State Department report on Benghazi to be released soon

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The Department of State’s investigation into the Benghazi terror attack may be released Wednesday, Dec. 19, more than four months after jihadis killed four Americans and destroyed two American facilities in Libya, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The public report may be incomplete, however, partly because it has a classified section that could include information embarrassing to the administration and to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who may want to for president in 2016.

The report was also prepared by a person she chose — her long-standing political allies, Ambassador Thomas Pickering.

The other co-leader of the investigation was former Adm. Michael Mullen, who was renominated to the job of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Last week, Clinton said she would be unable to attend a pair of congressional hearings this week on the attack, citing an illness. (RELATED: Clinton will not testify on Benghazi)

The report may shed some light on why the U.S. ambassador to Libya stayed in the Benghazi compound the evening of Sept. 11, and which jihadi group attack the U.S. sites.

It may also include some information about why White House officials, including Obama, initially tried to blame the attack on a little-known anti-Islam video produced by an Egyptian immigrant living in California. (RELATED: Husband of top Susan Rice deputy tweets anti-Kerry messages)

But the Benghazi report is unlikely to provide much information about the administration’s overall Arab-region strategy.

The 2009 policy, dubbed “a new beginning,” gambled that the region’s popular Islamist movements would moderate if were allowed to gain power. So far, Islamists have taken power in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, but have not taken major steps to suppress their ideological allies in al-Qaida and other jihadi groups.

Elsewhere, elected Islamist groups have increased their power or presence in Turkey and Morocco, while jihadi groups have used looted Libyan weapons to seize Northern Mali, and have taken a leading role in Syria’s civil war.

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