Panetta to Testify on Benghazi

Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 10:41 PM

By Matthew Auerbach

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Sept. 11 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had threatened to place a hold on Chuck Hagel's nomination unless Panetta agreed to testify on what actions the Pentagon took before, during and after the raid in which four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

“The one thing I’m not going to do is vote on a new secretary of Defense until the old secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, who I like very much, testifies about what happened in Benghazi,” Graham said on Monday. “Why would we not want to understand what happened during the attack?”

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Graham and other Republican lawmakers continue to seek answers about the raid -- after seeing a State Department report on the attack and questioning outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for approximately 10 hours during open Capitol Hill testimony.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced at the start of Hagel's confirmation hearing Thursday that the panel would hold a hearing on Benghazi next month.

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