Image Credits: ABC News

On Tuesday, the two-year investigation into the September 11, 2012 terror attacks on Americans in Benghazi came to an end, with an 800-page report from the House Republicans on the Select Committee on Benghazi. Chairman Trey Gowdy, of South Carolina, said, “This investigation and the committee’s final report is about the four brave Americans we lost in Libya, getting the truth for their families and all Americans, and conducting effective congressional oversight to prevent what happened in Benghazi from happening again. Anyone looking for a report focused on the former Secretary of State will be disappointed. This investigation is not about her, and the report will not be about her either. She is an important witness whose decisions impacted virtually all aspects of Benghazi, but she is a single witness among the soon to be 100 interviewed by the committee.”

After the release of the report, he also added “I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions. You can read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.”

However, we know that the odds that everyday people are going to read the 800+ pages are slim. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people want everything in a thirty second Tasty video or, so they don’t want it at all. If you’re reading this, you probably DO care though, and we’re so glad! But we’re all very busy, so here is what you need to know about the Benghazi Committee’s Report.

One of the most important facts, or at least one that sticks out poignantly, is the fact that: “Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141] That’s right. Our citizens were under attack, and despite the plea to send in military assets, those assets were not sent until it was too late. They didn’t delay moments. They delayed hours. Four US Citizens died because of it.

Of course, you’re probably still wondering about that pesky video, the reason that then Secretary of State Clinton claimed was the impetus for the attack, a blatant lie. The report has an answer for that one too: Five of the 10 action items from the 7:30 PM White House meeting referenced the video, but no direct link or solid evidence existed connecting the attacks in Benghazi and the video at the time the meeting took place. The State Department senior officials at the meeting had access to eyewitness accounts to the attack in real time. The Diplomatic Security Command Center was in direct contact with the Diplomatic Security Agents on the ground in Benghazi and sent out multiple updates about the situation, including a “Terrorism Event Notification.” The State Department Watch Center had also notified Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills that it had set up a direct telephone line to Tripoli. There was no mention of the video from the agents on the ground. Greg Hicks—one of the last people to talk to Chris Stevens before he died—said there was virtually no discussion about the video in Libya leading up to the attacks. [pg. 28]”

The third part of the report also informed us, “Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta bluntly told the committee “an intelligence failure” occurred with respect to Benghazi. Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell also acknowledged multiple times an intelligence failure did in fact occur prior to the Benghazi attacks. [pg. 129]

At the end of a two-year investigation, which famously included eleven hours of Clinton testimony, the House committee found that the Obama administration made major errors when dealing with the Benghazi situation, both before, during, and after the attack, and that then Secretary Clinton knowingly misled the public, and the families of the victims, about the cause of the attack.

So, where does that leave us? We’re only months away from the general election, where Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State during the Benghazi attacks, will be trying to win votes. As much as we’d all love to see an indictment, it doesn’t look like one is coming, at least for her role in Benghazi. We can talk about it all we want, but nothing will bring those four Americans back. However, we can agree to not let them have died in vain by electing a president who will have strong foreign policy leaders in the Middle East and abroad and ensure that no one like Hillary Clinton ends up controlling the lives of ambassadors and soldiers like that ever again.

If this briefing has piqued your interest, then you can read the entire report here or check out articles by Fox News, CNN, and more.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member