House Republicans released a report Tuesday on the Benghazi terror attacks which killed four Americans while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
The report consists of descriptions of worsening security in Libya and inadequate resources prior to the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others: IT expert Sean Smith and two security personnel, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. on September 11, 2012.
Clinton previously told the House Benghazi Committee that she knew about the dangers in Libya, but “there was no actionable intelligence” to suggest a planned attack.
The report describes the events leading up to and surrounding the attack on a U.S. outpost and CIA annex which killed the aforementioned people. The attack was originally thought to be carried out by a mob responding to a video made in the U.S. mocking Islam. However, the attack was later determined to a terrorist attack.
“It is not clear what additional intelligence would have satisfied either Kennedy or the Secretary in understanding the Benghazi mission compound was at risk—short of an attack,” the report states.
Representatives Mike Pompeo, Kansas, and Jim Jordan, Ohio have blamed the attack on a “tragic failure of leadership.”
“Mr. Pompeo and I thought it was important to ask questions: Why were we still in Benghazi when almost every country had left? Why did we stay in Benghazi when the security situation was so terrible, so dangerous? And why did the administration mislead us?”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz discredited the Benghazi panel, saying that it was a “Republican conspiracy theory in short of a conspiracy.”
On Monday Clinton spoke about the public’s doubts about her trustworthiness, saying “I personally know I have work to do on this front.”
The report released Tuesday includes testimonies from senior Department and intelligence officials as well as lower- ranking diplomatic figures. The report reveals that the State Department’s evaluation of the situation in Benghazi in 2011 and 2012 took note of an increase in crime, widespread firearm ownership, and a high-level risk of militia violence due to the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. There was inadequate security at the Benghazi outpost and states that requests for more security in Benghazi were met with no response and/or refused by officials in Washington.
However, even in the midst of all these circumstances, Chris Stevens fought to maintain the Benghazi post open. In response to the security at the post, Charlene Lamb, formerly a senior State Department official, said that Stevens is the one accountable. “It is very unfortunate and sad at this point that Ambassador Stevens was a victim, but that is where ultimate responsibility lies.”
In late 2011 and through 2012, security in Benghazi deteriorated and there were at least two attacks on the compound and on diplomats in other international facilities.
The report discovered that the military did not follow then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s order to send U.S. forces to rescue Americans being attacked in Benghazi. No asset ordered or deployed by the Secretary had left the ground at the time of the final attack.
An agent at the Benghazi compound is quoted in the report as having heard chanting before the “full on attack against (the) compound” began. Another official is quoted as saying that there were explosions and gunfire as “70 people rushing into the compound with an assortment of ‘AK-47s, grenades, RPG’s… a couple different assault rifles,” charged.
Although the report attempts to smear the Obama administration at the time Clinton was Secretary of State, no concrete evidence has been found to show that she is directly at fault for the terror attack in Benghazi.