The Interim Progress report on the attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was published today. You can read the full report via The Hill. The write up of the report by The Hill hits the nail on the head in the title, GOP Benghazi Report Blames Clinton.
The 46-page report accused Clinton — a possible White House contender in 2016 — of seeking to cover up failures by the State Department that could have contributed to the attack last year that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The report, compiled by five House panels after a seven-month investigation, said Clinton approved reductions in security levels prior to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, contradicting Clinton’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Jan. 23.
“Senior State Department officials knew that the threat environment in Benghazi was high and that the Benghazi compound was vulnerable and unable to withstand an attack, yet the Department continued to systematically withdraw security personnel,” the report states.
“Repeated requests for additional security were denied at the highest levels of the State Department,” it said. “For example, an April 2012 State Department cable bearing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s signature acknowledged then-Ambassador [Gene] Cretz’s formal request for additional security assets but ordered the withdrawal of security elements to proceed as planned.”
There’s more, read the whole thing.
Maggie’s Notebook cuts to the chase, highlighting Hillary Clinton indeed did see the cables requesting more security and that it would appear she lied in her testimony about them.
One of the huge questions, among so many huge questions, has been why Benghazi did not have sufficient security after specifically requesting more at least several times. Now we know the answer. Secretary of Hillary Clinton not only saw the request from Benghazi, she signed the request and then denied it. My second question is who, if anyone, told former SEALs Woods and Dohoerty to “stand down.” If it’s there, I missed it. I outlined some things from the report that I found especially interesting. Read the report in full here.
PAGE 7: However, in a cable signed by Secretary Clinton in April 2012, the State Department settled on a plan to scale back security assets for the U.S. Mission in Libya, including Benghazi
An ongoing Congressional investigation across five House Committees concerning the events surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya has made several determinations to date, including:
● Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including highest levels of the State Department, up to and including Secretary Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.
● 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.
● Contrary to Administration rhetoric, the talking points were not edited to protect classified information. Concern for classified information is never mentioned in email traffic among senior Administration officials.
These preliminary findings illustrate the need for continued examination and oversight by the five House Committees. The Committees will continue to review who exactly was responsible for the failure to respond to the repeated requests for more security and for the effort to cover up the nature of the attacks, so that appropriate officials will be held accountable.
Maggie does a very thorough run down of the report and of prior related testimony and timelines. Clinton also tried to blame funding for the lack of security, an item that was debunked in the beginning and re-iterated in the report. Read the whole article.
Clinton’s full testimony; relevant testimony to the cables roughly begins at the 1:35:30 mark:
It makes a big difference.