- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Benghazi investigators demand cable signed by Clinton; White House balks
The White House accused Republicans of a political distraction Wednesday after House committee chairmen asked President Obama to release a State Department cable that they said would prove Hillary Rodham Clinton, as secretary off state, signed off on security cuts at the diplomatic post in Benghazi ahead of the attack Sept. 11.
According to the committee chairmen, the April 2012 Clinton cable denies the U.S. Embassy in Libya’s request for more security. Five months later, the outpost in Benghazi was attacked and four Americans were killed, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
“An April 19, 2012, cable bearing Secretary Clinton’s signature acknowledged requests for additional security, but nevertheless ordered the withdrawal of security assets to proceed as planned,” the chairmen of five House committees wrote in a letter to Mr. Obama.
“Given the gravity of this issue, we request that you immediately make the April 19, 2012, State Department cable public.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Mrs. Clinton’s signature on the cable was standard for all diplomatic cables and was a practice continued from prior administrations.
He accused the Republicans of trying to “stoke a false controversy.”
Mrs. Clinton resigned as secretary of state this year, but political analysts say she could make another run for the White House in 2016. If she does, questions about her role in Benghazi are sure to dog her.
Officials in Libya made repeated requests for more security and reported to headquarters that the situation was deteriorating in Benghazi. The British Embassy, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross withdrew their personnel from Benghazi.
Mrs. Clinton has testified that she never saw the requests for more security and that subordinates made decisions to reduce protection.
But in an interim report released Tuesday, the chairmen of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Judiciary Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee said the evidence shows otherwise.
The chairmen cleared the intelligence community of blame, saying it gave plenty of warning that an attack could happen. The chairmen also cleared the Pentagon, saying the military did what it could to respond, but it was limited.
Instead, the lawmakers said it was Mr. Obama and his aides at the White House, along with Mrs. Clinton and her team at the State Department, who failed.
“The report demonstrates that reductions in security levels prior to the attacks were approved at the highest levels of the State Department,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce, California Republican, said Wednesday. “The report also finds that in the days after the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the intelligence community in order to cover up the State Department’s responsibility for this disaster.”
Mr. Carney said the administration is focused on trying to track down those who orchestrated the attack.
He said the House “efforts to politicize this have failed in the past and are not helpful to the broad national security efforts we share.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Syria mess may spawn 'Islamic emirate' world must deal with, says Iraq's top diplomat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- GORDON: Purging America's military
- Obamacare's bold vision turns murky: Health reform downsized, promises broken
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
White House pets gone wild!