House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, along with the Chairmen of the House Committees on Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Government Reform released their interim progress report on the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This report is part of an ongoing review of the events that led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Chairman Goodlatte released the following statement on the interim progress report on the Benghazi attack:
"Like most Americans, I was deeply disturbed by the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Also very troubling was the response to the attacks by the Obama Administration. Since the Benghazi attack, the President and his Administration have not been forthright with Congress and the American people about the cause of the attacks and the Administration's prior knowledge of security concerns in Libya. Because of the conflicting information and outright stonewalling from President Obama and the State Department, the House took action to perform the necessary oversight and conduct a comprehensive review of all the available data in order to determine what happened before, during, and after the Benghazi attack. This first portion of the review has taken time because we wanted to get it right -- not to make political hay for partisan purposes -- but to prevent such an attack on Americans in the future.
"This review is an important first step in shedding light on what happened in Benghazi. The findings help to identify the pieces of the puzzle that are still missing and those that need further investigation. More can and must be done. Many questions remain surrounding the failure to respond to repeated requests for additional security in Libya as well as the Administration's decision to communicate to the American people that the attacks stemmed from a demonstration inspired by a YouTube video rather than revealing the likely al Qa'ida connections of the parties responsible. As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I will continue to investigate this terrorist attack and provide the American people and the families of the victims with the answers they deserve and demand that the Administration hold accountable with appropriate disciplinary actions those who made these poor and costly decisions."
Background: Speaker John Boehner directed the House Committees on Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform to investigate the issues surrounding the Benghazi attack that are within their jurisdiction. Over the course of the last few months, the Committees interviewed numerous individuals and thoroughly examined classified and unclassified documents, including e-mails, summaries of FBI interviews, and intelligence reporting. This report will continue to be updated as the five committees with jurisdiction continue their investigations. In addition to releasing the report, Chairman Goodlatte has also joined in sending a letter to the Obama Administration requesting that they immediately provide the draft talking points used by Ambassador Susan Rice on September 16, 2012 regarding the cause of the attacks, as well as email traffic leading up to the final version of those talking points, to the five House Committees.