The Pentagon has responded to the House Armed Services Committee’s request for the classified timeline of the night of the Benghazi attack by claiming it doesn’t exist.
Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) requested the document in an April 17 letter. Elizabeth King, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, responded on May 1 with the unclassified timeline — which Congress saw in November — attached.
“The Department did not produce a formal classified timeline, but rather only draft working products to assist witnesses and briefers in preparation for numerous Congressional engagements,” King wrote. “By practice, such draft working products are not distributed beyond DoD.”
She said the Pentagon “contributed” to the classified National Counterterrorism Center timeline provided to certain members of Congress on Nov. 14.
“The Department has participated in numerous staff and Member engagements including classified briefings to Committees of jurisdiction,” King continues. “The Department has also responded to dozens of written requests for information in an effort to provide Congress a detailed chronology of the Department’s actions surrounding the attack.”
“I am well aware of the unclassified interagency timeline Ms. King refers to in her letter. I find it insufficient, which is why I requested additional information from the Department of Defense. DoD’s explanation that no further information is available is equally insufficient and unacceptable,” McKeon said today.
“The department has been generally cooperative with this committee in getting to the bottom of what went wrong in Benghazi. They have supported a number of classified and unclassified exchanges with members and staff,” he added. “That does not mean that the process now comes to an end, or that the wealth of potential information has been exhausted. I am deeply disappointed in the department’s response and am committed to continuing the Armed Services Committee’s oversight into the tragedy at Benghazi.”