The House Select Committee on Benghazi was sabotaged by the committee’s Democratic members, says committee member Rep. Michael Pompeo (R.-Kansas), a graduate of West Point and Harvard Law School, who has joined with another committee member to issue a scathing minority report on the administration’s responsibility for the US defeat on Sept. 11, 2012.
“It was disgusting to watch [Democrats] … obstructing our efforts by delay and dilatory tactics and writing letters that did not help accomplish the mission of the committee,” he told Breitbart news in an exclusive interview about the committee’s Benghazi investigation. “I’m completely disgusted with their behavior” said Pompeo, who wrote the the minority report with Rep. James Jordan (R.-Ohio).
Their report concludes that “what we did find was a tragic failure of leadership—in the run up to the attack and the night of—and an administration that, so blinded by politics and its desire to win an election, disregarded a basic duty of government: Tell the people the truth,” they wrote. “For those reasons Benghazi is, and always will be, an American tragedy.”
Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and State Department information-technology specialist Sean Smith were killed during the initial attack on the compound. Former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, both CIA contractors, were killed as they were defended the nearby CIA Annex, six hours later.
“Secretary Clinton lied to the American people about the events as she understood them, even within 24 hours of the death of the first United States ambassador … killed in 30-plus years,” the Kansan said.
The congressman, who left the Army at the rank of captain with the 4th Infantry Division, said the administration worked to block the investigation. “I remain incredibly disappointed that there’s a great deal of information that we were unable to obtain,” he said. “Some information we were able to obtain that we aren’t going to be able to share because it doesn’t appear that we’re going to be able to get the declassification to the place that I would’ve hoped.”
Committee Democrats, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D.-Md.), played political games to obscure the truth, Pompeo said.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R.-S.C.), has not released its official report, but Pompeo and Jordan have produced their own 40-page report to explain five charges.
“Representative Jordan and I are writing separately from the main report,” he said. “There will be a main report. It runs into the several hundreds of pages. Representative Jordan and I both felt like there were some additional views that needed to be expressed that were ours.”
Breitbart News was given a copy of the minority report “Proposed Additional Views of Representatives Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo” before its Tuesday release.
Each charge has its own chapter.
The First Victim of War is Truth: The administration misled the public about the events in Benghazi
Last Clear Chance: Security in Benghazi was woefully inadequate and Secretary Clinton failed to lead
Failure of Will: America did not move heaven and earth to rescue our people
Justice Denied: The administration broke its promise to bring the terrorists to justice
Unanswered Questions: The administration did not cooperate with the investigation.
Pompeo said he and Jordan both came to the conclusion that before, during and after the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on American personnel and facilities, Hillary Clinton lacks the character and leadership to become president. “Clinton ought not to be the president of the United States,” he said.
The former editor of Harvard Law Review said Libya is uniquely linked to Clinton because she was the advocate inside the administration to take action and she was one who set up an unreal climate of expectations because of her plan to travel to Benghazi in October 2011.
The trip in October was intended to portray the diplomatic compound in Benghazi as a permanent site and to vindicate of the Obama-Clinton policy in Libya, he said. “The evidence indicates, although there’s not certainty here, the hope was that they were going to claim a victory in Libya by announcing the [existence of the] Benghazi facility,” he said. “There was a time pressure in order to achieve that, and I think that drove some of the behaviors.”
Stevens and others on the ground in Libya knew Clinton wanted a victory lap, he said.
“She sent an envoy, and then, ultimately, an ambassador named Christopher Stevens there. She didn’t exercise the leadership task to ensure their safety was appropriately accounted for,” he said. “Even on the night of the event, she acted with insufficient energy and speed to go save some of her own.”
In the Jordan-Pompeo report, the two men detail a lack of passion to save the lives of the Americans under attack, including the Marine Fleet Anti-terrorism Team which arrived 16 hours after the various attacks on the diplomatic compound and the CIA Annex were finished.
There are media reports that the Marines were ordered off their plane and forced to change into civilian-style clothing. In the report, Pompeo and Jordan refer in general to Clinton’s State Department insisting that all military personnel change into street clothes and that their military vehicles have markings not linked to the United States.
The FAST Marines were alerted to the situation at Benghazi when the attacks began, but according to the report, the platoon was held back.
The report charges that the Pentagon refused to explain or provided documentation regarding the non-response by the Marine FAST platoon from Rota, Spain, also also ignored requests for information regarding other personnel and assets within a seven-hour flight window to Benghazi.
The attack on the compound began roughly 3:42 p.m. Washington time. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified that he told the president of the attack between 5 p.m., and 6 p.m., that in addition to the FAST platoon, there were was a Commanders In Extremis Force and a U.S.-based hostage rescue team were available.
Panetta said he ordered all three to deploy and that after his meeting with Obama, he did not speak to the president until the next day.
The report states: “It is hard to accept that the Commander in Chief and the Secretary of Defense had no further contact during the entire unfolding crisis. Possibly just as startling is that Secretary Panetta and Secretary Clinton did not speak at all and Secretary Clinton did not speak to the President until approximately 10:30 p.m., over six hours after the terrorist attack began and approximately five hours after a U.S. ambassador went missing.”
The report authors make the contrast with the all-hands-on-deck photo that the White House released as a scene from the situation room during the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
“Benghazi should have merited the same level of attention and urgency,” the authors said. “Until now, the public has been told that the military could not have reached Benghazi in time to help—either with jet planes, drones, or personnel.”
There is no evidence of a single combat aircraft that was sent out and ordered to return mid-flight once the fighting had stopped, he said. “You will see, at every turn, they were leaning back. They weren’t aggressive. They made decisions that caused delay,” Pompeo said. The support consisted of “two guys who left from Tripoli and the ISR [drone] aircraft that made it there. There wasn’t a single piece of military hardware that was ever inbound to Benghazi through the entire duration of the attacks.”
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft are drones, which sometimes carry weapons.
Pompeo said it was not lost on him that the attacks came 56 days before the 2012 presidential election and that the response from the Obama White House and from Clinton’s Department of State were political responses to their own political problems and ambitions.
It was a point Pompeo and Jordan used to conclude their report. “What we did find was a tragic failure of leadership—in the run up to the attack and the night of—and an administration that, so blinded by politics and its desire to win an election, disregarded a basic duty of government: Tell the people the truth,” they wrote. “For those reasons Benghazi is, and always will be, an American tragedy.”