Award-winning veteran investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson reports on the 40-page supplemental report Congressmen Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mike Pompeo (R-KS) attached to the larger Benghazi report released Tuesday morning. The Jordan-Pompeo report makes clear that the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton’s State Department impeded the investigation and knowingly misled the public about the 9-11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
White House “Impeded the Investigation”
In the end, Republicans say the White House “impeded the investigation” making it impossible to answer all outstanding questions. “The Committee ended its work without having spoken to anyone in the White House Situation Room that night,” wrote Jordan and Pompeo. “Nor did we receive all email communication between White House staffers concerning the attackall off limits to Congressaccording to White House lawyers.”
President Obama’s whereabouts during the attacks and his precise actions remain unknown and publicly unaccounted for. White House press secretary Josh Earnest blocked release of White House photos taken that night that could provide insight. And the President did not respond to the Committee’s questions.
At times, the Obama administration provided false information, says the Jordan-Pompeo report. When they sought to identify and interview the military operator who guided an unmanned military drone flying over the compound while the attacks were underway, a Defense Department official claimed, “The [Defense] Department has expended significant resources to locate anyone who might match the description of this person, to no avail.” However, that claim was proven “completely false,” said Republicans. Eventually, the Department of Defense produced the witness.
As to what military assets might have been available, but were not called upon, Republicans say the Defense Department refused to fill in those blanks.
“The military has failed to provide a clear, specific inventory of every armed aircraft whether manned or unmanned that could have flown to Benghazi during the 7-plus hours from the beginning of the attack to the mortar rounds hitting the CIA Annex. Instead, the military has insisted that the Committee simply accept the word of senior military officers, some without firsthand knowledge of the events, as an adequate substitute for actual eye witnesses.”
Democrats claim, “The Defense Department could not have done anything differently on the night of the attacks that would have saved the lives of the four brave Americans killed in Benghazi, and although the military’s global posture prevented it from responding more quickly that night, improvements were made years ago.”
Obama Administration’s Public vs. Private Statements
Using government documents, Jordan and Pompeo spent many pages in their report contrasting the private and public statements of Obama officials at the time. For example, Clinton emailed her daughter at 11:23 p.m. the night of the attacks, “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda- like [sic] group[.]” But Clinton didn’t mention terrorism or al-Qaeda in her public remarks the following morning when she implied a YouTube video sparked protesters who had gotten out of control and attacked.
Meantime, Clinton’s Acting Assistant Secretary Beth Jones privately told Libya’s Ambassador to the U.S. that “the group that conducted the attacks Ansar Al Sharia is affiliated with Islamic extremists.” And Clinton told Egypt’s Prime Minister in private that, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack not a protest we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”
After then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice appeared on Sunday talk shows furthering the false narrative blaming a spontaneous protest for the violence, documents show some State Department officials reacted with shock and disbelief.
One State Department official emailed another:
“The horse has left the barn on this, don’t you think? Rice was on FIVE Sunday Morning shows yesterday saying this. Tough to walk back.”
Other State Department officials chimed in:
“[State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland] planned on walking it back just a bit, though.”
“I think Rice was off the reservation on this one.”
“Yup. Luckily there’s enough in her language to fudge exactly what she said/meant.”
“Off the reservation on five networks!”
“[White House] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing.”
But instead of correcting Rice’s statements, Republicans say the State Department may have changed its public statements to match Rice’s claims. “No one asked about it could explain the change. The change from the truth to a known false statement is troubling,” say Republicans.
Rice was later considered to succeed Clinton as Secretary of State. As controversy over her statements lingered, she withdrew her name. President Obama later appointed her to become his National Security Advisor.
Read the rest of Attkisson’s article here.