “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack – not a protest. … Based on the information we saw today, we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”

Each day it goes on like this: Clinton tells family members of those killed in Benghazi that the video was to blame, while privately admitting their deaths had nothing to do with a spontaneous protest of a video. Administration members’ public statements all talk about the video, while most private statements don’t.

One exception would be Ben Rhodes’ email that says, “Goals: To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

But the administration’s misleading talking points were clear, such as Ambassador Susan Rice’s indignant claim on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “[F]irst of all, let’s be clear about what transpired here. What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many parts of the region … was a result – a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated.”

None of these public statements were true. Also, despite claims to the contrary, they did not accurately reflect changing intelligence reports, House members say.

2. Weak Benghazi Security Points to Clinton’s Political Considerations

It had already been reported that the Benghazi security situation was dire. House Republicans note that one State Department diplomatic security agent “viewed the situation as a ‘suicide mission’ where ‘there was a very good chance that everyone was going to die.'”

According to the summary report, “Some blame the deplorable security conditions in Benghazi on the facility’s ‘made up’ State Department designation. To them, the fact the Department labeled the facility ‘temporary’ excused shortcomings in the compound’s physical security. A ‘temporary’ designation enabled the facility to skirt a host of written internal security requirements that applied to more permanent locations. We also learned it was an improvised designation not used at any of the State Department’s other 275 facilities around the world.”

In addition to Ambassador Chris Stevens’ pleas regarding security made before he was killed, Clinton received a memo about the danger of keeping Americans in Benghazi in August 2012. The memo was alarming, for something so bureaucratic. It used words such as “urgency,” “lawlessness,” “unpredictable,” “lack of effective security,” “limited success,” “widespread violence,” and “act with increasing impunity.” Clinton, who was in charge of American policy in Libya, chose not to remove Americans from Benghazi or beef up security.

Other countries and organizations fled, but the United States remained. The most plausible answer for why this was the case is troubling, House members say: “Secretary Clinton pushed for the U.S. to intervene in Libya, which at the time represented one of her signature achievements. To leave Benghazi would have been viewed as her failure and prompted unwelcome scrutiny of her choices.”

3. Military Never Sent Men or Machines to Help

Read More HERE

1 comment:

  1. The most important thing about Benghazi still has not been said. Hillary Clinton, without the advice and consent of Congress or the authority of the American People, sent the United States to war against Libya. Everything that happened after that resulted from that. Why isn't anyone questioning that?

    Then she did it again in Syria.

    Gross abuse of power costing tens of thousands of human lives, not just 4.

    ReplyDelete