House Panel: No Wrongdoing by US Military, CIA on Benghazi
by VOA News November 22, 2014
A new congressional report concludes there was no wrongdoing by the U.S. military and the CIA in the response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.
The attack by Islamic extremists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
President Barack Obama's Republican critics allege the White House and State Department lied about the incident and ordered a CIA rescue team not to go into action.
The latest report by the House Intelligence Committee was the seventh high-level investigation into the attack. It reached many of the same conclusions — that there was no intelligence failure, the administration did not block a rescue attempt by the CIA, and there is no evidence the agency funneled weapons from Libya to the Syrian opposition.
Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, his party's ranking member on the panel, say the CIA officers in Benghazi were heroes who saved lives.
The report says former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, the current national security adviser, had numerous faulty preliminary intelligence reports when she asserted on television that the attack rose out of a spontaneous process over an offensive anti-Muslim video.
The report says Rice did not deliberately mislead the American people. It concludes that it is still unclear what motivated the attackers and exactly who they are. The report, however, did conclude that the diplomatic compound where Stevens was killed was not well-protected and that State Department security agents knew it could not be defended against a well-armed attack.
The United States captured one of the alleged Benghazi ringleaders, Ahmed Abu Khatalla, earlier this year. He is facing trial in the United States.
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