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Letter to Chairman Menendez - Hearing on Benghazi

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

In a letter today to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., committee Republicans including Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; James E. Risch, R-Idaho; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; John Barrasso, Wyo.; and Rand Paul, R-Ky., requested a hearing on the deadly Benghazi terrorist attacks to examine new revelations "regarding the level of security leading up to the attacks and how the State Department and the administration responded to the attacks," in addition to the lack of accountability for State Department officials who remain on paid leave despite their role in security failures that left the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya vulnerable to attack.

"Recent reports indicate that senior State Department officials -- at levels above those individuals found to be responsible in the Accountability Review Board report -- were directly responsible for decisions about security staffing in Libya and therefore may have some measure of culpability. In addition, recent reports also indicate that the State Department was directly involved in making changes to the Intelligence Community's explanation of events on the ground that was provided to the House Intelligence Committee for public use; these changes may have been intended to minimize the State Department's culpability in failing to prepare for possible threats against U.S. government facilities in Libya," wrote the committee members in their letter to Chairman Menendez.

"Finally, to date, no resolution has occurred regarding employment status for those State Department officials named in the ARB report as a result of their handling of events in Benghazi. It has been nearly eight months since the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, and numerous questions remain unanswered regarding the level of security leading up to the attacks and how the State Department and the administration responded to the attacks. As the committee of primary jurisdiction, we believe that it is our responsibility to conduct additional oversight of our government's preparation and response to the attack on our diplomatic facilities that took the lives of four brave Americans."

Full text of the senators' letter is included below.

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we respectfully request that you schedule an additional committee hearing and additional member and staff briefings to review the open questions surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Recent reports indicate that senior State Department officials -- at levels above those individuals found to be responsible in the Accountability Review Board report -- were directly responsible for decisions about security staffing in Libya and therefore may have some measure of culpability. In addition, recent reports also indicate that the State Department was directly involved in making changes to the Intelligence Community's explanation of events on the ground that was provided to the House Intelligence Committee for public use; these changes may have been intended to minimize the State Department's culpability in failing to prepare for possible threats against U.S. government facilities in Libya.

Finally, to date, no resolution has occurred regarding employment status for those State Department officials named in the ARB report as a result of their handling of events in Benghazi. It has been nearly eight months since the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, and numerous questions remain unanswered regarding the level of security leading up to the attacks and how the State Department and the administration responded to the attacks.

As the committee of primary jurisdiction, we believe that it is our responsibility to conduct additional oversight of our government's preparation and response to the attack on our diplomatic facilities that took the lives of four brave Americans. We would like to work with you to select the appropriate witnesses for a hearing, as well as the appropriate individuals to brief members and staff.

Please let us know your views on this matter at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Bob Corker
James E. Risch
Marco Rubio
Ron Johnson
Jeff Flake
John Barrasso
Rand Paul


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