Report: Benghazi Probe Due to Lack of WH, State Dept Transparency

Monday, 12 May 2014 12:26 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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House Speaker John Boehner would never have moved to form a special committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks if the White House and State Department had been as transparent as the Pentagon, the Washington Examiner reported, citing Republican sources it didn't identify.

In a story titled, "The Benghazi probe didn't have to come to this," Byron York wrote that the controversy surrounding the siege on the Libyan mission has resulted in an "all-out political war" between the GOP and the Democrats.

The Democrats have claimed that the select committee is purely a case of partisan politics and an attempt to discredit potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attacks by extremists linked to al-Qaida.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Republicans, on the other hand, dismiss the notion they are playing party politics and maintain they just want to get to the truth of what went wrong on Sept. 11, 2012.

"Republican sources on Capitol Hill say that in general, the Pentagon's cooperation has been a model of how to deal with such an investigation, while the State Department and White House have been models of what not to do," wrote York, while noting that the initial probe started with three questions.

The first question: Was the United States adequately prepared for possible trouble abroad on the Sept. 11 anniversary? The second: Did the government do everything it could to rescue the Americans under attack for more than seven hours? The third: Did the Obama administration tell the straight story about what happened?

"Responsibility for answering the first and third questions fell heavily on the State Department and the White House," York wrote. "In general, their response has been incomplete, unreliable, confrontational, and deeply frustrating for investigators trying to piece together the Benghazi puzzle."

"But responsibility for answering the second question, about the immediate response to the attack, fell mostly to the Pentagon. And that has been an entirely different story."

York wrote that the military side of the investigation was carried out by the House Armed Services Committee, which had a majority of Republicans on the panel.

The interim report by committee Republicans released in February found that the military response to Benghazi was severely impeded because U.S. military assets were not ready to respond to such an attack, according to the Examiner.

"Nevertheless, the committee concluded the Pentagon did everything it could with what it had on that ugly night," wrote York, adding that lawmakers were satisfied they had been given a complete oversight of all the military options that could have been taken to save the U.S. victims.

"The rest of the administration could have cooperated like the Defense Department. If it had, Washington would be talking about something else now. Instead, the fight goes on," York wrote.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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