Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith and Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Niki Tsongas released the following statement on the HASC Republican’s report on the attack in Benghazi:
“This report, produced by House Armed Services Committee Republicans, should finally bring an end to the politicization of the heinous attacks on brave Americans in Benghazi. While Republicans in both the House and Senate have continued to attack the motivations and actions of those who serve in our country’s national security apparatus, this Republican prepared report clearly states that the Department of Defense responded appropriately, quickly, to the best of its ability at that time, and that no “stand down” order was ever issued. All of these conclusions are counter to assertions and accusations leveled by a number of Republicans.
“In the days after the attack, the Department of Defense provided Congress a detailed timeline of what happened, and, through this report and a number of hearings and briefings, this committee has gone to great lengths to execute its oversight responsibilities. Based on these extensive oversight efforts, we know that what the Pentagon told us at the start was true: no “stand down” order was ever given. To the contrary, the President quickly deployed our most capable, specially-trained, manned, and equipped units for this sort of crisis to save the lives of those under attack in Benghazi. Moreover, the report confirms the fact that, “the Department of Defense made decisions in a timely manner and did not delay in ordering forces to respond.” But given the tyranny of time and distance, forces did not arrive in time. The report acknowledges the fact that the Department of Defense has undertaken important initiatives to correct many of the shortcomings in its ability to respond to such attacks in the future.
The deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods are tragic. We should always remember that serving in a place such as Libya can be extremely dangerous and volatile, regardless of who is President and no matter how much preparation takes place.
In 1983, there were two separate terrorist attacks in Beirut, Lebanon. The first attack took place in April, on our Embassy, and a second, in October, on the Marine Barracks. Together, these attacks killed 304 Americans. Afterwards, there were no calls for an impeachment of President Reagan, or an extensive political sideshow like the one Republicans have orchestrated for more than a year.
“However, since Benghazi and now for more than a year, we have watched Republicans desperately and obsessively search for a scandal, which has not appeared. It is time to move forward, take the real conclusions we have arrived at and establish how to best protect our citizens around the globe. It is our hope that today’s report, which was authored by Republicans, finally brings this attempt to manufacture a scandal to an end.”