House Benghazi Report: No New Evidence Of Wrongdoing

| by Robert Fowler
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonPresumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton

On June 28, the House Benghazi Committee released a final report on the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Clocking in over 800 pages, the report offers no major revelations on the incident.

Instead, the House Committee spreads culpability for the deaths of four Americans evenly among State Department officials and the late Ambassador Chris Stevens himself, CNN reports.

The Committee concluded that the Benghazi consulate did not have adequate security given the level of violence and political instability mounting in Libya during that timeframe. The diplomatic compound relied heavily on a disorganized Libyan militia for protection.

The report did not directly fault former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the attack but suggested that she and former Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy did not heed troubling intelligence that indicated tensions in the area.

"It is not clear what additional intelligence would have satisfied either Kennedy or the Secretary in understanding the Benghazi mission compound was at risk — short of an attack," the report noted, according to CNN.

Stevens was also found partially culpable for ignoring warnings that the consulate was unsafe. Former U.S. deputy chief Joan Polaschik of the Libyan mission testified that Stevens "had, I think, a different tolerance of risk than I did."

During a press conference on June 28, the chairman of the House Committee, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, urged politicians to read the full report before slamming its findings. The chairman was asked if he agreed with the conservative slogan "Clinton lied, people died," Mediaite reports.

"You don’t see that T-shirt on me, and you don’t see that bumper sticker on any of my vehicles," Gowdy responded. "And you’ve never heard me comment on that."

While Gowdy insisted that everyone should read the report and draw their own conclusions, both parties could not resist politicizing the Benghazi attack.

Democratic lawmakers had released a dissenting report on June 27, stating that they wanted to offer an alternative record to the House Committee, which they have repeatedly accused of being a Republican witch hunt with the sole purpose of discrediting Clinton, who is now the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Meanwhile, on June 28, Republican Reps. Mike Pompeo of Kansas and Jim Jordan of Ohio, both members of the House Committee, released their own report, which focuses on laying blame on the Obama administration and Clinton for the deaths of the four Americans.

"The overall report, it’s about facts, what happened," Jordan told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "But Mr. Pompeo and I thought it was important to ask the questions."

In their report, Jordan and Pompeo all but accuse Clinton of lying about the incident but admit there is no clear evidence to back up their claim. Pompeo told The Daily Beast that the Obama administration’s reaction to Benghazi "was to underplay, to react with caution."

Jordan and Pompeo wrote in their report that the Obama administration "told one story privately and a different story publicly."

The Benghazi attack has been one of the most investigated incidents in modern U.S. history. Gowdy’s House panel spent $7 million of taxpayer money to reach their concluding 800-page report.

Sources: CNN, The Daily Beast, Mediaite / Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr

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