House Dems Sidestep GOP, Issue Own Benghazi Report
In which they find 'woefully inadequate' security, Hillary Clinton wasn't to blame
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2016 1:48 PM CDT
In this Sept. 12, 2012 file photo, glass, debris and furniture are strewn inside the gutted US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Democrats on the House Benghazi panel said in a report that security was “woefully...   (Ibrahim Alaguri)

(Newser) – Democrats on the House Benghazi panel said in a report Monday that security at the Libya facility the night of Sept. 11, 2012, was "woefully inadequate," but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never personally denied any requests from diplomats for additional protection. The panel's five Democrats said after a two-year investigation that the military could not have done anything differently on the night of the attacks to save the lives of four Americans. Democrats' release of their own report heightened the partisanship of the inquiry, which has been marked by accusations of White House stonewalling and finger-pointing. Republicans missed a self-imposed deadline to issue a report "before summer," but the Democrats' report could spur the GOP's final product. Whatever the timing, the Republican report is certain to have repercussions for Clinton. Highlights from the Democratic report, per the AP:

  • The Democrats said they regretted their 344-page report was not bipartisan, but said Republicans left them little choice after "one of the longest and most partisan congressional investigations in history."
  • They said while the GOP-led panel's inquiry obtained additional details about the twin attacks in Benghazi, it did not fundamentally alter conclusions of previous investigations.
  • Democrats blamed inadequate security on decisions made by mid-level State Department officials and said that neither Clinton nor anyone else delayed the military's response or ordered a "stand down." The Democrats called GOP claims of a stand down "offensive to our men and women in uniform."
  • The report disputes a GOP charge that the White House intentionally misled the American public by casting the Benghazi assault as one of many protests over an anti-Muslim video, instead of a calculated terrorist attack.
  • Democrats said the "assessments and information" that the CIA and other intelligence agencies provided to US officials "evolved" but were not influenced by political factors.
  • The Democrats said not a single witness "identified evidence that intelligence assessments or CIA talking points provided to Congress and Ambassador (Susan) Rice were influenced by political considerations."