Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee issued this statement following yesterday's release of the Interim Progress Report on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya:
"Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee joined four other House Committees in delivering the Interim Progress Report on the terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi. The report demonstrates that reductions in security levels prior to the attacks were approved at the highest levels of the State Department. The report also finds that in the days after the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the Intelligence Community in order to cover up the State Department's responsibility for this disaster.
"The Committee continues its examination of the deadly Benghazi terrorist attacks so we can ensure that the bureaucratic failures that left State Department personnel vulnerable are not repeated. The Committee will continue to review the responsibility of senior State Department officials for the failure to provide proper security prior to the Benghazi attacks; needed improvements in embassy security; and the State Department's alertness to the overall political climate and resulting terrorist threats in high-risk environments. Additionally, in the coming days I will introduce legislation to increase the independence and transparency of future Accountability Review Boards (ARB) that looks at such attacks to ensure they are truly independent review bodies that have a greater ability to make disciplinary recommendations. As of yet, there has been no meaningful accountability within the State Department for Benghazi."
Note: The five committee chairmen who delivered the Interim Progress Report yesterday have also signed a letter to President Obama seeking both immediate public release of a cable, bearing Secretary Clinton's signature, denying the Ambassador's request for further security, and further release of the emails proving that the Administration deliberately misled the American people about the nature of the attacks.