The report released by a House Republican Conference, made up of five separate Chairmen from five separate Committees is definitely a positive step in that direction.
Those five are:
- Buck McKeon - Armed Services
- Ed Royce - Foreign Affairs
- Bob Goodlatte - Judiciary
- Darrell Issa - Oversight
- Mike Rogers - Intelligence
The report is available through Speaker Boehner's office.
One doesn't have to read past the second paragraph in the Executive Summary to find where the conference has found culpability:
Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including Secretary Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.On the same day that Clinton testified in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she also testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During that testimony, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said that if he'd have been president when the Benghazi attacks happened, he would have fired Hillary. It would seem that the report backs up that position.
There are two more bullet points in the Executive Summary, one having to do with the administration altering the talking points in order to blame the anti-Muhammad video for the attacks, the other regarding claims that this one done to protect classified information.
On page two (referenced again on page seven), the conference points to a document with Clinton's signature on it:
Repeated requests for additional security were denied at the highest levels of the State Department. For example, an April 2012 State Department cable bearing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s signature acknowledged then-Ambassador Cretz’s formal request for additional security assets but ordered the withdrawal of security elements to proceed as planned.It was also good to see the report include reference to a 'quick reaction force' that was relied upon to help defend the Consulate (Special Mission Compound) actually had sympathies with terrorists:
...the Benghazi Mission used local, unarmed guards, who were responsible for activating the alarm in the event of an attack, as well as four armed members of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, who were to serve as a quick reaction force. The February 17 Martyrs Brigade was one of the militias that fought for Gadhafi’s overthrow. Numerous reports have indicated that the Brigade had extremist connections, and it had been implicated in the kidnapping of American citizens as well as in the threats against U.S. military assets.Let's take a look at what very well could be perjury on the part of Clinton during her testimony this past January. On page 10 of the report, the conference cites the April 19, 2012 document that Clinton signed, which discusses pulling back on security despite acknowledgment that a request for more security had been made, and juxtaposes it with her January 23, 2013 testimony:
“I have made it very clear that the security cables did not come to my attention or above the assistant secretary level where the ARB [Accountability Review Board] placed responsibility. Where, as I think Ambassador Pickering said, ‘the rubber hit the road.’”And...
"...I was not aware of that going on, it was not brought to my attention…"When it comes to the issue of perjury, the closest Hillary seemed to come was during her exchange with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), in which she claimed she had no idea - one way or the other - if there was any arms shipments to Turkey from American outposts in Benghazi. It would seem she should have at least known the answer to the question - yes or no.
These new revelations courtesy of the House Republican conference seem to not only point to perjury with respect to Clinton not knowing about the requests for additional security but also a smoking gun in the form of a document bearing her signature that put the lives of the four Americans who were murdered on 9/11/12 in more danger.
For some reason, this :35 second exchange Hillary had with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is taking on increasingly added significance, very much in the spirit of 'thou doth protest too much':
There is a reason the Conference felt confident in resting accountability at Hillary's feet. That reason is far more newsworthy than the report that they did so.