Roby-led Benghazi investigation ‘takes aim squarely at the White House’
A new report on the Sept. 11 terror attacks in Benghazi that has been months in the making was finally released this week and, according to Fox News’ Megan Kelly, “it takes aim squarely at the White House.”
The House Armed Services committee report says that “In assessing military posture in anticipation of the September 11 anniversary, White House officials failed to comprehend or ignored the dramatically deteriorating security situation in Libya and the growing threat to U.S. interests in the region.”
Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL02, was on the committee that led this investigation into what happened in Benghazi. She appeared on Fox News Tuesday evening to discuss the committee’s new report.
Megan Kelly asked Roby how her committee focused more on the White House, while other investigations have placed the responsibility on the U.S. State Department.
“The big takeaway is that we were unprepared, we know that,” Roby said. “But what is absolutely breathtaking is the lack of communication from senior White House officials to those that were on the ground… One example is General Ham. He’s the Commander of Africom. He wasn’t even asked, despite the repeated threats in that area, if he had all that he needed… It does fall right at the feet of the White House, right at the feet of the Commander-in-Chief who has the responsibility over these senior national security officials and should be held accountable.”
Kelly asked Roby if her committee had uncovered any evidence that the decisions made by the White House on Sept. 11 were due to any “political considerations.” The Fox News host noted that some political observers have speculated that the president may have been wary of beefing up security in the region during his re-election bid, during which he was telling the American people that “all is well.”
“We took politics out of this investigation,” Roby said. “This was never about Republicans or Democrats or elections. This was about what happened in the days and weeks leading up [to the attack], what happened that night, and what we can do to prevent it from happening again. This subcommittee was focused squarely in on military and DOD.”
Kelly then asked Roby specifically about the Dept. of Defense. The report produced by Roby’s committee specifically states that DOD officials believed from the very beginning that the attack was an act of terror, and not the result of a protest over a film, as some Administration officials initially suggested.
“Why did Susan Rice go out and talk about protests, why did she mention a video?” Kelly asked.
“We had the intelligence to prevent this from happening,” Roby said, citing a Senate intelligence committee report. “That falls right in line with the findings of this committee… Never was there a question by the folks on the ground that this was a terrorist attack. They knew it was a terrorist attack. They never questioned it.”
Roby said there are other committees that have jurisdiction over different parts of the investigation, while her committee report focuses solely on the Department of Defense. She said she expects those committees to answer the question of why CIA talking points released on Sept. 14 said the attack was the result of a protest, while commanders on the ground new instantly that it was a planned terrorist attack.
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