During a Tuesday campaign stop in presidential swing state Colorado, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted to curb any damage from a newly released House Select Committee report on the September 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, telling the crowd and television cameras that there was nothing new to see and attempting to persuade Americans to “move on.”
Clinton said from a podium in Denver:
I have said from the very beginning, nothing is more important than the safety and security of our diplomats and development officials who go into dangerous places around the world, pursuing American values, interests and our security. And I said this when I testified for eleven hours, that no one has thought more about or lost more sleep over the lives that we lost, the four Americans. Which was devastating. And we owe it, we owe it to those brave Americans to make sure that we learn the right lessons from this tragedy.
That’s why I immediately put together an independent committee to go everywhere, look everywhere, come up with what recommendations would help us prevent such tragedies in the future and that, of course, should be the goal.
Clinton failed to mention the repeated requests for additional security made prior to the attack that have been documented in post-terror attack investigations.
During a Tuesday morning press conference to discuss the House committee report, Rep. Jim Jordan emphasized Clinton, her State Department, and the Obama administration’s push to herald Libya as the “crowning jewel” of their foreign policy approach. Jordan cited an email Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal sent to the then-Secretary mere days after the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi before he stated, “They were so committed, it didn’t matter that there were 200 security incidents between the time Blumenthal sent the email and when the terrorist attack happens.”
In Tuesday’s Colorado address Clinton continued with attacks against the House committee, attempting to diminish the report:
I understand that after more than two years and seven million dollars spent by the Benghazi committee out of taxpayer funds, it had to today report it had found nothing, nothing to contradict the conclusions of the independent Accountability Board or the conclusions of the prior multiple earlier investigations carried out on a bipartisan basis in the Congress.
The House Select Committee on the September 11, 2012, terror attack in Benghazi released Tuesday a list of 22 new insights recovered in the course of their investigation.
Clinton went on to say on Tuesday:
So while this unfortunately took on a partisan tinge. I want us to stay focused on what I’ve always wanted us to stay focused on and that is the important work of diplomacy and development. That’s especially true in dangerous places. We cannot withdraw or retreat from the world. America needs a presence for a lot of reasons and the best way to honor the commitment and sacrifice of those we lost is to redouble our efforts to provide the resources and support that our diplomats and our development experts deserve. So I’ll leave it to others to characterize this report, but I think it’s pretty clear, it’s time to move on.
In September 2013 the House Oversight Committee criticized the Accountability Review Board, which Clinton convened, for downplaying “security decisions made by senior officials at the State Department” according to a report from Sheryl Atkinson for CBS. The criticism accuses the ARB of laying blame on four subordinates with sometimes little or no responsibility for the key events assigned to more senior officials.
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