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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Benghazi panel: White House focused on anti-Islam film over saving Americans as attack unfolded

Both President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta ordered that all available resources be used to help fend off the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, but top administration officials — including then-Secretary of StateHillary Clinton — put those plans on hold, according to a congressional report, which said the officials instead debated how to appease the Libyan government.

In a draft of its report Tuesday, the Select Committee on Benghazi said that despite clear orders from Mr. Obama and Mr. Panetta, the Pentagon moved slowly and the State Department threw up roadblocks, insisting that U.S. troops wear civilian clothing, forgo the use of wheeled vehicles and get the permission of Libyan leaders before sending help to those fighting for their lives.

Democrats said the report doesn’t do any new damage to Mrs. Clinton, who is their party’s likely presidential nominee. All of the derogatory findings about her were old news, they said.

But Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and chairman of the committee, said the investigation produced the most thorough account of the run-up to the attack, the timeline of the nearly eight-hour assault and the administration’s attempts in the aftermath to blame an anti-Islamic video.


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