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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Senate: State Dept. retaliated against Benghazi witnesses
Report also blames White House for withholding key documents
The White House, Pentagon and especially the Department of State are actively frustrating the Senate’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, according to the Senate’s recently released 88-page report.
In a particularly stinging accusation that went largely unreported by news media, the Senate’s extensive report by its Benghazi investigative committee charged a “strong case can be made that State engaged in retaliation against witnesses who were willing to speak with Congress.”
“No reasonable explanation accounts for the State Department’s unacceptable treatment of these witnesses,” read the report.
The lawmakers also accused the State Department of returning some witnesses to active duty so they were “shielded from, or actively avoided, Committee requests for interviews.”
The Senate document revealed that not only have key executive branch witnesses declined to be interviewed, the White House “still has not provided all relevant documents to the Committee.”
Other documents were only provided on a “read only” basis, meaning that the Senate committee was “only permitted to view them for a limited period of time, while being supervised by the coordinating agency, and had to rely upon our notes when preparing the report.”
The Senate investigation noted the Department of Defense and other U.S. agencies provided hundreds of key documents, “although sometimes with a significant amount of resistance, especially from State.”
“This lack of cooperation unnecessarily hampered the Committee’s review,” said the report.