Benghazi: Is the President Running Out the Clock Until Election Day?

November 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm (2012 Election, Benghazi, Cover Up, Darrell Issa, Drip, Jake Tapper, Jason Chaffetz, President Obama, Run Out the Clock, September 11th, State Department, Task Force, Terrorism)

Sorry, Mr. President, but your time is just about up.

ABC’s Jake Tapper wrote a post today in which he mentions that critics think the President is simply trying to run out the clock on Benghazi.

Via Political Punch:

As he left his Marine One helicopter Wednesday evening and walked to the residence of the White House, President Obama did not respond to a question shouted out by ABC News’s Mary Bruce about when he would begin to provide answers to the numerous questions building up about what exactly what went wrong in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.

The president smiled and continued walking.

Perhaps he couldn’t hear the question over the din of the chopper’s blades, but either way the smile and wave – almost Reagan-esque in style – underline the apparent strategy the president specifically and his administration in general have seemed to adopt when it comes to the myriad inquiries about the decisions that led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens: they are deferring detailed answers to the investigation and – critics say –running out the clock until Election Day.

Unfortunately, the strategy of running out the clock may not be working.

More stunning details about the attack are coming forward.  A Daily Beast report by Eli Lake indicates that two separate U.S. officials claimed the State Department never made a request made for military backup that night.

Additionally, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are investigating whether the Government of Libya, the one ushered into power with the aide of the U.S., may have been involved in the plot that eventually killed four Americans.

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressing for answers after documents first disclosed by Foreign Policy indicate the possible involvement of Government of Libya personnel in what was clearly a preplanned assault.  According to the letter sent by the two Congressional oversight leaders:
These documents paint a disturbing picture indicating that elements of the Libyan government might have been complicit in the September 11, 2012 attack on the compound and the murder of four Americans.  It also reiterates the fact that the U.S. government may have had evidence indicating that the attack was not a spontaneous event but rather a preplanned terrorist attack that included prior surveillance of the compound as a target.
Given the location where they were found, these documents appear to be genuine and support a growing body of evidence indicating that the Obama Administration has tried to withhold pertinent facts about the 9/11 anniversary attack from Congress and the American people.
The documents are fully consistent with the Committee’s understanding of events that took place before and during the attack on the compound and include new details not previously released to the public.  The letters ask the State Department whether the information included in the letters discussed above was memorialized in any cables, telegrams or e-mails prior to the attack or in any post-attack review. 
Click here for a copy of the Issa/Chaffetz letter to Secretary Clinton that includes the new documents obtained by Foreign Policy.  

Worse yet, CBS is reporting that a key task force on counter-terrorism was not convened by the Obama administration.

CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).

“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”

Information shared with CBS News from top counterterrorism sources in the government and military reveal keen frustration over the U.S. response on Sept. 11, the night ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans were killed in a coordinated attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

The circumstances of the attack, including the intelligence and security situation there, will be the subject of a Senate Intelligence Committee closed hearing on Nov. 15, with additional hearings to follow.

Flashback to September 10th…

On September 10, 2012, The Associated Press Reported That “President Barack Obama Has Been Briefed By His Top National Security Aides On The Government’s Preparedness Ahead For The 11th Anniversary Of The Sept. 11 Attacks.” 

“President Barack Obama has been briefed by his top national security aides on the government’s preparedness ahead of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The White House said Monday the president and his advisers discussed specific measures the administration was taking to prevent 9/11-related attacks. They also discussed steps that were being taken to protect Americans abroad and U.S. forces serving in combat zones.”

Please check out this timeline of events in Benghazi and Washington running side-by-side, as provided by Doug Ross.

The one part that stands out to me is –

9/11/2012 22:00 Hillary Clinton blames internet video for violence.

Six hours later…

9/12/2012 4:00 Doherty and Woods killed on roof of annex.

They had time to concoct the video fairy tale, but didn’t have time to take military action to possibly aide the two Navy SEALs who died 6 hours later.  Unreal.

The actions of the administration – or inactions – at the very least exacerbated the success at which the terrorists carried out their attacks.  The subsequent cover up was downright criminal.

And while the White House would like to run out the clock until the election, the slow drip-drip-drip of information coming out of Benghazi, provided by the few real journalists remaining in media, may cause them to bleed out.

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Classified Cable Shows State Department Was Warned That Benghazi Consulate Could Not Withstand Coordinated Attack

November 1, 2012 at 9:21 am (Al Qaeda, Benghazi, Cable, Christopher Stevens, Classified, Hillary Clinton, Secret, State Department, Terrorist, White House)

No wonder Fox News crushes in ratings.  They actually do the job of journalists.

A new secret cable has been revealed that shows Hillary Clinton’s State Department was warned less than a month in advance of the Benghazi terror attack, that security personnel at the consulate had deep concerns that they could not withstand a coordinated enemy attack.

Notice that they did not say that they couldn’t withstand a spontaneous protest over a video.  But rather, they could not withstand a coordinated terror attack.  Something in which four Americans fell victim to less than a month later.

Via Fox News: 

The U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack,” according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.

Summarizing an Aug. 15 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Aug. 16 cable marked “SECRET” said that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.

“RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound,” the cable said.

According to a review of the cable addressed to the Office of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Emergency Action Committee was also briefed “on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi … these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as the QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia, to ‘Takfirist thugs.’” Each U.S. mission has a so-called Emergency Action Committee that is responsible for security measures and emergency planning.

The details in the cable seemed to foreshadow the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. compound, which was a coordinated, commando-style assault using direct and indirect fire. Al Qaeda in North Africa and Ansar al-Sharia, both mentioned in the cable, have since been implicated in the consulate attack.

The report then summarizes the implication in having this secret cable perfectly:

“It was a direct warning to the State Department that the Benghazi consulate was vulnerable to attack, that it could not be defended and that the presence of anti-U.S. militias and Al Qaeda was well-known to the U.S. intelligence community.”

Biggest cover up in White House history?

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E-Mails Show White House Knew Benghazi Was a Militant Attack Two Hours In

October 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm (Ambassador Stevens, Benghazi, John Bolton, Libya, Obama Administration, President Obama, Saxby Chambliss, Scandal, State Department, White House, White House E-Mails)

So much for reporting on the intelligence available at the time.  My question – Do you not as Americans get angrier with each and every lie that comes out of the White House regarding the murder of four fellow patriots?

Does it bother you at all?

Via Reuters:

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

By ultimately, they mean several weeks later.  This is definitive proof that Obama’s White House was not getting bad reports and bad intelligence from the State Department or the intelligence community, and simply erroneously relaying information that a video had sparked the attack.

They knew.  They knew, and they lied.

More details from Gateway Pundit:

This email was sent to State Department officials, White House officials, Secret Service officials at 6:07 PM EST on 9-11.

This was at least the third email sent to the White House the evening of 9-11 on the Benghazi attack.

Barack Obama was meeting with his security team in the Oval Office that evening.

The email clearly blamed Al-Qaeda linked group Ansar al-Sharia for the attack on the US consulate.

This was before the lifeless body of Ambassador Stevens was dragged from the consulate ruins.

A copy of the e-mail:

Then there’s this from Fox Nation via Maggie’s Notebook:

The United States had an unmanned Predator drone over its consulate in Benghazi during the attack that slaughtered four Americans — which should have led to a quicker military response, it was revealed yesterday.

“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News.

The network reported that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft observed the final hours of the hours-long siege on Sept. 11 — obtaining information that should have spurred swift action.

But as Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were killed by terrorists armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Defense Department officials were too slow to send in the troops, Berntsen said.

“They made zero adjustments in this. You find a way to make this happen,” he fumed.

“There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments.”

The Pentagon said it moved a team of special operators from Central Europe to Sigonella, Italy — about an hour flight from Libya — but gave no other details.

Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.

The White House knew about it and did nothing.  They watched it happening in real-time and did nothing.  President Obama knew about it and went to sleep.  Literally. 

Republicans are responding.

NewsMax:

Republicans are blasting the Obama administration for failing to act on real-time information that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was under attack. Emails obtained by the news agency Reuters show that officials at the State Department were told within two hours of the attack starting that the al-Qaida-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility. Reacting to the report, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton said he was not surprised by the disclosure, telling Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night that “what the emails show beyond any doubt is that the State Department was fully possessed of the information in real time.” Bolton said the “paper trail” now makes it harder for the Obama administration to “sweep away” the security failure at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, in which Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans were killed. On Capitol Hill, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called for additional hearings on Libya based on the emails…
… Bolton also blamed the failure to launch an immediate military response to the attack, based on the email traffic that reportedly reached the White House situation room and the State Department, on election year politics and the administration’s reluctance to admit that al-Qaida “was resurgent in Libya.” “It undercut the [Obama campaign] storyline that the war on terror is over, al-Qaida’s on the run, the Arab spring has been a success,” Bolton said. “And that led to the denials of the request [before the attack] for security enhancement. That led to the tragedy in Benghazi. And I think that then led to this ridiculous story that it was caused by some YouTube video.” Bolton described it as “a willful blindness” to reality.

Willful blindness to reality.  Does that statement apply more so to the administration, or those voters who will ignore this massive scandal come election day?

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Another Lie: Obama Administration to Negotiate Extended Stay For US Troops in Afghanistan

October 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm (Afghanistan, Debate, Joe Biden, State Department, Troops, Vice President, Withdrawal)

“We are leaving. We are leaving in 2014. Period.” – Joe Biden at the Vice-Presidential debate.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

Via the Foreign Policy Blog:

Despite statements by Vice President Joe Biden, the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, a top State Department official said Tuesday.

Last week, U.S. and Afghan negotiators met in Kabul to talk about the Bilateral Security Agreement that will govern the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, when President Barack Obama said the combat mission in Afghanistan will end and the U.S. will complete the transition of the entire country to Afghan government control.

Also last week, Biden told Americans during his Oct. 11 debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan that U.S. troops were leaving Afghanistan by 2014.

“We are leaving in 2014, period, and in the process, we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion,” Biden said. “We’ve been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now all we’re doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It’s their responsibility, not America’s.”

Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, explained today that’s not the whole story.

Grossman said Tuesday that the point of the upcoming negotiations is to agree on an extension of the U.S. troop presence well past 2014, for the purposes of conducting counterterrorism operations and training and advising the Afghan security forces.

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Republican Senators Respond to Hillary Clinton Accepting Blame for Benghazi

October 16, 2012 at 9:00 am (Benghazi, Buck Stops, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, President Obama, Security, State Department, Terrorism)

Late last night we received word that Hillary Clinton – not President Obama – was accepting full responsibility for the security lapses that led to the successful assassination of four Americans in Benghazi.

Falling on the sword for the administration during a tough re-election bid, Clinton today told a CNN reporter “I take responsibility” for security ahead of the attacks. 

Notice consistent use of the phrase ‘the buck stops with her’.

This is clearly an attempt to deflect criticism being aimed at the White House ahead of the second Presidential debate scheduled for tomorrow night. 

Now, U.S. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte have responded to the ‘laudable gesture’, pointing out the unlikelihood that the President was unaware of the rising security risks in Libya.

“We have just learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed full responsibility for any failure to secure our people and our Consulate in Benghazi prior to the attack of September 11, 2012. This is a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever. 

“However, we must remember that the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there. 

“Furthermore, there is the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.”

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Video: Hillary Clinton Falls on the Sword for Obama Administration

October 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm (2012 Election, Benghazi, Buck Stops, Debate, Hillary Clinton, Libya, Mitt Romney, President Obama, State Department)

Remember when President Obama was criticizing Mitt Romney about his responsibilities at Bain Capital, even invoking Harry Truman’s ‘the buck stops here’ campaign?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, here’s what I know, we were just talking about responsibility and as president of the United States, it’s pretty clear to me that I’m responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you.

Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.

Ultimately Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions, because if he aspires to being president one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations, but again that’s probably a question that he’s going to have to answer and I think that’s a legitimate part of the campaign.

The buck stops with the President?  He is ultimately responsible for the conduct of his operations?

Apparently that mantra doesn’t hold true when it comes to your administration’s conduct in dealing with the terrorist attacks in Benghazi.

Today we found out the buck doesn’t actually stop with the President, but rather it stops with Hillary Clinton.

Falling on the sword for the administration during a tough re-election bid, Clinton today told a CNN reporter “I take responsibility” for security ahead of the attacks.

Notice consistent use of the phrase ‘the buck stops with her’.
This is clearly an attempt to deflect criticism being aimed at the White House ahead of the second Presidential debate scheduled for tomorrow night. 
The Right Scoop states:

“This was a purely political move to give Obama breathing room tomorrow night. That’s it.”

If the State Department had solely been responsible for the lack of security leading up to the attacks, the White House would not have consistently covered up this attack with the fabricated ‘spontaneous protest’ story.

With the economy being blamed on Bush consistently over the last four years, and now these terror attacks being blamed on Hillary, one has to wonder can anything that happens under this regime be considered Obama’s fault?

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State Department: You Know All Those Times We Said the Benghazi Attack Was a Protest About a Video? Yea, We Never Said That

October 10, 2012 at 9:00 am (Ambassador Stevens, Benghazi, Libya, Obama Administration, September 11, State Department, Terrorism)

They insult our intelligence on a daily basis...

The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam, raising further questions about why the Obama administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The revelation came as new documents suggested internal disagreement over appropriate levels of security before the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S.

Briefing reporters ahead of a hotly anticipated congressional hearing Wednesday, State Department officials provided their most detailed rundown of how a peaceful day in Benghazi devolved into a sustained attack that involved multiple groups of men armed with weapons such as machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars over an expanse of more than a mile.

But asked about the administration’s initial — and since retracted — explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, “That was not our conclusion.”

Um, er…

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

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Report: Despite Multiple Pleas From Officials, Obama Administration Pulled 34 Security Personnel From Libya Prior to Attack

October 8, 2012 at 10:52 am (Andy Wood, Benghazi, Chris Stevens, Libya, Obama Administration, State Department)

An ex-U.S. security team leader tells CBS News that he and other officials made it clear to the Obama administration that they “needed more, not less” security staff on the ground in Libya prior to the attacks that would kill Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats.

Despite those pleas, and the dozen or so documented security threats facing the consulate in Benghazi prior to September 11th, the administration pulled 34 security members from the site over the preceding six month period.

Via CBS News:

The former head of a Special Forces “Site Security Team” in Libya tells CBS News that in spite of multiple pleas from himself and other U.S. security officials on the ground for “more, not less” security personnel, the State Department removed as many as 34 people from the country in the six months before a terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

Lt. Col. Andy Wood will appear this week at a House Oversight Committee hearing that will examine security decisions leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.

Speaking to CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Wood said when he found out that his own 16-member team and a six-member State Department elite force were being pulled from Tripoli in August – about a month before the assault in Benghazi – he felt, “like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers. There was concern amongst the entire embassy staff.”

More…

He said other staffers approached him with their concerns when the reduction in security personnel was announced.

“They asked if we were safe,” he told Attkisson. “They asked… what was going to happen, and I could only answer that what we were being told is that they’re working on it – they’ll get us more (security personnel), but I never saw that.”

Wood insists that senior staff in Libya, including Ambassador Stevens, State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, and himself, all wanted and had requested enhanced security.

Read the rest of the report here… 

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Bombshell Report: Obama Administration Pulled Special Forces Teams From Libya One Month Before Attack

October 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm (Andy Wood, Benghazi, Christopher Stevens, DC-3, Libya, Obama Administration, Special Forces, State Department)

ABC News reports on an e-mail from the State Department that shows them rejecting a security team request at the US embassy in Libya.

ABC News has obtained an internal State Department email from May 3, 2012, indicating that the State Department denied a request from the security team at the Embassy of Libya to retain a DC-3 airplane in the country to better conduct their duties.

Copied on the email was U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in a terrorist attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya,  Sept. 11, 2012, along with three other Americans. That attack has prompted questions about whether the diplomatic personnel in that country were provided with adequate security support.

No one has yet to argue that the DC-3 would have  definitively  made a difference for the four Americans killed that night. The security team in question, after all, left Libya in August.

And now, another bombshell report shows that the security team that left in August was a 16 member special forces operation charged with the task of specifically protecting US personnel in Libya.

Via Gateway Pundit:

Bombshell: The Obama State Department withdrew a 16 member special forces team from Benghazi one month before the deadly attacks on 9-11. Lt. Col. Andy Wood was the leader of the 16 member special forces team whose job it was to protect US personnel in Libya. His team’s mission ended in August a month before the deadly Al-Qaeda attack on 9-11. A six member mobile security team was also withdrawn around the same time. This was despite the fact that there were over a dozen attacks in the country this year. Lt. Col. Wood was subpoenaed to appear at a House committee hearing this coming week. Wood told CBS News it was unbelievable to him that the State Department withdrew security when they did because of the 13 security incidents before 9-11.

Watch the video below…

Is there any wonder that the administration then spent three weeks trying to blame the attacks on a video, as opposed to admitting that their lax security measures may have been to blame?
Is there any wonder they are trying to cover up the investigation until after the election?

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Clinton Promises Answers on Benghazi Attack … After the Election

October 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm (2012 Election, Benghazi, Christopher Stevens, Darrell Issa, Hillary Clinton, Libya, State Department)

On Monday, leaders from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (Darrell Idea and Jason Chaffetz) sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking why requests for protection were denied to the consulate in Libya despite repeated attacks against U.S. personnel. 

The letter outlined 13 specific security threats over a six-month timeframe prior to the deadly attack on September 11th, which claimed the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats.

The committee also indicated that they would be holding a hearing on the security lapses next week.

Clinton’s response was to urge the committee not to be so hasty in trying to find answers as to what killed our fellow Americans.

The Cable reports (h/t Powerline Blog):

Clinton said that the State Department’s Accountability Review Board will begin work this week and the letter revealed the names of all five board members. In addition to former Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Pickering, who will lead the board, the other members will be former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen (ret.), Catherine Bertini, Hugh Turner, and Richard Shinnick.

Clinton asked Issa to withhold any final conclusions about the Benghazi attack until the review board finishes its work and reports to Congress, which could come as early as November or as late as early next year. She pledged to work with Issa’s committee and asked him to submit any requests for information or witnesses at hearings to the State Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs.

Indeed, what is the rush here gentleman?  We have to hold off this scandal at least until, say … November 6th.

But trust us, there’s nothing to hide.

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