House Benghazi report flaws military reply , not Clinton, for deaths

Panel chair Trey Gowdy concludes$ 7m investigation with 800 -page report that accuses US of being slow to answer after 2012 attack was already under way

House Republicans analyse the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have found no new evidence to conclude that Hillary Clinton, secretary of state at the time, was culpable in the deaths of four Americans, according to the committees final report released on Tuesday.

The 800 -page document released by the Republicans on the House select committee on Benghazi brought to a close a fiercely partisan, two-year,$ 7m investigation that included interviews with more than 80 witness. The report reveals new details about the night of the two attacks and concludes that the Obama administration failed to recognize the possibility of it happening.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his state department colleague Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed when Islamist militants stormed the US consulate in Benghazi on 11 September 2012. Controversy has raged ever since over the chain of events and how much support the men had from Washington.

The White House noted tersely that this was the eighth congressional committee to investigate the two attacks and went on longer than the 9/11 committee and the committees designated to look at Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President John F Kennedy, the Iran-Contra affair and Watergate. It accused Republicans of pursuing wild conspiracy theories.

Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, denied that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Clinton was the specific objectives. When the select committee was formed, I promised to conduct this investigation in accordance with the arrangements worthy of the American people respect, and worthy of the memory of those who died, he said.

That is exactly what my colleagues and I have done. Now, I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions.

But a divide emerged among Republicans on the committee. Two members, Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo, issued a 48 -page supplementary report more forthright in its criticism. It tells: What we did find was a tragic failure of leadership in the run-up to the attack and the night of and an administration that, so blinded by politics and its desire to win an electoral, disregarded a basic responsibility of government: tell the people the truth. And for those reasons Benghazi is, and always will be, an American tragedy.

Jordan, from Ohio, and Pompeo, from Kansas, were equally blunt in their condemnation of Clinton in particular. Secretary Clinton and the administration told one narrative privately that Benghazi was a terrorist attack and told another story publicly blaming a video-inspired protest, they wrote.

Pressed on whether he believed that Clinton lied, Gowdy declined to give a direct answer, telling journalists to read the report. Youre going to have to decide that for yourself, he said.

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