TEL AVIV – House Republicans investigating the Benghazi attacks wrote in their final report that questions about secretive activities in Libya related to weapons have not been satisfactorily answered by the Obama administration.
The final report of the House Republicans Select Committee on Benghazi, released on Tuesday and reviewed in full by Breitbart Jerusalem, documents the committee’s lingering questions about weapons and “U.S. activities in Libya.”
The Committee report states that that over the course of “nearly a dozen interviews with the State Department, the Defense Department, and CIA personnel, witnesses consistently refused to answer questions related to certain allegations with respect to U.S. activities in Libya even though the House specifically gave the Committee access to materials relating to intelligence sources and methods.”
“Most of these questions related in some way to allegations regarding weapons. These refusals meant significant questions raised in public relating to Benghazi could not be answered,” the report stated.
The Committee further revealed that it requested access to information in light of interviews with State, CIA and Pentagon officials, all of whom “did not respond fully to questions from the Committee during their interviews due to access issues”
Continued the report: “Some of the testimony provided raised substantial further questions in light of the record available to the Committee. The administration ultimately did not provide the requested access.”
The Republican report’s conclusions stand in sharp contrast to a 339-page House Democrat report on Benghazi released on Monday and also reviewed in full by Breitbart Jerusalem.
That report refers to “unsubstantiated” allegations about weapons transfers. “For years, Republican Members of Congress and presidential candidates have alleged that the CIA was involved in an illicit government program to transfer weapons from Libya to Syria,” the Democrat report states.
The Democrat report refers to a 2014 Republican-led Senate report on Benghazi by Republican Chairman Mike Rogers, which found “the CIA was not collecting and shipping arms from Libya to Syria.”
The Democrat report documented testimony from intelligence officials about the CIA’s role in Benghazi, which, the officials said, included collecting intelligence on foreign entities themselves involved in weapons collection and distribution efforts.
According to testimony from then CIA Director David Petraeus, Deputy Director Michael Morell, and other witnesses on the ground, the CIA’s primary mission in Benghazi was to collect foreign intelligence. The Chief of Base confirmed the finding of HPSCI’s report that part of this mission included “collecting intelligence about foreign entities that were themselves collecting weapons in Libya and facilitating their passage to Syria.” The Chief of Base also confirmed that the base in Benghazi was not involved in shipping weapons from Libya to Syria.
The report, however, did note a State Department effort to collect and destroy MANPADS in Libya:
The Select Committee confirmed that the State Department had a publicly acknowledged program to collect and destroy MANPADS [man-portable air-defense systems] in Libya. That program, however, was designed to destroy the MANPADS when they were collected, not to redistribute them to others. Many witnesses explained the risk that these shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles pose to civil aviation and the importance of securing and destroying them.
Unmentioned in the House Democrat report is that the largest terrorist looting of MANPADS took place immediately after the 2011 U.S.-NATO military campaign, strongly pushed by Hillary Clinton, that toppled the Gadhafi regime in Libya.
NATO failed to immediately protect the reserves of MANPADS.
As I reported:
Gadhafi had hoarded Africa’s biggest-known reserve of MANPADS, with a stock said to number between 15,000 and 20,000. Many of the missiles were stolen by militias fighting in Libya, including those backed by the U.S. in their anti-Gadhafi efforts. There were reports of a Western effort to secure the MANPADS, including collecting some from rebels in Libya.
With additional research by Joshua Klein.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.