A new report
claims the Obama administration was responsible for a series of
mistakes before, during, and after the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi,
The greatly anticipated report, released Tuesday by the House
Benghazi Select Committee, said top administration leaders constructed a
public response while military resources waited hours to move into
The attacks resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens,
Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and
According to the report, top officials in the U.S. State Department,
including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Under Secretary
Patrick Kennedy, should have known before the attack that the diplomatic
consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi were not secure.
The report held a "rusty bureaucratic process" responsible for the
delayed response the night of Sept. 11, 2012. It said President Barack
Obama and then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered a deployment, but
that mobilization did not happen until more than 13 hours after the
terror attack began.
In addition, the report stated a U.S. military unit deployed after
the attack, known as the FAST unit, changed four different times in and
out of their uniforms and civilian clothing. According to one witness,
the unit even discussed if they should bring along personal weapons.
In the end, "it would take nearly 18 hours" for that unit to move, the report concluded.
Democrats opposed the report, saying Republican members wanted to hurt Democratic presidential candidate Clinton politically.
But Republicans want Americans to make up their own minds. Chairman
Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., urged them to "read this report for themselves...
and reach their own conclusions."
Gowdy and other Republican leaders expressed regret that no military forces were ordered to Benghazi.
"Nothing was ever coming to Benghazi," Gowdy said.
The report exposed how leaders, including Clinton, during a meeting
of high-level officials the night of the terror attack, pinned blame
instead on an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
"Benghazi, Libya, was a terrorist haven and so those folks who were
involved in not protecting these Americans certainly should be held
accountable," Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., told ABC News. "The folks who
told a wolf tale, a lie in the aftermath of the attacks, who told the
American people a political tale about a YouTube video ought also (to)
Pompeo and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote an appendix to the committee's
report, which said Clinton and top administration officials knowingly
misled the public about what happened in Benghazi prior to the 2012
"We cannot say whether the military could have saved lives in
Benghazi," the appendix said. "We can say with certainty that our
nation's leaders did not move heaven and earth to send military help
with the urgency that those Americans deserved. We will never know if a
more vigorous, comprehensive and urgent response could have saved
Nine eyewitnesses never interviewed before are a part of the 80 new
witness accounts included in the final Benghazi congressional report.
Altogether, more than 16,000 pages of transcripts were logged by the
The report is not without critics from the conservative side. Media
Research Center President Brent Bozell blasted Gowdy for not holding the
administration responsible for its deception and failures.
"Trey Gowdy's continued admonition that it's up to the American
people to reach their own conclusions about Benghazi is an obfuscation.
It was up to him to get to the truth, and he punted," Bozell said. "Who
denied the multiple requests for additional security for the compound?
No answer. Who is being held responsible for the deaths of these men? No
answer. Why did this administration deliberately lie about the video?
"Should the Commander-in-Chief be held responsible for the multiple
failures of the military? Should the Secretary of State be held
responsible for the disastrous consequences of State Department
decisions? Not according to this report," he continued. "They wouldn't
even state that Hillary Clinton lied about the video though her own
emails, read by committee members, prove she had! But they did blame a
'rusty bureaucratic process.'"
"It doesn't get more Washington than that," he said. "Everyone involved in this charade disgraced himself."