On June 28, the House Select Committee on Benghazi released their long-awaited final report. The report outlined 81 new witnesses and 75,000 new pages of documents that “fundamentally changes the public’s understanding of the 2012 terrorist attacks that killed four Americans”, according to the committee.
The 800-page report harshly criticized the CIA and Defense and State Department leadership for failing to understand the security risks in Benghazi, and attempting to keep an outpost there that could not be adequately protected. “The assets ultimately deployed by the Defense Department in response to the Benghazi attacks were not positioned to arrive before the final, lethal attack,” the committee wrote. “The fact that this is true does not mitigate the question of why the world’s most powerful military was not positioned to respond.”
However, the report did not contain any clear finding of misconduct by Hillary Clinton. Clinton, who happened to be at a Denver campaign stop when the report was released, chided the committee for taking more than two years and $7 million to conduct the investigation and produce the final report. According to the New York Times, Clinton concluded her remarks stating that the investigation had uncovered nothing to contradict past findings, and that the House committee’s work had assumed a “partisan tinge.” “I’ll leave it to others to characterize this report,” she said, “but I think it’s pretty clear it’s time to move on.”
Clinton’s comments sparked outrage on the part of Dr. Dorothy Woods, widow of Navy Seal Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the September 11, 2012 attack. In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Dr. Woods said this after hearing Mrs. Clinton’s remarks: “Nobody in government can tell me how I feel, what I should feel about it,” Woods said. “She has no right — nor does anyone in government have the right — to tell me it’s time to move on. They’re not in my shoes.”
Woods also disagreed with Clinton that the report did not contain new information. Woods explained that the report had shown just how badly the Obama White House – including then-Secretary of State Clinton – had failed the four Americans who died in the Benghazi attack, and continued by saying that Obama and Clinton have failed the families ever since.
“It did not change my view of what happened, nor who to blame,” said Woods. “I place the blame on this sentiment, on this attitude in the upper level of government that says, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m just gonna lie about this, gloss over it, because I want to protect what I look like, and I’m thinking about the next job.” For Clinton, that “next job” just might be as President of the United States.
Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said this: “Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods were heroes who gave their lives in service to our country. Their bravery and the courageous actions of so many others on the ground that night should be honored. I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions.”