The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that it intends to hold a full hearing on Oct. 10 to delve into the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack, even though the Hill is in recess.
The panel is taking advantage of House Rule X, which allows Oversight to investigate “any matter” at “any time” as the head watchdog of the lower chamber.
“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the Ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operation, wrote Clinton today.
“It was clearly never, as Administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest. In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi,” they continued. “The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”
The letter lists 13 attacks and events in Libya since this spring that should have sounded alarms for increased security. Nine were in Benghazi.
Weeks before the Sept. 11 attack, Issa and Chaffetz noted, “The unarmed Libyan guards employed by British contractor Blue Mountain Group were being warned by their family members to quit their jobs guarding Consulate Benghazi because there were rumors in the community of an impending attack.”
The Oversight leaders asked Clinton to supply information and be prepared for a committee briefing on Oct. 8.
“Was State Department headquarters in Washington aware of all of the above incidents? If not, why not?” they wrote. “If so, what measures did the State Department take to match the level of security provided to the U.S. Mission in Libya to the level of threat?”