A private group of national security officials is preparing to release its own report on the Benghazi scandal, with a top official behind the report saying they have interviewed numerous eyewitnesses from before, during, and after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack.
The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, an organization composed of American retired military officers, intelligence officers, and national security experts, is poised to release the product of one year of its own investigation into the scandal.
The report will include new details from witness and whistleblower interviews relating to the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and CIA Annex. This attack left four Americans dead–including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Additionally, the Commission has issued a total of 55 FOIA requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Department, as well as conducted interviews and meetings with sources and confidential informants with direct knowledge about what happened on September 11, 2012.
“The people have come to us in different ways have direct knowledge of what went on in Libya both before and during and to some extent after the attacks of September 11, 2012. And so those are actually the three periods of time, conceptually, that we focused on,” Commission member and former CIA officer Clare Lopez told Breitbart News.
Lopez explained, “The before, was the 2011 revolt against Gaddafi, when the U.S. in our judgment threw in with Al Qaeda and basically empowered known Al Qaeda militias to overthrow a sitting sovereign government that was our ally, really, in the war against AQIM in particular.”
“The second period of time is ‘the during.’ We specifically focused on why no military response was forthcoming. There was no decision. We can’t say there was a ‘stand down’ but there was no stand up either,” she said.
Finally, Lopez remarked, the third part of the time frame is the “after” and “the cover up and why talking points were altered and why that video Innocence of Muslims was used as an excuse and what purpose that served for the administration.”
The Commission is dedicated to pressing the House of Representatives to form a Select Committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi and learn answers to several questions including: why Washington officials ignored repeated concerns about security threats in Benghazi; who signed off on weapons exchanges to al-Qaida-linked rebel groups?; were U.S. officials aware they were providing aid and material to terrorists groups in contravention of U.S. law?; why weren’t U.S. Marine FAST teams and rapid response forces stationed within hours of Benghazi sent to aid Americans under assault in Benghazi?