House GOP concludes Hillary Clinton blew Benghazi response

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but-hrc-bounced-back-fast-here-she-is-donning-a-veil-during-a-trip-to-cairo-with-chelsea-in-1999House Republicans have concluded that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was responsible for cutting security at the consulate in Benghazi ahead of last year’s attack there, and that the administration lied about why it downplayed terrorism as the cause of the assault.

A new report — the result of months of investigation by five different House committees — says there was plenty of intelligence that presaged the attack, but the State Department and President Obama failed to heed the warnings or give the Defense Department the authority to respond to such an attack.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Benghazi Attack Under Microscope

The report exonerates the Pentagon itself, saying the military did what it could to respond once the attack began, but “was hindered on account of U.S. military forces not being properly postured” beforehand.

In the most damning finding, House Republicans said Mr. Obama and his team lied about the attacks afterward, first by blaming mob violence spawned by an anti-Muslim video, and then wrongly saying it had misled the public because it was trying to protect an FBI investigation.

“This progress report reveals a fundamental lack of understanding at the highest levels of the State Department as to the dangers presented in Benghazi, Libya, as well as a concerted attempt to insulate the Department of State from blame following the terrorist attacks,” the GOP investigation concluded in its 46-page report.

The Obama administration has acknowledged providing an inaccurate explanation for the attacks early on — even though officials at the Defense Department said they knew it was a terrorist assault from the beginning.

But Mr. Obama has vehemently denied he intended to deceive the public.

Tuesday’s report comes after Republicans feared the pressure to get answers on the Benghazi attacks was dying out.

Earlier this year Senate Republicans had threatened to hold up some of Mr. Obama’s top nominees in order to extract more information about the timeline on the night of the attacks.

But over the last two months the Benghazi questions had slipped into the background amid debates over guns, immigration and the budget sequesters.

By Stephen Dinan

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