Fifty-three member of the House have written to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding a “full and immediate response” to a series of inquiries about the Benghazi terrorist attack.

The Republicans, led by freshman Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), asked why administration officials denied repeated requests for stronger security measures from U.S. personnel on the ground in Libya, especially in light of the escalating violence leading up to the September 11 attack.

They also asked why the administration withdrew elite Special Forces units from the Benghazi compound seeking to replace them with poorly paid local Libyan contractors, even after the compound had been bombed twice, and why the White House pursued an artificial timetable of normalization in Libya that neglected the facts on the ground.

“You can’t blame the ‘fog of war’ for the administration’s failure to provide adequate security provisions in the months preceding the deadly terror attack.  There should not have been any confusion as to the increasing level of instability in Libya, which was well-known, well-documented, and clearly communicated to the administration from our personnel on the ground, including Ambassador Stevens,” Kelly said in a statement.

“You can’t blame the ‘fog of war’ for the administration’s failure to provide adequate security provisions in the months preceding the deadly terror attack.  There should not have been any confusion as to the increasing level of instability in Libya, which was well-known, well-documented, and clearly communicated to the administration from our personnel on the ground, including Ambassador Stevens,” he added.

Other members of Congress signing the letter of inquiry include Reps. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).