The House Intelligence Committee released a report that is the culmination of a two-year investigation into the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. The report’s findings were similar to earlier conclusions from the House Armed Services Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the State Department’s independent review board — there was no cover up and officials did, in fact, do all they were able to do at the time to save the four Americans killed that night.
The House Intelligence Committee’s probe into the matter was exhaustive, according to the Huffington Post, investigating many of the charges laid against the Obama administration, including the oft-repeated claim that the White House deliberately gave then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice false talking points to present to the public.
This is perhaps one of the most significant conclusions of the report which was released Friday. Rice’s talking points were a “key focus” of the Benghazi Select Committee which was empaneled by House Speaker John Boehner (R – Ohio). The report states that Rice’s statements in regards to the theory that the attacks were started because of an Internet video were inaccurate, but not intentionally inaccurate. The process that led to Rice’s talking points were flawed which resulted in errors about the motive behind the attack, and not deliberate lies fabricated in an attempt to conceal the severity of the attack in Benghazi. The CIA was unable to even sort through the conflicting intelligence it was receiving until two days after Rice claimed the attacks were sparked by an internet video.
Furthermore, the report finds that there was no “stand down” order, as many Obama critics claimed.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), as well as the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), released a joint statement.
For over two years, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence exhaustively investigated the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi Libya. We spent thousands of hours asking questions, poring over documents, reviewing intelligence assessments, reading cables and emails, and held a total of 20 Committee events and hearings. We conducted detailed interviews with senior intelligence officials from Benghazi and Tripoli as well as eight security personnel on the ground in Benghazi that night. Based on the testimony and the documents we reviewed, we concluded that all the CIA officers in Benghazi were heroes. Their actions saved lives.
Another member of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as a member of the Benghazi Select Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D – Calif.) hopes that the new report will finally lay to rest all the conspiracy theories surrounding the attack on Benghazi.
“It’s my hope that this report will put to rest many of the questions that have been asked and answered yet again, and that the Benghazi Select Committee will accept these findings and instead focus its attention on the State Department’s progress in securing our facilities around the world and standing up our fast response capabilities,” Schiff said.
The committee did find that the U.S. diplomats’ Temporary Mission Facility “was not well-protected,” the AP reports, “and that State Department security agents knew they could not defend it from a well-armed attack.”
So far the Benghazi Select Committee, which is led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), has held only one hearing on the issue of securing diplomatic facilities.
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