The final report on the events surrounding the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi has claimed that Obama administration officials failed to act on intelligence and orders from the President.
According to Part I of the five-part report, President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave clear orders for military support to be sent to Benghazi, yet no assets were sent. As many as eight hours after the attack, the final two Americans involved in the fight were killed, yet still no support was present in Libya.
The report claimed that White House officials convened a meeting at 7:30 PM just after the attack began which ran about two hours long. During the meeting, administration officials focused on an anti-Islamic YouTube video. Other action items discussed during the meeting said that before military support is provided , “Libya must agree to any deployment.”
Also included in the report was the fact that a Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST), was activated in Rota, Spain, but was grounded for as many as three hours. FAST teams are comprised of highly trained Marine Corps elements responsible for protecting Navy and Marine Corps assets abroad in emergency situations.
Regarding military support in general, the report said that none of the military assets that were available were able to meet their deployment deadlines.
The support the U.S. contingent at the consulate did receive from local Libyan forces had no relationship to U.S. intelligence or the State Department, despite those agencies developing relationships with local forces for 18th months after the revolt against dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The report claimed that these same forces were once Gaddafi loyalists that U.S. forces helped remove from power.
“Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were heroes who gave their lives in service to our country,” said committee Chairman Trey Gowdy in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Their bravery and the courageous actions of so many others on the ground that night should be honored.”
Gowdy said that he and his colleagues conducted the investigation in a professional manner, “worthy of the memory of those who died.”
Democratic members of the committee released their own dissenting report Monday, one day before the Republican majority report. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic ranking member of the committee, accused Gowdy of engaging in political partisanship and refusing to properly work with Democrats.
“Democrats offered to work with Chairman Gowdy on a joint report, and we even offered to give him a draft of our report ahead of time,” said Cummings. “Instead, he mocked our idea and decided to go it alone right before the presidential conventions. We can’t comment on his partisan report because we haven’t read it, and we haven’t read it because Republicans didn’t want us to check it against the evidence we obtained.”
Gowdy has encouraged the American public to read the over 800-page report for themselves before drawing conclusions.
“Now, I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions.” said Gowdy. “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.”
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