Benghazi attack report submitted to Hillary Clinton
The panel set up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to look into the circumstances that led to the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, has submitted its report, a State Department official said on Monday.
The Accountability Review Board (ARB) led by Tom Pickering, the former US Ambassador, and Adm (rtd) Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, submitted their report to Clinton today, her spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.
“The ARB has completed its work. Its report has gone to the Secretary this morning; she now has it,” she said.
Pickering and Mullen are expected to brief two key Congressional committees – the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee – on Wednesday, in a closed door meeting.
A day later two of Clinton’s top aides would appear before the two Congressional committee in an open session.
The report – which has both the classified and unclassified parts – would be submitted to the Congress before Wednesday.
Clinton was earlier scheduled to brief the Congressional committee, but because of her illness it would now be done by senior State Department officials.
In a letter to the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Clinton thanks them for their understanding and promised to remain engaged with them in January on this issue.
“It was her intention to be there. If she had not been ill, she would be there. She has also committed, including in a letter today to the committee chairmen, that she looks forward to having an ongoing conversation with them herself,” Nuland said.
American Thinker – By Daren Jonescu
… The basic question here is whether Hillary Clinton has so completely dissolved her own moral core — the way her boss and fellow Alinskyite clearly has done — that she is incapable of feeling even the fear of self-revelation when she is called to account for her words and actions.
In other words, is this week’s illness and fainting spell just a convenient excuse for avoiding her responsibilities, or might it be the pounding of a tell-tale heart?
Never having sat on my hands for several hours while receiving live reports and images of my employees being attacked by Ansar al-Sharia, I cannot say for certain how I would feel in her situation.
Never having received communications from men in distress pleading for rescue or support, and done nothing to respond to their cries for help, I can only speculate as to how I would feel if a committee — some of whose members are not my political allies — wanted to ask me what happened.
Never having offered an initial statement immediately following the murder of my ambassador in which I explicitly blamed his death on “heavily armed militants” and never mentioned any “spontaneous protest” in Libya, only to follow it up with subsequent statements cagily blaming an anti-Muhammad video and fudging on the spontaneous protest story, I have no idea how I would feel if I feared that someone might ask me about the sudden 180-degree turn in my account.
Never having spent three months, in cahoots with my boss and other liars, carefully avoiding, deferring, and obscuring the simplest inquiry of all — “At what time, exactly, did you first hear of the attack on your Libyan consulate, and by what sequence of reasoning did you all decide that a rescue attempt was uncalled for?” — how can I know how I would feel if I were concerned that I might finally be asked that question in a Congressional hearing?
… The Benghazi scandal, as I have said before, makes Watergate — during which Clinton suffered her own first scandal, incidentally — look like cheating at tiddlywinks. Men died after a seven hour battle, and after their repeated pleas to Washington for help were rejected. In the wake of this horror, the Obama administration created a calculated cloud of conflicting half-stories in order to protect Obama’s re-election bid.
The centerpiece of their cloud of lies was a fabrication about a “spontaneous” or “natural” protest that never occurred — and that they knew never occurred — a lie which, by emphasizing and repeatedly blaming a “disgusting” video about Muhammad, actually stoked real and deadly protests throughout the Middle East.
Hillary Clinton is the highest-ranking member of the administration scheduled to testify, and her prospective testimony would be most pertinent — not because of what she would say, but because of what others would then need to say, or unsay, to remain consistent with her story…
But she isn’t feeling well, and wants to stay home this week, so you should just forget the whole thing; goodness knows she’d like to forget it. (By the way, is this not the kind of fragility in the face of duty that ought to disqualify her as a presidential candidate?)…
ABC News – By Dana Hughes
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is feeling a bit better following the concussion she suffered early last week, but will continue to rest this week, State Department officials said.
“She is on the mend,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “We thank all of you for your good wishes, and she’s obviously going to be fine. But… she’s going to be working at home this week.”
A U.S. official tells ABC News that Clinton is feeling more “like herself” and would like to go back to work, but doctors have advised it may take several weeks and want the secretary to rest. That is standard for concussion treatment.
Clinton originally fell ill from a stomach virus following a whirlwind trip to Europe at the beginning of the month, which caused such severe dehydration that she fainted and fell at home, said the State Department. According to the official, the secretary had two teams of doctors, including specialists, examine her.
They also ran tests to rule out more serious ailments beyond the virus and the concussion. During the course of the week, Clinton was on an IV drip and being monitored by a nurse, while also recovering from the pain caused by the fall.
Nuland said the decision to cancel Clinton’s schedule this week was made on Saturday morning after consulting with her doctors.
The secretary was set for a full week of events and work commitments, including testifying before the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees on Thursday, following the release of the State Department’s internal investigation on the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya in September. Deputy Secretaries of State Bill Burns and Tom Nides will testify in her place.
The investigation, conducted by an appointed Accountability Review Board, was ordered by Clinton in October. Nuland told reporters today that the board has completed its work. She said Secretary Clinton received the report on Monday and is reviewing it at home.
Congressional committee members will receive the full, classified report before being briefed on Wednesday by the board’s chair, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, and member Admiral Mike Mullen in a closed session.
House Foreign Affairs chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said in a statement on Saturday that while the committee accepts Burns and Nides’ presence at the hearing, she expects there will be questions surrounding the attack that will at some point require ”a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself. ”
Secretary Clinton has sent letters to the chairs of both committees making it clear that she is open to further meetings after the holidays, when Congress is back in session and she is feeling better, said Nuland.
“She was ready to testify, she very much wanted to, she was preparing to, and except for this illness, she would have been up there herself.”