Benghazi

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Published on Feb 10, 2013

2/10/13 – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on CBS News’ Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer on Sunday where he pledged to try to block the nominations of both Chuck Hagel and John Brennan in an effort to get more information about the 2012 attack on an American consulate in Benghazi out of President Barack Obama. Graham told Schieffer that he thought it was unfortunate that Obama did not place a personal call to officials in the Libyan government on the evening of September 11, 2012, when an American consulate in Libya was overrun by militants.

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“I do believe, if he had picked up the phone and called the Libyan government, these folks could have gotten out of the airport to the annex and the last two guys may very well be alive,” Graham said. “If he failed to call on behalf of those people under siege, then I think that’s a massive failure of leadership by the commander-in-chief.”

“This seems to be a very disengaged president,” Graham said. “I’m not going to stop until we get an accounting.”

“If they don’t give you an answer, what can you do?” Schieffer asked. Graham replied that he was not prepared to vote to confirm either Brennan as CIA Director or Hagel as Secretary of Defense unless the White House comes forward with more information about the president’s actions on the night of the Benghazi attack.

“Did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do?” Graham asked.

“What did he do that night?” Graham asked regarding the president’s activities on the night of the attack. “That’s not unfair. The families need to know, the American people need to know.”

“You are saying that you are going to block the nominations, you’re going to block them from coming to a vote, until you get an answer to this?” Schieffer asked.

“Yes,” Graham replied, though ruled out filibustering the president’s nominees on the Senate floor. “This is complete system failure, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” Graham declared.

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White House: Obama Called Libyan President Day After Benghazi Attack

By Jonathan Karl Feb 14, 2013 2:47pm

ABC News has learned that the White House, in a bid to clear the way for a vote on Chuck Hagel’s delayed nomination to be Defense Secretary, has turned over more information on the President’s activities during the 24 hours after the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.

Among other things, the letter points to an accountability review conducted by the State Department which found the response from Washington to the attack was “timely and appropriate.” The letter argues the “intensive response” was “directed by the President.” On the day of the attack – Sept. 11 – then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the Libyan President Magariaf. President Obama called Magariaf the next day, Sept. 12, according to the White House.

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A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, in this Sept. 13, 2012 photo. (Mohammad Hannon/AP Photo)

The information on the President’s involvement in the response to the Benghazi attack comes in the form if a letter from the White House Counsel addressed to Senators McCain, Ayotte and Graham — who had demanded it.

Here is a key passage from the White House letter:

“This intensive response, which was directed by the President, included 13 meetings of interagency Principals and Deputies within a week of the attack and involved continuous outreach by senior administration officials to the Government of Libya, includingby the President and members of his Cabinet. As to the specific question in your February 12 letter, Secretary Clinton called Libyan President Magariaf on behalf of the President on the evening of the September 11, 2012 to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya and access to the Libyan territory. At that time, President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation. The President spoke to President Magariaf on the evening of September 12th.”

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Hagel was not in government service when the consulate was attacked, but Republicans lead by Sen. Lindsey Graham have used the Hagel nomination as a way to further investigate the Benghazi attack.

Graham insisted that outgoing Defense Sec. Leon Panetta testify on Capitol Hill with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey about the reaction to the attack, which claimed the lives of four Americans, including Amb. Chris Stevens.

At that hearing, Graham asked Panetta and Dempsey if they had personally heard from President Obama on the night of the attack and implied that the President was not enough engaged in the response.

It is unclear if this new disclosure by the White House will clear the way to a vote on the Hagel nomination, but it is an effort to do just that.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/02/white-house-obama-called-libyan-president-day-after-benghzai-attack/

John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, speaks as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., left, listen while they discuss the investigation of the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

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Senator Graham: “Benghazi Was About Breakdown of Security, Failure of Leadership, and a Prez Who Was Virtually Disengaged” (Video)

February, 14, 2013 — nicedeb

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) held a press conference, today, to make a statement in response to Obama’s letter acknowledging he did not call anyone in Libya on September 11, 2012 during the 8 hours the U.S. mission was under attack. He didn’t pick up the phone to call any government officials in Libya until Sept. 12, after everyone was dead.

If it were not for the three of us and other colleagues, you would still believe – the American people would still believe that this was a spontaneous event caused by a hateful video, Graham told reporters.  “That’s what was being told by Susan Rice five days after the attack, that’s what was being said by the POTUS for weeks. The reason we know that’s not true, is because we dug, and we pushed, and we prodded. And now we know, that during the entire attack, POTUS never picked up the phone to put the weight of his office into the mix, and there’s no stronger voice in the world than the President of the United States.”

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Graham noted that during the three and a half hours the rescue team was waiting at the Benghazi airport to get to the annex, “Sec. Clinton said that she was on the phone yelling at the Libyan government to help, and my belief is that if the POTUS had picked up the phone and lent the weight of his office, it could have made a difference because the last two guys died within the last hour of the attack.”

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And finally, he asked, “who changed the talking points? How could  the President and Susan Rice tell the country that there’s no evidence of coordinated, pre-planned  terrorist attack when the Sec. of Defense and  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs described in detail how they knew that night it was a pre-planned coordinated terrorist attack.”

“The record needs to be clear”, Graham continued, “this was not about a hateful video, it was about a breakdown of national security, it was about an ambassador who was begging the State Dept. to send reinforcements for months, this was about a deteriorating security situation, this is about a attack you could see coming, this is about a complete failure of leadership in a Sec of Defense who never talked to the Sec of State,  and a President who as far as we know was virtually disengaged.”

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He concluded, “America needs to learn what happened, and we need to learn from our mistakes.”

http://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/senator-graham-benghazi-was-about-breakdown-of-security-failure-of-leadership-and-a-pres-who-was-virtually-disengaged-video/

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Hillary Clinton Testifies Before Senate Hearing On Benghazi Attacks

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Hearing

benghazi-pic4Clinton takes on critics over Benghazi at tense Hill hearings

Published January 23, 2013| FoxNews.com

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her long-awaited testimony Wednesday on the Benghazi terror attack by taking “responsibility” — but she used the full day of hearings to repeatedly deny involvement in key controversies and pointedly reject the allegations of Republican lawmakers.

The at times heated testimony before House and Senate committees, likely to be the outgoing secretary’s last, elicited praise from Democrats and frustration from Republicans. Far from putting the issue to rest, the testimony further fueled a debate that has raged on Capitol Hill for four months.

Though she said officials are following some “very promising leads” on the terrorists, Clinton herself acknowledged there are still several open questions about what prompted the attack that night.

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The secretary battled tough criticism from lawmakers throughout the day. In one of the final jabs of the session, Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., told her, “Madame Secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap.”

The biggest flash point Wednesday came during morning testimony.

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Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson claimed the department could have “easily” determined what happened that night by interviewing staffers who were evacuated. He was referring to the administration’s initial claim that the attack sprung out of a protest. It was later determined there was no protest on the ground in Benghazi. Diplomatic security agents said as much to the FBI during interviews on Sept. 14, despite administration claims to the contrary two days later.

“We were misled that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that,” Johnson said. “The American people could have known that (there was no protest) within days, and they didn’t know that.”

At that point, Clinton began to raise her voice.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she said.

“I understand,” Johnson said.

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Clinton continued to speak, raising her voice and gesturing: “Was it because of a protest or is it because of guys out for a walk one night and they decide they go kill some Americans?

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Clinton, lowering her voice, then said it is the administration’s job to “figure out what happened” and prevent it from happening again.

Later in the testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton acknowledged the administration did not have a “clear picture” of what happened in the immediate aftermath. She said perhaps officials didn’t do a good enough job explaining that they “didn’t have a clear picture.”

But Clinton still said the motivations of the attackers, to this day, are not clear. “Even today there are questions being raised,” she said, referring to findings in the classified version of a recent report that she could not describe in detail.

Clinton, throughout the hearing, walked a fine line between taking responsibility generally for what went wrong and challenging specific allegations against her department and the administration.

During the opening of the hearing, Clinton said she has “no higher priority” than the security of her department’s staff, and that she is committed to making the department “safer, stronger and more secure.”

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“As I have said many times, I take responsibility, and nobody is more committed to getting this right,” Clinton said, later choking up when describing how she greeted the families of the victims when the caskets were returned.

Clinton went on to deny having ever seen the requests for more security from the Libya team that were denied by officials within the State Department.

“I didn’t see those requests, they didn’t come to me,” Clinton said, adding those kinds of requests wouldn’t normally come to the secretary.

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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., later suggested lives could have been saved if Clinton were more involved in reviewing security requests.

He said that if he were president, “I would have relieved you from your post.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after the exchange with Johnson, said he was not satisfied with the secretary’s answers, complaining that the public still doesn’t have answers on what happened.

Clinton, while pushing back against Johnson, also said she was not involved in crafting the controversial statements that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice made on Sept. 16 — in which she asserted the attack was “spontaneous” and linked to a protest.

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Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

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“I wasn’t involved in the talking points process,” Clinton said, though she said she wasn’t aware of anything that would have “contradicted” the information Rice had at the time. She noted that “going on the Sunday shows is not my favorite thing,” a possible reference to claims that she declined to go on television Sept. 16.

Clinton also defended the administration’s actions on the night of Sept. 11, when the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi came under fire and four Americans died.

“I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government,” she said. “No delays in decision-making. No denials of support from Washington or from our military.”

Citing the findings of a review panel, she said: “The board said the response saved American lives in real time — and it did.”

Several accounts relayed to Fox News, though, suggest possible delays in the response.

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Fox News has learned from senior U.S. defense officials that a FAST team of Marines out of Spain was asked by State Department officials to change out of their Marine uniforms after being asked to leave for Libya to help — this required them to deplane and delayed them by about 90 minutes, according to Pentagon officials.

Then there is the decision by Clinton and State Department Undersecretary of Management Patrick Kennedy not to mobilize the Counterterrorism Security Group, which is composed of experts on terrorism from across government agencies and makes recommendations on the response to crises involving terrorism.

Further, there are questions about the perceived delays CIA officials — stationed in Benghazi — encountered that night and their frustration that air support was not sent from nearby Sigonella air base. In recent weeks, Fox News has learned that the rescue unit that left Tripoli was told that air support would be above when they landed in Benghazi. It wasn’t.

During the hearing on the House side Wednesday afternoon, Clinton was also pressed on why she was never interviewed by the State Department-sponsored board that investigated the incident. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said that was “outrageous.”

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Clinton said the board thought she was not “relevant” to their investigation because they were focusing on security officials. She said she “gladly” would have spoken with them.

She also addressed concerns about the four State Department officials who were removed from their jobs in the fallout from the attack – but were not removed from the department. She suggested federal law restricts what disciplinary measures could be taken against them.

The hearing Wednesday comes amid a broadening threat to U.S. interests across North Africa. There are reports that some of the attackers who took hostages in the deadly raid on an Algeria gas plant may have also participated in the Libya attack.

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“Benghazi did not happen in a vacuum,” Clinton said Wednesday, while saying later she could not verify that specific claim. She said instability has created an “expanding safe haven for terrorists” who plot into Algeria and other countries.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., top Republican on the Senate committee, lamented “the spiking of the ball and the thinking that when Usama bin Laden was gone that was the end of Al Qaeda.”

“We know nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

Clinton appeared to agree that the terrorist threat is far from diminished, saying Al Qaeda “wannabes” and “affiliates” continue to pose a challenge.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/23/clinton-denies-delay-in-benghazi-response-despite-accounts/

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Hillary Handles Hardball

By Chris Stirewalt

Published January 23, 2013| FoxNews.com

 “I guess everybody says to me, how can you be so calm? Or how can you just, you know, look like you’re not upset? And I guess I’ve just been through it so many times.”

— Then-first lady Hillary Clinton in a Jan. 17, 1998 interview with NBC News.

This is the last we will probably hear from Hillary Clinton for a while.

The secretary of State will face double-barreled questioning today in the Senate and the House about how her department made such a botch of the raid by Islamist militants the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Some of Clinton’s interrogators will be focused on her effort to spin the raids as an unforeseeable consequence to a YouTube clip offensive to Muslims. Other questions will focus on why her team denied pleas for more security despite warnings and with the anniversary of 9/11 approaching. Another likely line of inquiry will be about what President Obama knew and when he knew it as it relates to the video spin and the decision not to try to rescue the doomed Americans killed in the raid.

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Those who are looking for a Benghazi breakthrough today should bear in mind that perhaps no one in Washington is better equipped to slip these snares than the former first lady.

This is a woman who has survived tough questioning on everything from her sudden interest in livestock commodities trading and real estate speculation in Arkansas to the suicide of one of her closest friends to the cover up of her husband’s affair with a White House aide to, to firings in the White House travel office, to her claim that she braved sniper fire in Bosnia… Well, you get the idea.

Those who think Clinton is going to crack under questioning over Benghazi now should remember how she survived prior media uproars and conservative outrages. Her best strategy has almost always been to wait for one of her detractors to overreach and then use that to discredit the more reasonable concerns raised about her or her husband.

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Glenn Beck’s affinity for chalkboard diagrams charting out the frequently illusory “connections” in the growing liberal conspiracy to undermine America is well-documented. In that spirit, Media Matters for America has explored Beck’s links to the extremist, unhinged, and sometimes paranoid people and groups that inhabit the world of right-wing political activism and laid them out in a Beck-style chart.
http://mediamatters.org/research/2009/10/19/the-glenn-beck-chart/155903

She will no doubt be hoping for the chance to raise her righteous indignation over a nasty-sounding question. In the best-case scenario for Clinton, she would be able to summon the indignation not on her own behalf but for her staff and the president.

Now, as one of the most popular political figures in the country and viewed with deep sympathy by women who saw her mistreated by her husband and edged out by a man for the Democratic nomination in 2008, Clinton comes with a lot of clout.

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She is also helped by all of the lines of questioning. As someone who once helped prepare the congressional inquiry into Watergate, she knows that it’s easier to fend off an array of questions rather than just one central line of inquiry. And having had months to prepare her answers, she’s not likely to get tangled up.

So assuming that she survives the day without breaking down or saying something truly preposterous, Clinton will be able to slide out of her official position and do so to press accolades for a job well done. Her successor, Sen. John Kerry, is a shoo-in for confirmation and Clinton should have little trouble lowering her profile until all of this Benghazi business blows over.

Then, as a very rich, very famous and very popular politician, Clinton can decide her next moves. If she wants to run for president, which it seems almost certain that she does, she can wait and watch.

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While potential presidential contenders New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden have to hustle to warm up the Democratic base, Clinton can bide her time. Cuomo and Biden need to inspire the left with gun bans and other social issues, while Clinton can stand pat and talk about “big picture” ideas and lofty international goals.

Obama is revving up the base big time, finally acting like the man they wanted him to be all along: confrontational, ideological and uncompromising on key issues.

Depending on how the next two years unfold, the Democratic base may be still in the thrall of Obama-style liberalism and will want to see someone who promises to continue the incumbent’s fight against inequality, global warming, etc.

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If things go poorly for the president, though, the party may be in the mood for something else and be looking for someone more centrist in hopes of holding on the White House.

Clinton, after today, will have time to see which way the wind is blowing before she starts positioning herself after the 2014 midterm elections. Whether she’s unstoppable or not, she certainly has something no other viable Democrat enjoys: the luxury of time.

And Now, A Word From Charles

“KRAUTHAMMER: [Members of Congress] will ask [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] one question that nobody in the press is asking: ‘Where are the embassy personnel who were flown out and unhurt who know and can say what happened and have not even been named by the State Department, and why aren’t they allowed to speak to the American people and the congress?

BAIER:  Almost no one in the press.

KRAUTHAMMER:  Of course, because I exclude us as standing above the press.”

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— An exchange between Charles Krauthammer and Bret Baier on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”  

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News, and his POWER PLAY column appears Monday-Friday on FoxNews.com. Catch Chris Live online daily at 11:30amET  at  http:live.foxnews.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/23/hillary-handles-hardball/

Report

Review of Benghazi attack faults ‘grossly’ inadequate security, leadership failures

By Anne Gearan, Published: December 18

An independent investigation of the fatal attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya on Sept. 11 found that “grossly” inadequate security and reliance on local militias left U.S. diplomats and other personnel vulnerable, the State Department told Congress on Tuesday.

The review of the assault on the mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans faulted systemic failures of leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department, according to an unclassified version posted on the department’s Web site Tuesday night.

The review by the Accountability Review Board said the temporary, lightly defended compound where Stevens died lacked disciplined oversight of its security operations. The diplomatic post’s ad hoc nature, with inexperienced staff members working there for short periods, “resulted in diminished institutional knowledge, continuity, and mission capacity,” the report said.

Finally, the report said State Department officials in Washington ignored requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, for additional guards and better security for the Benghazi compound, which served as a temporary U.S. consulate for eastern Libya. It also said that there had been worrisome incidents in the weeks before the attack that should have led to increased security, but the report did not identify any specific threats to the compound on Sept. 11.

The report said State Department security personnel on the scene and CIA officers at a nearby annex used as an operations base had responded in a timely and appropriate manner, and it absolved the U.S. military of any blame, saying there was not enough time for a military response that would have made any difference.

Despite the broad security failures, the report did not single out any individual officials as violating procedures and did not recommend any disciplinary action.

The report also concluded that, contrary to initial reports by the Obama administration and by media outlets, there was no protest outside the outpost ahead of the attack and that the assault on the diplomatic compound and the CIA annex was carried out by terrorists.

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Stevens and another diplomat, Sean Smith, were killed inside the compound. Two other Americans, CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, died in the attack on the annex. Ten people were injured in the assault.

The panel’s report “provides a clear-eyed look at serious, systemic challenges,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote in letters to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She said that the State Department had already begun to address the lapses and that she accepts “every one” of the recommendations for improvement.

Officials said Clinton will ask Congress to transfer $1.3 billion in money allocated to Iraq. The funds would be used for additional Marine guards, diplomatic security personnel and security improvements at U.S. missions overseas.

The report called on Congress to fully fund the request for additional security funds. “For many years the State Department has been engaged in a struggle to obtain the resources necessary to carry out its work with varying degrees of success,” the report said. The result, it said, has been inefficiencies that sacrifice security for savings.

An unclassified summary of the report was posted on the State Department’s Web site. A copy of Clinton’s letter was provided to reporters. More-detailed classified versions were made available earlier Tuesday to congressional leaders and the two committees in preparation for testimony by Deputy Secretaries William J. Burns and Thomas R. Nides on Thursday.

The Benghazi attack became a major issue in the presidential campaign, with GOP candidate Mitt Romney and numerous Republicans in Congress criticizing the Obama administration for what they viewed as poor security at the compound. Republicans also have been critical of initial administration reports that said the attack grew out of protests outside the Benghazi outpost over a U.S.-made anti-Islam video.

The report describes a somewhat loose and confusing arrangement for security and accountability at the site. It notes that everyone involved in Stevens’s trip to Benghazi from Tripoli for a week of meetings with local officials was aware of the potential for increased risk associated with the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. As a result, Stevens was confined to the post on that day.

The panel faulted Libyan guards who had been hired to protect the compound, saying that they may have abandoned their posts at the front gate and allowed the attackers to overrun the facility. The report also said that the response of the Libyan government was “profoundly lacking on the night of the attacks, reflecting both weak capacity and a near total absence of central government influence in Benghazi.”

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But the report also suggests that Stevens put himself in danger. It notes that he did not perceive an outsize risk created by traveling to Benghazi and that his deep experience in Libya and his management style meant that he made many decisions himself.

“His status as the leading U.S. government advocate on Libya policy, and his expertise on Benghazi in particular, caused Washington to give unusual deference to his judgments,” the report said.

The report found significant lapses in judgment and oversight by a few unidentified State Department employees but said no mistake amounted to a dereliction of duty. It did not recommend that anyone be fired.

First among the recommendations in the report is a general improvement in security for front-line posts in conflict zones and other dangerous countries. The United States cannot rely so heavily on the security forces of host countries, the report said.

“The department should urgently review the proper balance between acceptable risk and expected outcomes in high risk, high threat areas,” the report said.

Abandoning such posts is not acceptable, but neither is sending people to them without adequate support and forethought, the report said. It recommends a cost-benefit analysis of the mission, the risk and the responsibilities.

The five-member panel was led by former ambassador Thomas R. Pickering and included retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The two men are scheduled to present their findings in closed-door, classified meetings on Wednesday with the Senate and House foreign affairs panels.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/benghazi-panel-presents-findings-to-lawmakers-makes-recommendations/2012/12/18/9ada6032-495c-11e2-b6f0-e851e741d196_story.html?hpid=z1

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Read the full report and Hillary Clinton’s letter to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations below:

http://personal.crocodoc.com/fV5RzwQ

http://personal.crocodoc.com/lRyPRlW

Sex, Lies, Murder and Videotape

Petraeus testifies CIA’s Libya talking points were changed, lawmaker says

Published November 16, 2012|FoxNews.com

 

Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified in a closed-door hearing Friday morning that his agency determined immediately after the Sept. 11 Libya attack that “Al Qaeda involvement” was suspected — but the line was taken out in the final version circulated to administration officials, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who spoke to reporters after Petraeus testified before the House Intelligence Committee, indicated he and other lawmakers still have plenty of questions about the aftermath of the attack.

“No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points,” he said.

Petraeus was heading next to the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify. At the same time, lawmakers unexpectedly convened a briefing with top members of various committees to examine a Sept. 25 letter to President Obama that asked a series of classified questions on Benghazi.

Petraeus’ testimony both challenges the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the attack was a “spontaneous” protest over an anti-Islam video, and according to King conflicts with his own briefing to lawmakers on Sept. 14. Sources have said Petraeus, in that briefing, also described the attack as a protest that spun out of control.

“His testimony today was that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack,” King said, adding that he told Petraeus he had a “different recollection.”

Still, the claim that the CIA’s original talking points were changed is sure to stoke controversy on the Hill.

“The original talking points were much more specific about Al Qaeda involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists,” King said, adding that the final version was the product of a vague “inter-agency process.”

Further, King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the Al Qaeda affiliates line “was taken out.”

Lawmakers are focusing on the talking points issue because of concern over the account U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice gave on five Sunday shows on Sept. 16, when she repeatedly claimed the attack was spontaneous — Rice’s defenders have since insisted she was merely basing her statements on the intelligence at the time.

The suggestion that the intelligence was altered raised questions about who altered it, with King asking if “the White House changed the talking points.”

One source told Fox News that Petraeus “has no idea what was provided” to Rice or who was the author of the talking points she used.

“He had no idea she was going on talk shows” until the White House announced it one or two days before, the source said.

While Petraeus resigned last Friday over an extra-marital affair, his testimony Friday was expected to focus on Libya as opposed to personal matters. King said it barely came up, and only when Petraeus was asked if the affair and investigation had any impact on his testimony on Libya. “He said no,” King said.

The pressure was on Petraeus to set the record straight, after other top intelligence officials struggled a day earlier to explain why their initial talking points after the Libya attack minimized the role of militant groups.

Lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees heard testimony Thursday in private meetings with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell. But Fox News was told there were heated exchanges on the House side, particularly over the talking points that administration officials relied on in the days after the Sept. 11 strike.

Fox News was told that neither Clapper nor Morell knew for sure who finalized that information. And they could not explain why they minimized the role of a regional Al Qaeda branch as well as the militant Ansar al-Sharia despite evidence of their involvement.

Further, Fox News was told Morell was pushed to explain why, during a Sept. 14 briefing, Petraeus seemed wedded to the explanation that the attack was in response to an anti-Islam video. Morell apparently said he wasn’t at that briefing and had nothing further to add.

Lawmakers continue to express concerns on several fronts — on whether warnings in the months preceding Sept. 11 were ignored, and on why the administration first insisted the attack was a “spontaneous” act.

Rice has been the focal point of that criticism. Obama, though, in his first post-election press conference Wednesday, called the criticism “outrageous” and told those lawmakers to “go after me” instead.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff also came to Rice’s defense Thursday, saying after the House intelligence committee hearing that Rice was given the intelligence community’s “best assessment” at the time.

“Those who have suggested that Ambassador Rice was politicizing the intelligence or misrepresenting what the intelligence community was putting forward as its best assessment are either unfamiliar with the facts, or willfully disregarding them,” he said.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/16/petraeus-to-testify-knew-libya-was-terrorism-from-start-source-says/#ixzz2CP5aEZYf