Tags: Benghazi Scandal | Hillary Clinton | Trey Gowdy | Benghazi Report | Clinton

Trey Gowdy: Benghazi Report's Focus Is on 4 People Who Died, Not Clinton

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Tuesday, 28 June 2016 10:56 AM

The House Select Committee on Benghazi report is not a focus on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but instead is about the four people who died in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the diplomatic outpost in Libya, committee chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday morning, shortly after the report was released.

"I would ask you and all of my fellow citizens, put aside what they [Democrats] say the report will be like," the South Carolina Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"Read it for yourself and read all of the new information and what our focus is on. It is not on one person. It is on four people."

Among its findings, Gowdy said the report shows the "stark reality" that at 5:15 a.m., seven hours after the initial reports of the terrorist attacks that ended in the deaths of deaths of Ambassador Chris Stephens, IT expert Sean Smith, and security officers Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, "not a single wheel of a single U.S. military asset was heading towards Libya."

But this was in addition to committee findings that "nothing was ever going to Benghazi, nothing. The mortar attacks could have taken place at 7:15 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. or lunch time on the twelfth. Nothing was heading towards Benghazi."

Democrats on Monday issued their own report, in an attempted pre-emptive strike on the official report from the committee, but Gowdy said Tuesday that anyone criticizing the committee's documentation, which stretches to 800 pages, is being too political and has not read the report itself.

"It is the story of the heroism of those who died and also those who were injured and those who survived," said Gowdy, who noted that the committee also learned that trust was placed on the wrong factions as allies.

According to a statement issued Tuesday about the report, some of the key findings include:
  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases "[i]f any deployment is made," and "Libya must agree to any deployment," and "[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi." [pg. 115]
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and Marines changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]
  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]
"More lives would have been lost but for the team in Tripoli, getting their own private aircraft," Gowdy said Tuesday morning. "But for the evacuation by a group other than the one we were lead to believe evacuated us . . . more Americans would have died."

But meanwhile, Gowdy pointed out, Clinton was the secretary of state at the time of the attacks, and he "can't get around that fact," but the report focuses "on exactly what the families asked us to focus on. Shame on the Democrats for figuring that out.:

But the biggest takeaway, said Gowdy, was the matter of a two-hour White House meeting, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., a meeting in which Clinton participated and when the decision was made to head to Tripoli instead of Benghazi.

"So you're saying while our men were being shot at and killed and our first ambassador killed since 1979 while on duty, they were talking about the Libyans' feelings?" show host Joe Scarborough asked.

"Don't take my word for it," replied Gowdy. "It's all in the documents."

"While our men were dying, our ambassador were being dragged through the street they were saying they didn't want to do anything because it might hurt their feelings?" Scarborough asked.

"I'm not saying that," Gowdy replied, noting that out of 10 items discussed, half dealt with a anti-Muhammad video the Obama administration initially blamed for the attacks.

"Half of them included directing [a] secretary to call YouTube," said Gowdy. "This is a guy that should have been ordered [to respond] and he is being asked to call YouTube."

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The House Select Committee on Benghazi report is not a focus on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but instead is about the four people who died in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the diplomatic outpost in Libya, committee chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday...
Trey Gowdy, Benghazi Report, Clinton
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 10:56 AM
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