December 17th, 2012
06:39 AM ET

Benghazi attack back in the spotlight

By Elise Labott

After months of accusations and political recriminations, the State Department is getting ready to present the most detailed explanation yet regarding the circumstances surrounding the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Monday, the State Department is expected to get a report on the incident from the independent Advisory Review Board, sources in the State Department told CNN Sunday. The review was ordered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Congress will receive the report from the board ahead of a classified briefing for members on Wednesday by Thomas Pickering, who led the Advisory Review Board. Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was also on the panel, will be part of the briefing as well.

The State Department is also expected to present recommendations on improving security. That's likely to include an explanation of measures that have already been put in place since the September 11 attack on the consulate, which left four Americans - including U.S. Amb. Chris Stevens - dead.

On Thursday, Deputy Secretaries Bill Burns and Tom Nides will testify about Benghazi before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The two are substituting for Clinton, who is recovering from a concussion she suffered after fainting due to dehydration from a stomach virus.

The politics surrounding the attack and how it was characterized by the Obama administration have already scuttled the ambitions of U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, whose name was in the running to succeed Clinton as secretary of state.

Critics said Rice's comments about the attack on Sunday news programs in the immediate aftermath were out of line with the true intelligence about the incident, and were an attempt by the administration to avoid tying it to terrorism.

Filed under: Benghazi • Congress • Diplomacy • Hillary Clinton • Libya • Secretary of State • State Department • Susan Rice
soundoff (15 Responses)
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  5. Gilley

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.Condemnation prior to investigation is stupidity.
    Question One-Was there an investigation about the showing of the controersial Video?
    Question Two-What Date and Time was it shown around the Date and Time of the occurence?
    Question Three-Was it released by the State Department?
    Question Four-Who Authorized the release of the video?
    Question Five-Who Released it for vewing?
    Question Six-Did you determine that persons political leanings?.
    If you answer no to any of the questions re do your research,the report you received from the investigation
    is seriously flawed or delibertly misconstrued.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  6. outspoken

    Who are these guys in Benghazi ? Are they pro-govt freedom fighters like in Syria or some old Gaddafi loyalists.

    December 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  7. Ms Renee

    Unbelievable: Clinton has not been interviewed by the Press nor has she answered any questions from Congress on Benghazi. It's three months after a terrorist attack that killed Americans, including one of Clinton's key State Dept. officials, an Ambassador, and Clinton has not been questioned because she keeps dodging and hiding out. First, she is too exhausted" to answer the media's questions on Sunday Shows so she sends out Rice. Next she scoots off to foreign soil for weeks at a time, globe trotting, never long enough in Washington to get caught behind a microphone. Now she has a stomach ache and feels faint - so faint she cannot answer any questions regarding the Sept. 11th murders this Thursday. Imagine any key player in Watergate, using "exhaustion" and a "stomach ache" as excuses not to answer basic questions. But there really is no comparison to Watergate: in Benghazigate, good people were murdered.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  8. Ms Renee

    How convenient! First, Clinton is "too tired" to speak on the Sunday shows following the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11th so she and the President send out Ms Rice who has "nothing to do with Benghazi" per the Pres. Now, just days before she is scheduled to finally (3 months later!) answer some basic questions about the attack and assassination of our Ambassador, Clinton suddenly gets a tummy ache and feels faint. Hmmm.... how convenient.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • A Sneeky Drone

      That woman does more in one day than you and i do in a week, quit whining

      December 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
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    December 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  10. Anthony valente


    December 17, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  11. mario

    Still may not be enough for McCain actually if anything if might leave with more questions then answers

    December 17, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
  12. Hahahahahahaha

    Here's how it goes: There were these Towel Heads that murdered people. In the mean time, a general banged a broad. That's it. Hahahahahahahahahaha

    December 17, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • Mrs Zimmer

      And a president with real time communication capabilities let more than 7 hours go by without backup. Not really a laughing matter rather derliction of the duties of the Commander In Chief. The buck stops at his desk and his desk alone.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
      • mario

        Am sure those 7 hours were every painful for u !! This isn't the first attack

        December 17, 2012 at 10:09 am |

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