The House Select Committee on Benghazi is soon to release its final report. Before they do, panelists Reps. Mike Pompeo and Jim Jordan offered their own narrative reminding Americans about the the White House's failure to lead.
There on the pages of their detailed assessment is proof that the Obama administration is guilty on several counts. First, they failed to protect our soldiers in Benghazi, Libya, then they misled the American people by blaming the terror attack on a YouTube video, then they stonewalled the committee’s investigation. Worse yet, we are still waiting for justice to be served, as only one terrorist has been captured. Meanwhile, the families of the four men who died in Benghazi waiting for help are also waiting - for answers.
"We approached the investigation believing facts were nonpartisan," the committee members write. Yet, they quickly realized that the White House and the panel's Democrats were not interested in answers.
First, the unpreparedness.
What is troubling is that the administration never set in motion a plan to go to Benghazi in the first place. It is one thing to try and fail; it is yet another not to try at all. In the end, the administration did not move heaven and earth to help our people in Benghazi as Americans would expect. The contrast between the heroic actions taken in Benghazi and the inaction in Washington – highlights the failure.
"The location and the risk demanded Clinton's attention," the representatives insist. The secretary of state received a memo in August of 2012 alerting her to the alarming increase of violent incidents in the region, such as bombings, abductions and assassinations. Yet, the report reveals she offered no indication she would give up her wish to place a permanent post there.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Clinton and other members of the Obama administration blamed it on a YouTube video, which they say caused a spontaneous protest on the Benghazi compound. However, witnesses interviewed by the committee revealed that no such protest took place. If it had, Ambassador Chris Stevens would have immediately alerted them, says Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya Gregory Hicks.
"For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens’ front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable," Hicks said.
The report includes statements from other key witnesses, including one person who said the State Department virtually had “a front row seat to the attack” thanks to all the intel they were providing them. Yet, the CIA stalled for hours as the compound went up in flames.
"We are now convinced, contrary to the administration’s public claim that the military did not have time to get to Benghazi, that the administration never launched men or machines to help directly in the fight," according to their report. "That is very different from what we have been told to date. And the evidence is compelling."
The Democrats released their own report challenging the majority's findings. The Defense Department could not have done anything differently, they argued. As for Clinton, she was "fully engaged" throughout the night.
Republicans pushed back at their assessment, noting how the Dems’ Benghazi “report” exposes their "obsession" with Hillary. The Democratic presidential nominee is mentioned 334 times, while our four fallen soldiers got a total of 142 mentions.
Ever since the Benghazi committee was formed, Chairman Trey Gowdy and his colleagues say the White House has been anything but helpful. They impeded their investigation, refused to answer questions and dismissed the panel as partisan.
One more unfortunate fact worth noting is that justice has been denied. Only one man, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, has been captured and brought to the U.S. to face charges, while dozens of his co-conspirators remain at large.
Americans deserve an explanation. Unfortunately, thanks to an uncooperative White House, the Benghazi panel's final report will undoubtedly include many unanswered questions.