The House Select Committee on Benghazi released its final report this morning. Republican members of the panel (and their staff) crafted the document; committee Democrats, who dismissed the two-year inquiry as a political witch-hunt--and worse--marked the occasion with more criticism of their GOP colleagues, while claiming the report provided no evidence of wrong-doing by Hillary Clinton.
By that standard, it should also be noted that the assessment doesn't exactly cover Mrs. Clinton in glory, either. House investigators affirmed what most Americans have known for years; the former Secretary of State ignored hundreds of requests from Ambassador Chris Stevens to upgrade security at U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya, but his pleas were ignored. Stevens was one of four Americans who died when Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on the night of September 11, 2012.
Indeed, the report documents 10 previous terror attacks in area during the months leading up to Benghazi, including two IED strikes against the American compound. Yet, Mrs. Clinton's State Department elected to decrease security in the weeks before the final attack. One unnamed security official summed it up well: noting the escalating violence in Benghazi, he predicted that "people are going to die" if the State Department didn't upgrade security for its personnel.
And when confronted with the truth, Hillary fell back on her most tried-and-true tactic: she lied. Not just once, but repeatedly. As David French notes at National Review, the House report is particularly effective at noting the blatant contradictions between public statements on the debacle (which initially blamed that infamous internet video) and private communications, where Mrs. Clinton immediately classified it as a terrorist attack.
Indeed, one of the more revealing sections of the report details a video conference, led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as the U.S. facilities were under siege. It paints a picture of a national security team that was confused and mired in political correctness. From Politico:
According to the report, some participants on the videoconference
were unsure about what each agency was doing to rescue Americans.
State Department officials on the call also brought up concerns about
whether Marines who might have been deployed to Benghazi were wearing
uniforms, the report found — something officials previously said could
hurt diplomacy in the region. One commander told the committee he and
his men over the course of three hours kept having to change from
uniforms to civilian clothes.