Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

House GOP Benghazi Report: Clinton OK’d Security Reduction

A House Republican investigation into the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the death of the American ambassador has produced an interim progress report that has been distributed to members of the House majority.

The report was culled from information uncovered by the following committees: Armed Services; Judiciary; Intelligence; Foreign Affairs; and Oversight and Government Reform. It claims that then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton approved reductions in security which, if true, runs contrary to her testimony on Capitol Hill.

In releasing the progress report, a House GOP aide made clear that Republican leaders believe that “there remain unanswered questions about the events surrounding the attacks that justify further investigation and require accountability from the Administration. The Committees intend to fulfill their responsibility to the American people to continue to explore these issues in the weeks and months ahead.”

The interim progress report’s findings assert the following:

1.     Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including Secretary Clinton. For example, an April 2012 State Department cable bearing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s signature acknowledged then-Ambassador Cretz’s formal request for additional security assets but ordered the withdrawal of security elements to proceed as planned. This fact contradicts her testimony before Congress, where she said, among other things, “But the specific security requests pertaining to Benghazi, you know, were handled by the security professionals in the department. I didn’t see those requests. They didn’t come to me. I didn’t approve them. I didn’t deny them.” (The New York Times, 1/23/13)

2.     In the days following the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the Intelligence Community in order to protect the State Department from criticism for inadequate security levels. Specifically, after a White House Deputies Meeting on Saturday, September 15, 2012, the Administration altered the talking points to remove references to the likely participation of Islamic extremists in the attacks. The Administration also removed references to the threat of extremists linked to al-Qa’ida in Benghazi and eastern Libya, including information about at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi. Senior State Department officials requested — and the White House approved — that the details of the threats, specifics of the previous attack, and previous warnings be removed to insulate the Department from criticism that it ignored the threat environment in Benghazi.  These talking points were then used by Ambassador Susan Rice on Sunday talk shows.

3.     When the talking points were challenged, the Administration claimed that the talking points were changed to protect classified information and an ongoing FBI investigation. Based on facts uncovered by the Committees, neither claim is true. Email exchanges during the interagency process do not reveal any concern with protecting classified information. Additionally, the Bureau itself approved a version of the talking points with significantly more information about the attacks and previous threats than the version that the State Department requested. Thus, the claim that the State Department’s edits were made solely to protect that investigation is not credible.

Here’s the full report:

  • Soulphoenix

    Keep digging! This is still just the tip of the iceberg, and the American people can handle the truth, no matter how ugly it is. Politicians protecting their backsides from their own incompetence is NOT what we need.

    The only way to ensure that we LEARN from Benghazi is to hold accountable those who failed to prevent it or to respond appropriately to it. If that includes arrests and serious penalties for senior officials or members of our political “elite” so be it – we’ll be better for it.

    • t_bone_30

      You’re an idiot.

  • Banshee2

    Something tells me the report is probably about as accurate as their claims of WMDs in Iraq. They have problems with telling the truth.

    • Tim Taylor

      Really Banshee2?
      Have you as of yet ever heard the truth from POTUS? nahhh…he lies every time his mouth is open! The ONLY thing he’s been truthful about so far is his telling us that he wanted to “fundamentally transform” the USA. WE are at fault because no one ever asked just what his fundamental transformation meant exactly.

      Let’s not also forget Ms Clinton’s past…Whitewater come to mind? Or how about 90% of the guns that go to the Mexican Cartels come from the US? For ol’ Hilliary I could go on for days, and maybe weeks if you want me to list those coming out of Obama’s mouth.

      Run along now with you….time for you to go back to the veggie department down at the local Piggly Wiggly.

      • Banshee2

        Poor Tim. His mother tried to pinch her log to soon and caused him brain damage.

    • Page Turner

      I always believe everything Hillary says – like how she got lucky making $100,000 on her first commodity trade; she had nothing to do with travelgate; she doesn’t know how – after more than a year of exhaustive investigator searching – the Rose law firm billing records turned up in her closet; she – the smartest women in the world – had no clue slick willy was being unfaithful the last time or the time before or the 15 times before that and most of all I am sure she dodged those sniper bullets in Bosnia that no one else saw or heard.

  • Lynda Felts

    The ‘dark spot’ is permanent. No way, no how to out it.

    • Page Turner

      Sadly, history doesn’t support this view. Bill has made over $80 million in speaking fees and this isn’t the first dark stain on the hildebeast – or zippy – or any lib dem.

      • Lynda Felts

        The Queen knew it was fruitless. The kings(O and Clinton), on the other hand still cling to Danile.

  • tedpeters

    This report is the most conclusive proof yet that Obama is already a lame duck… who the Republicans don’t even bother to criticize.

  • dhenery

    Pull all the Biatchs security and drop the FnC off in Harlem!

  • ata777

    what difference at this point does it make? I’m betting a big difference, Hilly

  • TheDarkHeart

    The answer is simple. Look at USD-P Miller’s office and his IO/CT crew within USD-P. They are grossly inept, incompetent, and politically correct contractors influencing USG policy. To this day they continue to obsfucate reality and water down operations with politically correct nonsense.

  • Robert Thiebeau

    They say NOTHING could have made a difference: (referencing the 16 special ops removed).
    But their own timeline shows 2 ex-special forces fought through the only gate and got the people out through the same gate before getting killed on the roof of the annex awaiting help… (medals by the way… medals)

  • Page Turner

    Of course Clinton and Obama knew all about this. Clinton can be excused because she was having flash backs of dodging non existent sniper fire in Bosnia.

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