Benghazi Gate – Clinton To Testify! – Where Are The State Department Employees Survivors?

January 22, 2013 in Al Qaeda, Benghazi Coverup, Benghazi Gate, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, Middle East Peace, Middle East War, National Security, Obama's America 2016, President Obama, Propaganda, Shariah Law

BenghaziMore than four months after the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound  in eastern Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver long-awaited  testimony on the historic security failure.

The secretary, after missing prior sessions before Congress due to illness,  is set to take lawmakers’ questions Wednesday before a House and Senate  committee. As Clinton prepares to leave the department after a busy four years,  the hearing is a chance to address what is arguably the biggest controversy of  her tenure.

“There’s no question there hasn’t been the accountability within the  department,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the incoming top Republican on the Senate  Foreign Relations Committee, told Fox News. “I think this is going to be the  beginning, I hope … of a top-to-bottom review.”

Congress has already held multiple hearings to date, with lower-level  officials testifying, on the Benghazi attack. The administration has gradually  backed off its position that the attack was spontaneous — an assertion that  drew the ire of congressional lawmakers who said it was clearly planned. An  official State Department-sanctioned report has resulted in several officials  leaving their current posts, after finding “systemic failures” left the Benghazi  compound inadequately protected.

The hearing Wednesday, though, is a forum for lawmakers to question Clinton  on what she might have known about requests for security at the Benghazi post —  and what she thinks should be done to improve security going forward, as she  prepares to leave the department. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has been nominated  to replace her.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday “there was no  question” that Clinton “considered it her responsibility to learn the lessons  from this, and to take the department forward in implementing whatever lessons  were learned.”

There are also questions about how the Obama administration responded to the  crisis during the Sept. 11, 2012 attack. Fox News has learned from senior U.S.  defense officials that a FAST team of Marines out of Spain was asked by State  Department officials to change out of their Marine uniforms after being asked to  leave for Libya to help — this required them to deplane and delayed them by  about 90 minutes, according to Pentagon officials.

Then there is the decision by Clinton and State Department Undersecretary of  Management Patrick Kennedy not to mobilize the Counterterrorism Security Group,  which is composed of experts on terrorism from across government agencies and  makes recommendations to the deputies who assist the president’s Cabinet in  formulating a response to crises involving terrorism.

Further, there are questions about the perceived delays CIA officials —  stationed in Benghazi — encountered that night and their frustration that air  support was not sent from nearby Sigonella air base. In recent weeks, Fox News  has learned that the rescue unit that left Tripoli was told that “fast fliers”  — or air support — would be above when they landed in Benghazi. They  weren’t.

Still, the department’s review board concluded: “The Board members believe  every possible effort was made to rescue and recover Ambassador Chris Stevens  and Sean Smith. The interagency response was timely and appropriate, but there  simply was not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a  difference.”

Lawmakers have waited months to ask Clinton direct questions about the  Benghazi attack, in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other  Americans were killed. That attack, though, may just be the starting point for  Wednesday’s hearings amid mounting questions about the hostage crisis in Algeria  and the French-led military campaign in neighboring Mali.

Corker told Fox News “there’s going to be a lot of questions about just the  overall policies of this administration as it relates to” Al Qaeda’s affiliate  in North Africa.

An Al Qaeda-tied operative has claimed responsibility for the attack at a gas  plant in Algeria that left 37 hostages dead, including three  Americans.

Corker suggested the developments challenge an administration that was  “spiking the ball on Al Qaeda” last year as the U.S. chipped away at the group’s  leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and took out Usama bin Laden the year  before that.

“That’s where the core of Al Qaeda (is), but there are all these nodes that  are scattered through Africa now that obviously are a threat to Western  civilization, and it’s as if they’ve taken their eye off the ball,” Corker  said.

Clinton was preparing to testify in December, but fell ill and was unable to  address Congress.

The State Department has thus far been sparing in its explanation of the  separate Algeria attack.

Nuland said last week that Clinton spoke with the Algerian Prime Minister and  “talked about the challenge that Algeria has had historically with  terrorism.”

Clinton later said “it is absolutely essential that we broaden and deepen our  counterterrorism cooperation going forward without Algeria and all countries of  the region.”

She said she made clear to the prime minister that “we stand ready to further  enhance the counterterrorism support that we already provide.”

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also had tough words, saying those  who try to attack Americans “will have no place to hide.”

On the House Foreign Affairs Committee, an aide to Rep. Michael McCaul,  R-Texas, also said it’s likely the Algeria hostage standoff will come up  Wednesday.

Clinton plans to testify on the Senate side at 9 a.m. ET Wednesday, and at 2  p.m. on the House side.

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/22/senator-calls-for-top-to-bottom-review-state-department-ahead-clinton-testimony/#ixzz2IkkIX8y4