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tv   Hillary Clinton Testimony at House Select Committee on Benghazi  CSPAN  October 24, 2015 12:00pm-3:01pm EDT

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explores 12 historic supreme court decisions, including marbury versus madison . brown versus board of education. miranda versus arizona. and roe versus wade. book,ark cases," the written by veteran supreme court journalist tony morrow and published in partnership with c-span. it is available for $8.95 plus shipping. get your copy get your copy today at >> hillary clinton answer questions thursday about the 2012 attack on u.s. diplomatic and cia facilities in benghazi, libya. we will show you part of the 8.5 hour benghazi hearing today.
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the rest, tomorrow at noon on c-span. the first part of the hearing is about 4.5 hours.
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representative gowdy: good morning. the committee will come to order. the chair notes the presence of
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a quorum. good morning. welcome, madam secretary. welcome to each of you. this is a public hearing of the benghazi select committee. just a couple of quick administrative matters before we start. madam secretary, there are predetermined breaks, but i want to make it absolutely clear we can take a break for any reason or for no reason. if you or anyone, just simply alert me, then we will take a break and it can be for any reason or for no reason. to our guests, we are happy to have you here. the witness deserves to hear the questions and the members deserve to hear the answers. so proper decorum must be observed at all times -- no reaction to questions or answers, no disruptions. some committees take an incremental approach to decorum. i do not. this is your one and only notice. madam secretary, the ranking member and i will give opening statements and then you will be recognized for your opening statement. and then after that, the members will alternate from one side to the other. and because you have already been sworn, we will go straight to your opening.
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so i will now recognize myself and then recognize mr. cummings, and then you, madam secretary. d and then you, madam secretary. chris stevens, sawn smith, glen doherty and tyrone wood served this country with courage and with honor. and they were killed under circumstances that most of us could never imagine. terrorists pour through the front gate of an american facility attacking people and property with machine guns, mortars and fire. it is important that we remember how these four men died. it is equally important that we remember how these four men lived and why. they were more than four images on a television screen. they were husbands and fathers
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and sons and brothers and family and friends. they were americans who believed in service and sacrifice. many people speak of a better world but do little about it. these four went out and actually tried to make it better. and it cost them their lives. so we know what they gave us. what do we owe them? justice for those that killed them. we owe their families our ever lasting gratitude, respect. we owe them and each other the truth. the truth about why we were in libya. the truth about what we were doing fwh ldo ing in libya. the truth about the escalate in in libya. the truth about request for additional personnel. the truth about requests for
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additional equipment. the truth about where and why our military was positioned as it was on the anniversary of 9/11. the truth about what was happening and being discussed in washington while our people were under attack. the truth about what led to the attacks and the truth about what our government told the american people after the attacks. why were there so many requests for more security personnel and equipment and why were those requests denied in washington? why did the state department compound and facility not even come close to meeting proper security specifications? what policies were we pursuing in libya that required a physical presence? who in washington was aware of the escalating violence? what precautions, if any, were taken on the anniversary of 9/11? what happened in washington after the first attack?
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and what was our response to that attack? what did the military do or not do? what did our leaders in washington do or not do and when? why was the american public given such diverge enter accounts of what caused these attacks? and why is it so hard to get information from the very government these four men represented, served and sacrificed for? even after an accountability review board and a half dozen congressional investigations, these and other questions still linger. these questions linger because previous investigations were not thorou thorough. these questions lingered because those previous investigations were narrow in scape and either incapable or unwilling to access the facts and evidence necessary to answer all relevant questions. so the house of representatives, including some democrats i hasten to add, asked this committee to write the final
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accounting of what happened in benghazi. this committee is the first committee to review more than 50,000 pages of documents, because we insisted that they be produced. this committee is the first committee to demand access to more eyewitnesses because serious investigations talk to as many eyewitnesses as possible. this committee is the first committee to thoroughly and individually interview scores of other witnesses, many of them for the first time. this committee is the first committee to review thousands of pages of documents from top state department personnel. this committee is the first committee to demand access to relevant documents from the cia, the fbi, the department of defense and even the white house. this committee is the first committee to demand access to the e-mails to and from ambassador chris stevens. how could an investigation possibly be considered serious
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without reviewing the e-mails of the person most knowledgeable about libya? this committee is the first committee, the only committee, to uncover the fact that secretary clinton exclusively used personnel e-mail on her own personal server for official business and kept the public record, including e-mails about benghazi and libya, in her own custody and control for almost two years after she left office. you will hear a lot today about the accountability review board. secretary clinton has mentioned it more than 70 times in her previous testimony before congress. but when you hear about the arb, you should know the state department leadership hand picked the members of the arb. the arb never interviewed secretary clinton. the arb never reviewed her e-mails. secretary clinton's top adviser was allowed to review and suggest changes to the arb before the public ever saw it. there's no transcript of the arb
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interviews. it's impossible to mow whether all relevant questions were asked and answered. because there's no transcript, it is also impossible to cite the arb interviews with any particularity at all. that is not independent. that is not accountability. that is not a serious investigation. you will hear there were previous congressional investigations into benghazi. that is true. it should make you wonder why those investigations failed to interview so many witnesses and access so many documents. if those previous congressional investigations were really serious and thorough, how did they miss ambassador stevens' e-mails. if those previous investigations were serious and thorough, how did they miss secretary clinton's e-mails? if those congressional investigations really were serious and thorough, why did they fail to interview dozens of key state department witnesses, including agents on the ground
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who experienced the attacks firsthand? just last month, three years after benghazi, top aides finally returned documents to the state department. a month ago this committee received 1,500 new pages of secretary clinton's e-mails related to libya and benghazi. three years after the attacks. a little over two weeks ago, this committee received nearly 1,400 pages of ambassador stevens' e-mails, three years after the attacks. it is impossible to conduct a serious fact centric investigation without access to the documents from the former secretary of state, the ambassador who knew more about libya than anybody else and testimony from witnesses who survived the attacks. madam secretary, i understand there are people frankly in both parties who have suggested that this investigation is about you. let me assure you, it is not. and let me assure you why it is not.
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this investigation is about four people who were killed representing our country on foreign soil. it is about what happened before, during and after the attacks that killed them. it is about what this country owes to those who risk their lives to serve it. and it is about the fundamental obligation of government to tell the truth always to the people that is purports to represent. madam secretary, not a single member of this committee signed up to investigate you or your e-mail. we signed up to investigate and therefore honor the lives of four people that we sent into a dangerous country to represent us. and to do everything we can to prevent it from happening to
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others. our committee has interviewed half -- 100 witnesses. not a single one of them has been named clinton until today. you were the secretary of state for this country at all relevant times. so, of course, the committee is going to want to talk to you. you are an important witness. you are one important witness among half a hundred important witnesses. and i do understand you wanted to come sooner than today. so let me be clear why that did not happen. you had an unusual e-mail arrangement which meant the state department could not produce your e-mails to us. you made exclusive use of personal e-mail and a personal server. when you left the state department, you kept the public record to yourself for almost two years. and it was you and your attorneys who decided what to return and what to delete. those discussions were your decisions, not our decisions.
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it was only in march of this year we learned of this e-mail arrangement. and since we learned of this e-mail arrangement, we have interviewed dozens of witnesses only one of whom was solely related to your e-mail arrangement. and that was the shortest interview of all, because that witness invoked his fifth ame amendment privilege against incrimination. making sure the public record is complete is what we do. it's important and remains important that this committee have access to all of ambassador stevens' e-mails and other witnesses and it is important to gain access to all of your e-mails. your e-mails are no less or no more important than the e-mails of anyone else. it just took us a little bit longer to get them and it garnered a little more attention in the process. i want you to take note during
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this hearing how many times congressional democrats call on this administration to make long awaited documents available to us. they won't. take note of how many witnesses congressional democrats ask us to schedule for interview. they won't. we would be closer to finding out what happened and writing the final report if democrats on this committee had helped us just a little bit pursue the facts. but if the dp democrats on thi committee had their way, dozens of witnesses never would have been interviewed, your public record would still be prprivate thousands of documents would never be accessed and we wouldn't have the e-mails of our own ambassador. that may be smart politics, but it is a lousy way to run a serious investigation. there are certain characteristics that make our country unique in the anales of
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history. part that was self-governance comes self-scrutiny, even of the highest officials. our country is strong enough to handle the truth, and our fellow citizens expect us to pursue the truth wherever the facts take us. so this committee is going to do what we pledged to do and what should have been done, frankly, a long time ago, which is interview all relevant witnesses, examine all relevant evidence and access all relevant documents. and we're going to pursue the truth in a manner worthy of the memory of the four people who lost their lives and worthy of the respect of our fellow citizens. we are going to write that final accounting of what happened in benghazi. we would like to do it with your help and the help of our democrat colleagues. but make no mistake, we are going to do it nonetheless
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because understanding what happened in benghazi goes to the heart of who we are as a country and the promises we make to those we send into harm's way. they deserve the truth. they deserve the whole truth. they deserve nothing but the truth. the people we work for deserve the truth. the friends and family of the four who lost their lives deserve the truth. we will find the truth. because there is no stut atute limitations on the truth. with that, i would recognize my friend from maryland. >> the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
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madam secretary, i want to thank you very much for being here today to testify before congress on this very important issue. this is your third time. this week our chairman, mr. gowdy, was interviewed in a lengthy media profile. during his interview he complained that he was -- and i quote -- he has an impossible job. that's what the chairman said, impossible job. he said it's impossible to conduct a serious, fact centric investigation in such a, quote, political environment. i have great respect for the chairman. but on this score, he is absolutely wrong. in fact, it has been done by his
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own republican colleagues in the house on this very issue benghazi. the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee conducted an extensive bipartisan two-year investigation and issued a detailed report. the senate intelligence committee and the senate homeland security committee also conducted a bipartisan investigation. those bipartisan efforts respected and honored the memories of the four brave americans who gave their lives in benghazi. ambassador chris stevens, sean smith, tyrone woods and glenn doherty. the problem is that the republican caucus did not like the answers they got from those investigations.
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so they set up this select committee with no rules, no deadline and an unlimited budget. and they set them loose, madam secretary, because you are running for president. clearly, it is possible to conduct a serious bipartisan investigation. what is impossible is for any reasonable person to continue denying that republicans are squandering millions of taxpayer dollars on this abusive effort to derail secretary clinton's presidential campaign. in the chairman's interview he tried to defend against this criticism by attempting to cast himself as the victim. and he complained about attacks on the credibility of the select committee. his argument would be more
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compelling if republicans weren't leading the charge. as we all know, representative kevin mccarthy, speaker boehner's second in command and the chairman's close friend admitted that they established the select committee to drive down secretary clinton's poll numbers. democrats didn't say that. the second in command in the house said that, a republican. republican congressman richard hannah said the select committee was, quote, designed, designed to go after secretary clinton. and one of the chairman's only hand picked investigators, a self-proclaimed conservative republican, charged that he was fired in part for not going along with these plans to, quote, hyper-focus on hillary
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clinton, end of quote. these reflect what we have seen for the past year. let's look at the facts. since january, republicans have canceled every single hearing on our schedule for the entire year except for this one, secretary clinton. they canceled numerous interviews that they planned with the defense department and the cia officials. instead of doing that, they said they were going -- what they were going to do, republicans zeroed in on secretary clinton, her speech writers, her i.t. staffers and her campaign officials. this is what the republicans did, not the democrats. when speaker boehner established this select committee, he justified it by arguing that it would, quote, cross jurisdictional lines.
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i assume he meant we would focus on more than just secretary of state. but, madam secretary, you are sitting there by yourself. the secretary of defense is not on your left. the director of the cia is not on your right. that's because republicans abandoned their own plans to question those top officials. instead of being cross jurisdictional, republicans just crossed them off the list. last weekend, the chairman told the republican colleagues to shut up and stop talking about the select committee. what i want to know is this. and this is a key question. why tell the republicans to shut up when they are telling the truth but not when they are attacking secretary clinton with reckless accusations that are
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demon strably false? why not tell them to shut up then? carly fiorina has said that secretary clinton has blood on her hands. mike huckabee accused her of ignoring the warning calls from dieing americans in benghazi. senator ryan paul said benghazi was a 3 a.m. phone call that she never picked up. and senator lindsey graham tweeted, where the hell were you on the night of the benghazi attack? everyone on this panel knows these accusations are baseless, from our own investigation and all those before it. yet republican members of this select committee remain silent. on monday, the democrats issued a report showing that none of the 54 witnesses the committee
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interviewed substantiated these wild republican claims. secretary clinton did not order the military to stand down, and she neither approved nor denied requests for additional security. i ask our report be included in the official report for the hearing. >> without objection. >> what is so telling is that we issued virtually the same report a year ago. same report. when we first joined the select committee, i asked my staff to put together a complete report and database setting forth the questions that have been asked about the attacks and all of the answers that were provided in the eight previous investigations. i asked that this report also be included in the record, mr. chairman. >> without objection.
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>> the problem is that rather than accepting these facts, republicans continue to spin new conspiracy theories that are just as outlandish and inaccurate. for example, the chairman tried to argue that sidney bloomingthal was secretary clinton's representative on benghazi. representative pompei said she relied on sidney for most of her intelligence on libya. earlier this week, "the washington post" fact checker awarded this claim four pin oak yos, its worst rating. here is the bottom line. the select committee has spent 17 months and $4.7 million of
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taxpayer money. we have held four hearings and conducted 54 interviews and depositions. yes, we have received some new e-mails from secretary clinton, ambassador stevens and others. and yes, we have wconducted som new interviews. these documents and interviews do not show any nefarious activity. it's the opposite. the new information we obtained confirms the core facts we already knew from eight previous investigations. they provide more detail, but they do not change the basic conclusions. it is time and it is time now for the republicans to end this taxpayer funded fishing expedition. we need to come together and shift from politics to policy. that's what the american people want, shifting from politics to
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policy. we need to finally make good on our promises to the families. the families only asked us to do three things. one, do not make this a political football. two, find the facts. three, do everything in your power to make sure that this does not happen again. and so we need to start focusing on what we here in congress can do to improve the safety and security of our diplomatic corps in the future. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thanks the gentleman from maryland. you are recognized for your opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman, ranking members cummings, members of this committee. the terrorist attacks at our diplomatic compound and later at the cia post in benghazi, libya, on september 11, 2012, took the lives of four brave americans,
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ambassador stevens, sawn smith, glen doherty and tyrone woods. i'm here to honor the service of those four men. the courage of the diplomatic security agency and the cia officers who risked their lives that night. and the work their colleagues do every single day all over the world. i knew and admired chris stevens. he was one of our nation's most accomplished diplomats. chris' mother liked to say he had sand in his shoes because he was always moving, always working, especially in the middle east that he came to know so well. when the revolution broke out in libya, we named chris as our
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envoy to the opposition. there was no easy way to get him into benghazi to begin gathering information and meeting those libyans who were rising up against the murderous dictator gaddafi. but he found a way to get himself there on a greek cargo ship, just like a 19th century american envoy. but his work was very much 21st century hard-nosed diplomacy. it is a testament to the relationships that he built in libya that on the day following the awareness of his death tens of thousands of libyans poured into the streets in benghazi. they held signs reading, thugs
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don't represent benghazi or islam, sorry, people of america, this is not the behavior of our islam or our prophet. chris stevens, a friend, to all libyans. although i didn't have the privilege of meeting sean smith personally, he was a valued member of our state department family. an air force veteran, he was an information management officer who had served in baghdad, montreal and the hague. tyrone woods and glen doherty worked for the cia. they were killed by mortar fire at the cia's outpost in benghazi, a short distance from
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the diplomatic compound. they were both former navy s.e.a.l.s. and trained paramedics with distinguished service including in iraq and afghanistan. as secretary of state, i had the honor to lead and the responsibility to support nearly 70,000 diplomats and development experts across the globe. losing any one of them, as we did in iraq, afghanistan, mexico, haiti and libya, during my tenure was deeply painful for our entire state department and usa-id family and for me personally. i was the one who asked chris to go to libya as our envoy. i was the one who recommended him to be our ambassador to the
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president. after the attacks, i stood next to president obama as marines carried his casket and those of the other three americans off the plane at andrews air force base. i took responsibility. and as part of that, before i left office, i launched reforms to better protect our people in the field and help reduce the chance of another tragedy happening in the future. what happened in benghazi has been scrutinized by a non-partisan hard-hitting accountability review board, seven prior congressional investigations, multiple news organizations and, of course, our law enforcement and intelligence agencies. so today i would like to share three observations about how we
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can learn from this tragedy and move forward as a nation. first, america must lead in a dangerous world. and our diplomats must continue representing us in dangerous places. the state department sends people to more than 270 posts in 170 countries around the world. chris stevens understood that diplomats must operate in many places where our soldiers do not. where there are no other boots on the ground and safety is far from guaranteed. in fact, he volunteered for just those assignments. he also understood we will never prevent every act of terrorism or achieve perfect security and that we inevitably must accept a
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level of risk to protect our country and advance our interests and values. and make no mistake, the risks are real. terrorists have killed more than 65 american diplomatic personnel since the 1970s and more than 100 contractors and locally employed staff. since 2001, there have been more than 100 attacks on u.s. diplomatic facilities around the world. but if you ask our most experienced ambassadors, they will tell you, they can't do their jobs for us from bunkers. it would compound the tragedy of benghazi if chris stevens' death and the death of the other three americans ended up undermining the work to which he and they
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devoted their lives. we have learned the hard way when america is absent, especially from unstable places, there are consequences. extremism takes root, aggressors seek to fill the vacuum and security everywhere is threatened, including here at home. that's why chris was in benghazi. it's why he had served previously in syria, egypt, saudi arabia and jerusalem during the second intifada. nobody knew the dangers of libya better. a weak government, extremist groups, rampant instability. but chris chose to go to benghazi because he understood america had to be represented there at that pivotal time. he knew that eastern libya was
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where the revolution had begun and that unrest there could derail the country's fragile transition to democracy. and if extremists gained a foothold, they would have the chance to destabilize the entire region, including egypt and tunisia. he also knew how urgent it was to ensure that the weapons gaddafi left strewn across the country, including shoulder-fired missiles that could knock an airplane out of the sky, did not fall into the wrong hands. the nearest israeli airport is just a day's drive from the libyan border. above all, chris understood that most people in libya or anywhere reject the extremists' argument that violence can ever be a path
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to dignity or justice. that's what those thousands of libyans were saying after they learned of his death. and he understood there was no substitute for going beyond the embassy walls and doing the hard work of building relationships. retreat from the world is not an option. america cannot shrink from our responsibility to lead. that doesn't mean we should ever return to the go it alone foreign policy of the past, a foreign policy that puts boots on the ground as a first choice rather than a last resort. quite the opposite. we need creative, confident leadership that harnesses all of america's strengths and values. leadership that integrates and balances the tools of diplomacy, development and defense.
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and at the heart of that effort must be dedicated professionals like chris stevens and his colleagues who put their lives on the line for a country, our country, because they believed, as i do, that america is the greatest force for peace and progress the world has ever known. my second observation is this. we have a responsibility to provide our diplomats with the resources and support they need to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. after previous deadly attacks, leaders from both parties and both branchs of government came together to determine what went wrong and how to fix it for the future. that's what happened during the reagan administration. when hezbollah attacked our embassy and killed 63 people,
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including 17 americans, and then in a later attack attacked our marine barracks and killed so many more, those two attacks in beirut resulted in the deaths of 258 americans. it's what happened during the clinton administration when al qaeda bombed our embassies in kenya and tanzania killing more than 200 people, wounding more than 2,000 people and killing 12 americans. it's what happened during the bush administration after 9/11. part of america's strength is we learn, we adapt and we get stronger. after the benghazi attacks, i
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asked ambassador thomas pickering, one of our most distinguish and longer serving diplomats, along with admiral mike mulemullen, the former chan of the joint chiefs of staff appointed by president george w. bush to lead an accountability board. this is an institution that was set up after the attacks in beirut. there have been 18 previous boards. only two have ever made any of their findings public. the one following the attacks on our embassies in east africa and the one following our attack -- the attack on benghazi. the accountability review board did not pull a single punch. they found systemic problems and management deficiencies in two state department bureaus.
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the review recommended 29 specific improvements. i pledge that by the time i left office, every one would be on the way to implementation. and they were. more marines were slated for deployment to high threat embas embassies, additional diplomatic security agents were being hired and trained. and secretary kerry has continued this work. but there is more to do. and no administration can do it alone. congress has to be our partner as it has been after previous tragedies. for example, the accountability review board and subsequent investigations have recommended improved training for our officers before they deploy to the field. but efforts to establish a modern joint training center are being held up by congress. the men and women who serve our country deserve better.
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finally, there's one more observation i would like to share. i traveled to 112 countries as secretary of state. every time i did, i felt great pride and honor representing the country that i love. we need leadership at home to match our leadership abroad. leadership that puts national security ahead of politics and ideology. our nation has a long history of bipartisan cooperation on foreign policy and national security. not that we always agree. far from it. but we do come together when it counts. as secretary of state, i worked with the republican chairman of the senate foreign relations committee to pass a landmark nuclear arms control treaty with
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russia. i worked with the republican leader, senator mitch mcconnell, to open up burma to democratic change. i know it's possible to find common ground, because i have done it. we should debate on the basis of fact, not fear. we should resist denigrating the patriotism or loyalty of those we disagree. so i'm here despite all the previous investigations and the talk about partisan agenda agenm here to honor those we lost and to do what i can to aid those who serve us still. my challenge to you, members of this committee, is the same challenge i put to myself. let's be worthy of the trust the american people have bestowed upon us. they expect us to lead, to learn the right lessons, to rise above
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partisanship and to reach for statesmanship. that's what i tried to do every day at setting of state. and it's what i hope we will all strive for here today and into the future. thank you. >> thank you, madam secretary. i did not cut off your opening at all, nor would i think about doing so. because the subject matter is critically important. and you deserve to be heard. i would just simply note that -- i don't plan on cutting off any of your answers. our members have questions that we believe are worthy of being answered. so i would just simply note that we do plan to ask all of the questions and whatever recession that you can give to the answers without giving short shift to any of the answers would be much appreciated. with that i would recognize the gentleman from illinois. >> good more thaning.
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your chief foreign policy adviser wrote a memo on october 21, 2011. this was the day before the rebels took tripoli. he titles it, secretary clinton's leadership on libya, which he describes you as a critical voice and public face of the u.s. effort in libya, instrumental in tightening the noose around gaddafi and his easy. >> one thing at a time. >> that didn't copime easy, tha public face i mentioned? >> no. congressman, i know this is an issue that the committee has raised. it really boils down to why were we in libya, why did the united states join with our nato and european allies, join with our arab partners to protect the
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people of libya against the murderous planning of gaddafi. why did we take a role alongside our partners in doing so. there were a number of reasons for that. and i think it is important to remind the american people where we were at the time when the people of libya, like people across the region, rose up demanding freedom and democracy, a chance to chart their own futures. gaddafi threatened them with genocide. and we were then approached by -- with great intensity -- our closest allies in europe, people who felt very strongly, the french and british, but others as well, that they could not stand idly by and permit that to happen so close to their shores with the unintended
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consequences that they worried about. they asked for the united states to help. we did not immediately say yes. we did an enormous amount of due diligence in meeting with not only our european and arab partners but also with those who were heading up what was called the transitional national council. we had experienced diplomats who were digging deep into what was happening in libya and what the possibilities were before we agreed to provide very specific limited help to the european and arab efforts. we did not put one american soldier on the ground. we did not have one casualty. in fact, i think by many measures, the cooperation between nato and arab forces was quite remarkable and something that we want to learn more lessons from. >> secretary clinton, you were meeting with opposition within the state department from very
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senior career diplomats. they were saying it was going to produce a net negative for u.s. military intervention. for example, in a march 9, 2011 e-mail discussing what has become known as the libya options memo, ambassador mall, the executive secretary of the state department, in one of the top career diplomat, said in the case of our diplomatic history, when we have provided material or tactical military support to people seeking to drive their leaders from power, no matter how just their cause, it has tended to produce net negatives for our interests over the long term in those countries. we will come back to that in a minute. you overruled those career diplomats. they report to you. you are the chief diplomat of the united states. read the note if you need to. >> i have to -- i have -- >> i'm not done with my question. i'm giving you the courtesy of r5eding your notes. >> that's all right.
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>> they were pushing back. but you overcame those objections. but then you had another big obstacle, didn't you? that was the white house itself. there were senior voices within the white house that were opposed to military action. vice president biden, department of defense, secretary gates, the national security council and so forth. but you persuaded president obama to intervene militarily, isn't that right? >> congressman, i think it's important to point out, there were many in the state department who believed it was very much in america's interests and in further answer of our values to protect the libyan people, to join with our european allies and our arab partners. the ambassador who had had to did he withdrawn from libya because of direct threats to his physical safety, but who knew libya very well, ambassador kretz was a strong advocate for doing what we could to assist the europeans and arabs.
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it's fair to say there were concerns and it is fair to say were concerns. there were varying opinions about what to do, how to do it and the like. at the end of the day, this was the president's decision. and all of us fed in our views. i did not favor it until i had, as i said, done the due diligence speaking with not just people within our government and within the governments of all of the other nations who were urging us to assist them but also meeting in person with the gentleman who had assumed a lead role in the transitional national council. so it is of course fair to say this is a difficult decision. i wouldn't sit here and say otherwise. and there were varying points about it. at the end of the day, in large measure, because of the strong appeals from our european allies, the arab league passing resolution urging that the united states and nato joined
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with them, those were unprecedented requests. and we did decide and recommending to the president there was a way to do it. the president i think very clearly had a limited instruction about how to proceed. and the first planes that flew were french planes. and i think what the united states proceeded was some of our unique capacity. but the bulk of the work militarily was done by europeans and arabs. >> i think you are overselling yourself. you convinced the president. you overcame the objections of vice president biden and secretary of defense gates, the national security council. you had another obstacle, the russians. you were able to abstain. had you not been successful in orging that abstention, the
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security council resolution 1973 wouldn't have passed because the russians had a veto. so you overcame that obstacle as well, right? >> congressman, it is right that doing my due diligence and the consequences of pursuing each of them, i was in favor of the united states joining with our european allies and air rob partners and in favor of obtaining u.n. security council support. i thought that would provide greater legitimacy. our ambassador to the you know was very influential is and successful and making the case to her colleagues. but this was at the behaste of the president once he was presented with the varying argument. >> you have -- >> congressman, i have been in a number of situation room discussions. i remember very well the intense conversation over whether or not to launch the navy s.e.a.l.s against the compound we thought
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that might house bin laden. there was a split in the advisers around the president. eventually the president makes the decision. i support what we could to support our european and arab partners in their effort on a humanitarian basis, strategic basis to prevent gadhafi from starting massachusetts kerrs. >> jake sullivan sent an e-mail saying this, i think you should call. it will be a painful 10 minutes. but you will be be the one who delivered arab support. that is an e-mail of jake eventual san asking you to call the secretary-general of the a arab league. so to put this in totality, you were able to overcome opposition within the state department. you were able to persuade the president. you were able to persuade the
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united nations and the international community. you made the call to the arabs and brought them home. you saw it. you drove it. you articulated it. and you persuaded people. did i get that wrong? >> congressman, i was secretary of state. my job was to conduct the diplomacy. the diplomacy consisted of a long series of meetings and phone calls both here in our country and abroad to take the measure of what people were saying and whether they meant it. we had heard sometimes before from countries saying, well, the united states should go do this. when we would say, well, what would you do in support of us, there was not much coming forth. this time, if they wanted us to support them in what they saw as an action vital respective to their national security interests, i wanted to be sure they were going to bear the bulk of the load. is and, in fact, they did.
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what the united states did, as i said, was use our unique capacities. as i recall, if you want if you want it to monetary terms, less than we spend in one day in iraq is what the united states committed in support of our allies. we asked our allies if you allot for us, congressman, they had asked is for us to help them. >> let me reclaim my time. you summed it up best when you e-mailed your senior staff and you said of this interchange. it's good to remind ourselves and the rest of the world that this couldn't have happened without us. you were right, secretary clinton. our libya policy be couldn't have happened without you because you were its chief architect. i said we will two back to the warning about using military for regime change. and he said long-term things weren't going to turn out very well. and he was right. after your plan, things in libya today are a disaster. i yield pack. >> well, we'll have more time i'm sure to talk about this because that's not a view that i
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will ascribe to. >> the gentleman from illinois. i recognize the gentleman from maryland. >> madam secretary, i want to thank you for being here. i want to start with the number one question that republicans claim has not been answered in eight previous investigations. yesterday the chairman wrote in an op ed and he said, this is his top financial question about benghazi. and it is, and i quote, why our people in libya and benghazi made so many requests for additional security personnel and equipment and why those requests were denied. i'll give you a chance to answer in a minute. secretary clinton, as you know, this question has been asked many times and answered many times. let's start with the
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accountability review board. a moment ago you talked about admiral mullen. but you also a a appointed another very distinguished gentlemen, ambassador pickering. and of course admiral mullen served under republican administrations. and ambassador pickering, who i have a phenomenal amount of respect for, served 40 years, as you know, as part of our diplomatic core. he he serve issed under george h.w. bush and served as u.n. ambassador -- he also served under reagan. now, i'm just wondering -- let me go back to that question. while people in libya benghazi made so many requests. there seems to be an implication
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that the a.r.b., accountability review board, was not independent. and i think of course that's done by law. would you comment on those two things, please? >> yes. i'd be happy to. now, as i said in my opening statement, i take responsibility for what happened in benghazi. i felt a responsibility for all 70,000 people working at the state department in usaid. i take that very seriously. as i said with respect to security requests in benghazi back when i testified in january 2013, those interests and issues related to security were rightly handled by the security professionals in the department. i did not see them. i did not approve them. i did not deny them. ambassador pickering and admiral
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mullen make this case very clearly in their testimony before your committee and in their public comments. these issues would not ordinarily come before the secretary of state. and they did not in this case. as secretary, i was committed to taking aggressive measures to ensure our personnel's and facilities were as safe as possible. and certainly when the nonpartisan critical report from the accountability review board came forward, i took it very seriously. and that's i embraced all their recommendations and created a new position within the diplomatic security bureau specifically to evaluate high risk posts. i think it's important also to mention, congressman, that the
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diplomatic security professionals who were reviewing these requests, along with those who are serving in war zones and hot spots around the world, have great expertise and experience in keeping people safe. if you go on co dells they are the ones who plan your trip to keep you safe. they certainly did that for me. most importantly, that's what they do every day for everybody who serve ises our country as a diplomat or development professional. and i was not going to second-guess them. i was not going to substitute my judgment, which is not based on experience that they have in keeping people safe for theirs. and the changes that were recommended by the accountability review board are ones that we thought made sense and began quickly to implement. >> now, the a.r.b., after conducting, madam secretary, more than 100 interviews,
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identifies specific employee at the state department who denied these requests. it was deputy assistant secretary of the bureau of diplomatic security charlene lamb. the a.r.b. report was very critical of her. it was also critical of her two supervisors. principal deputy assistant secretary and assistant secretary for diplomatic security. the oversight committee found the same answer as the a.r.b. it found that this official denied these interests. it found no evidence that you approved or denied them. the problem is republicans just keep asking the same question over and over again and pretend they don't know the answer. in 2013, the republican chairman of five house committees issued
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a report falsely accusing you personally of the nine requests over your signature. the next day, the next day, the chairman of the oversight committee darryl isa, went on television and accused you of the same thing. can we play that clip, please. >> secretary of state was just wrong. she said she did not participate in this. and yet only a few months before the attack she out right denied security in her signature in a contain ril. >> do you remember that, madam secretary? >> i do. >> when a fact checker examined his claim, they gave it four pinocchios.
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they called it a whopper. it turns out the republicans had a copy of that cable but didn't tell the american people that your so-called signature was just a stamp that appeared on millions of cables from the state department every single year. is that right? >> that's correct. >> now, madam secretary, my goal has always been to gather facts and to defend the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. i asked to compile an asked and answered database. on monday, we put out another report and this issue was addressed yet again. but the republicans want to keep this attack going so they are now trying to argue that we have new e-mails that raise new questions. the truth is that we have reviewed these e-mails and they don't contradict previous
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conclusions. they confirm them. they corroborate them. we have reviewed e-mails from am abbas door stevens. they conclude that he asked charleston lean lamb for more security. nothing that we obtained, the new interviews or e-mails conclude the fact that we have known for three years. please take as much time as you want to answer this. there is no evidence to support the republican claims that you personally rejected security requests. so some have a argued that since you knew the danger was increasing in libya, you should have been in there making detailed decisions about whether this would be 5, 7, or 9 security officers at any given post. madam secretary, i know you have answered it over and over again. you might just want to elaborate and just i'll give you -- i have
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a minute and seven second. >> well, thank you, congressman. i think there has been some confusion, and i welcome the opportunity to try to clarify it to the best of my ability. with respect, as you rightly point out, the claims that were made about the cables, i think you have explained the fact that it is a long-standing tradition of the state department for cables from around the world to be sent is to and sent from the state is department under the signature, over the signature of the secretary of state. it's a stamp. it's just part of the tradition. there are millions of them, as you point out. they are sorted through and directed to the appropriate personnel. very few of them ever come to my attention. none of them with respect to security regarding benghazi did. and the other point, which i thank you for raising that
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perhaps i can speak to this one as well. there is of course information that we were obtaining about the increasingly dangerous environment in libya. across the country but in particular in eastern libya. and we were aware of that. and we were certainly taking that into account. there was no actionable intelligence on september 11th or even before that date about any kind of planned attack on our compound in benghazi. and there were a lot of debates apparently that went on within the security professionals about what to provide. because they did have to prioritize. the accountability review board pointed that out. the state department has historically, and certainly before this terrible accident, had not had the amount of money
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we thought necessary to do what was required to protect everyone. so of course there had to be priorities. and that was something that the security professionals dealt with. i think that both admiral mullen and ambassador pickering made it very clear they thought the high threat post should move to a higher level of scrutiny. and we had immediately moved to do that. >> thank you. >> thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from illinois, ms. brooks. >> good morning. thank you for being here today. and drawing on what you just said, that very few but no requests for benghazi came to your attention, i'd like to show you something. this pile representing the
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e-mails that you sent or received about libya in 2011, from february through december of 2011. this pile represents the e-mails you sent or received from early 2012 until the day of the attack. there are 795 e-mails in this pile. we've counted them. >> there's 67 e-mails in this pile in 2012. and i'm troubled by what i see here. and so my questions relate to these piles. this pile in 2011 i see daily updates. sometimes is hourly updates from your staff about benghazi and chris stevens. when i look at this pile in 2012, i only see a handful of e-mails to you from your senior staff about benghazi. we know from talk to go your
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senior advisers that they knew, many of them are here today seated behind you, that they knew to accepted issues that were of importance to you. i can only conclude by your own records that there was a lack of interest in libya in 2012. so let's first focus, though, on this pile and what was happening in libya in 2011. we have an ambassador to libya, ambassador kretz. you told us that you hand-picked chris stevens to be your special representative in benghazi and you sent him there. and by your own e-mails, they show in march '11 you had chris stevens join you in paris where you were meeting with the leader of the libyan revolution. after paris that is when, as you talked about chris stevens went into benghazi april 5th of 2011
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on that greek cargo ship. how long was he expected to stay? what were chris stevens's orders from you about libya and benghazi specifically? >> chris stevens was asked to go to benghazi to do reconnaissance, to try to figure out who were the leaders of the insurgency based in benghazi, what their goals were, what happened if they were successful. as i had, it was the hard-nosed 21st century diplomacy that is rooted in the old-fashioned necessary work of building relationships and gathering information. >> how long was he anticipated to stay in benghazi, do you recall? >> it was open-ended. we were, in discussing it with him, unsure as to how productive it would be. whether it would be appropriate for him to stay for a long time
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or a short time. that was very much going to depend upon chris's own assessment. we knew we were sending understood the area, who understood the language, who understood a lot of the personalities because of the historical study that he used to love to do. and we were going to be guided by what he decided. >> i would like to draw your attention to an e-mail. it is an e-mail found at tab 1. it is an op center e-mail that was forwarded to you from houma abedene sunday, march 27th. it says at the bottom of the e-mail -- the current game plan is to move no later than wednesday from benghazi. but it says it is for him to lay the groundwork for a stay up to 30 days. so just to refresh that recollection, i believe initially the goal was to go in
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for 30 days. were you personally briefed on his security plan prior to him going into libya? >> at that time if i'm not mistaken, gadhafi's forces were still battling the rebels, correct? >> that's right. >> so what were -- were you personally briefed before you sent mr. stevens into benghazi? >> i was personally told by the officials who were in the state department who were immediately above chris, who were making the plans for him to go in, that it was going to be expeditionary diplomacy. it was going to require him to make a lot of judgments on the ground. about what he could accomplish and including where it would be safe for him to be and how long for him to stay. and i think the initial decision was, you know, up to 30 days and reassess. but it could have been 10 days. it could have been 60 days
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depending upon what he found and what he reported back to us. >> is and possibly what was determined about the danger of benghazi. who were those officials? >> there were a number of officials -- >> advising you on the security specifically? >> with respect to the security, this was a particular concern of the assistant secretary for the bureau in which chris worked. >> i'm sorry. what was that person's name? >> assistant secretary jeff feldman. and the security for diplomatic security, as well as other officials within the state department. and i think it's fair to say, congresswoman, we all knew, it was a risky undertaking. we all know, as i said in my opening statement, more reminiscent the way it was practiced back in the 19th century. because we didn't have is the internet. we didn't have instantaneous communication.
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you would send envoys into places and not hear from them for maybe months. this was obviously not of that kind. but it was not that different in degree from what we had done before. and it was a risky under taking and one in which chris volunteered for and was a anxious to undertake. >> and it was so risky, i would like to pull up another e-mail forwarded from ms. abedene sunday, april 10th. so he had been there about five days. it can indicated the situation had worsened to the point where stevens is considering departing from benghazi. this is within five days of him going in. were you aware of that concern in the first five days of him going in? >> yes. >> did anyone share that with you. >> yes, we were aware. we were counting on chris to guide us and give us the information from the ground. we had no other sources. you know, there was no american outpost.
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there was no, you know, american military presence. eventually other americans representing different agencies were able to get into benghazi and begin to do the same work. but they of course couldn't do that work overtly, which is why we wanted a diplomat who could be publicly meeting with people to try to get the best assessment. but it was always going to be a constant risk. and we knew that. >> and so let me go back to the risk in 2011 because there was a lot of communication. again, once again from your senior staff, from the state department to you or from you in 2011. in fact, that is when gadhafi fell. he fell in 2011. then when we go to 2012, libya, benghazi, chris stevens, the staff seem to fall off your radar. and the situation is getting much worse in 2012, much worse.
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in your records that we have reviewed, there is no one e-mail to you or from you in 2012 when an explosive device went off at our compound in april. there's not a single e-mail in your records about that explosive device. so my question is, this was a very important mission in 2011. you sent chris stevens there. but yet when your compound is attacked in 2012, what kind of culture was created in the state department that your folks couldn't tell you in an e-mail about a bomb in april of 2012? >> well, congresswoman, i did not conduct most of the business that i did on behalf of our country on e-mail. i conducted it in meetings. i read massive amounts of memos, a great deal of classified information. i made a lot of secure phone calls. i was in and out of the white house all the time. there were a lot of things that happened that i was aware of and
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that i was reacting to. if you were to be in my office in the state department, i didn't have a computer. i did not do the vast is majority of the work on my e-mail. i bet there are a lot of sid blumenthal e-mails in there too. i don't want you to have a mistaken impression about what i did and how i did it. most of my work was not done on e-mails with my closest aides, with officials in the state department, officials in the rest of the government, as well as the white house, and people around the world. >> and thank you for sharing that. because i'm sure that it's not done on all e-mails, madam secretary. there are meetings and there are discussions. so when your compound took a second attack on june 6th, when a bomb blew a wall through the compound then, no e-mails, no e-mails at all. but i am interested in knowing who were you meeting with, who were you huddling with, how were you informed about those things? because there is nothing in the
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e-mails that talks about two significant attacks on our compounds in 2012? there was a lot of information in 2011 about issues and security posture and yet nothing in 2012. >> well, i would be happy to explain. every morning when i arrived at the state department, usually between 8:00 and 8:30, i had a personal one-on-one briefing from the representative of the central intelligence agency who shared with me the highest level of classified information that i was to be aware of on a daily basis. i then had a meeting with the top officials of the state department every day that i was in town. that's where a lot of information, including threats and attacks on our facilities was shared. i also had a weekly meeting every monday with all of the officials, the assistant secretaries and others so that i could be brought up to date on any issue they were concerned about.
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during the day, i received hundreds of pages of memos, many of them classified. some of them so top secret they were brought into my office in a locked briefcase that i had to read and immediately return to the currier. and i was constantly at the white house in "the situation room" meeting with the national security adviser and others. i would also be meeting with officials in the state department, foreign officials and others. so there was a lot going on during every day. i did not e-mail during the day except on rare occasions when i was able to. but i didn't conduct the business that i did primarily on e-mail. that is not how i gathered information, assessed information, asked the hard questions of the people that i worked with with. >> it appears leaving benghazi with respect to all of that danger, leaving benghazi was not an option in 2012. and i yield back. >> if i could just quickly respond, never a recommendation
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from any intelligence official in our government, from any official in the state department, or from any other person with knowledge of our presence in benghazi to shut down benghazi even after the two attacks that the compound suffered. and perhaps you would wonder why. but i can tell you it was thought that the mission in benghazi, in conjunction with the cia mission, was vital to our national interest. >> the gentlelady yields back. >> very much, mr. chairman. i just want to clarify. i was asking secretary clinton a moment ago i mentioned an e-mail that had gone from ambassador chris stevens to deputy secretary lamb. what i meant to say was a cable. >> the record will reflect that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary clinton, i'm pleased
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that you finally have the opportunity to be here. before i start my line of questioning, i just want to clarify with regards to the april, june 2012 incidents, i believe that the procedure that the state department had for these types of incidents was to actually hold what are called emergency action committee meetings on the ground immediately. in fact, there were at least five on record for june alone in both tripoli and benghazi. that is the correct procedure for handling such incidents, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> my job is to make sure we never put brave americans like shawn spieth, glen dougherty, chris stevens anywhere in the world without the protection they so rightly deserve. having flown combat missions myself and in so many dangerous places, i understand the
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dedication of those who choose to serve our country overseas. i have a official affinity of the diplomatic core. they go in without the benefit of military might, weapons, only with american values and diplomatic words and a handshake to forward our nation's interest globally. so i am absolutely determined to make sure that we safeguard in the name of our heroic dead, our men and women in the diplomatic wars wherever they are around the world. so the bottom line for me, i'm a very mission-driven person. the bottom line for me is with respect examining what went wrong in benghazi is clear. let's learn from those mistakes and figure out what we need to do to fix them. i have been in congress not quite three years. i have served on two other committees that has looked at the benghazi a attacks.
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so i have had a chance to really look at all of these documents. one of the things that i saw, and i would like you to discuss this with you, is that the department of state and the department of defense at the time seems to have not had the most ideal cooperation when it came to security analysis. i do know, however, that over the past decade they have established working together on the ground in dangerous regions that has increased over time. however, as a member of the armed services committee, which also looked at the benghazi attacks, i'm concerned the inter office was not sufficient leading up to the weeks of the september 11th attacks. the katrina exercises, if we had conducted exercises, this may have helped the state and dod to
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identify and fix existing eventual vulnerabilities. it could have facilitieded the prepositioning of assets where there were real questions of the host country's ability to protect our diplomatic personnel. secretary clinton, within the weeks of the terrorist attacks in benghazi happening, following that, i understand you partnered with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to establish and deploy five inter agency security assessment teams. to assess our security posture and needs at least the 19 high threat posts in 13 different countries. in fact, deputy secretary nye testified.
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why did you partner with the department of defense to conduct such a high priority review and was it effective and applying it for other locations. >> congresswoman, thank you very much. your knowledge about these issues rising from your own. and the service on the committees. it is very challenging to get military assets into countries that don't want them there. and in fact, that has been a constant issue that we have worked between the state department and the department of defense. the libyans made it clear from the very beginning, they did not approximate want any american military or any foreign military at all in their country.
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and what i concluded is that we needed to have these assessments because even if we couldn't post post our own military in the country, we needed to have a faster reaction. i certainly agreed 100%. our military did everything they could. they turned over every rock. they tried to deploy as best they could to try to get to benghazi. it was beyond the geographic range. they didn't have assets nearby. because we don't have a lot of installations and military personnel that are in that immediately region. so following what happened in benghazi, the chairman of the joint chiefs general dempsey and i agreed to send out mixed teams of our diplomatic security and their top security experts from the defense department to get a
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better idea of the 19 high threat posts. and that's exactly what we did. and it gave us some guidance to try to have better planning ahead of time. i know admiral mullen testified that it would be beyond the scope of our military to be able to provide immediate reaction to 270 posts. but that's why we tried to narrow down. and of course we do get help from our military in war zones. the military has been incredibly supportive of o embassy in kabul and our embassy in baghdad. but we have a lot of hot spots now. and very dangerous places that are not in military conflict areas where we have american military presence. we need a fast reaction team to try to prevent what happened in benghazi. >> thank you. so this process that the joint teams of dod and state goes out initially look at the 19 posts.
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that's great that they come back with a report. it's kind of like the seven reports do this. now we have another committee. we can keep having committees look into benghazi. we never act on them. it doesn't help our men and women on the ground. that's what i'm focused on. with these isats, they came back with their recommendations to you. are they institutionalized? what has been done with this process so it's not a snapshot in time in reaction to benghazi attack? and i want to make sure at the very least they are continuing the cooperation or there is some institutionalization of the review process to make sure that if it's not those 19 posts, if the shift now is there's 20 posts or some other posts. what has been done to make sure it is institutionalized? >> well, that is one of the changes i instituted before i left. and i'm confident that secretary kerry and his counterpart, secretary carter at the defense department, are continuing that.
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because i think it was very useful. certainly it was useful for our security professionals and our diplomats to be partnered in that way with the defense department. you know, historically the only presence at some of our facilities has been marines. and as you know well, marines were there not for the purpose of personnel protection. they were there to destroy classified material and equipment. and so part of the challenge that we have faced and some of these hot spot dangerous areas is how we get more of a presence. and after benghazi we were able to get marines deployed to tripoli. it is my belief that the isat process should be institutionalized and we should learn from it.
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>> coming from armed services, even as a young platoon leader out in a platoon, we got and read the defense quad review, a review that happens on a periodic basis. it gives the individual soldier an idea what the defense department is trying to do. and i understand you initiated something similar in the state department. >> right. >> and this goes to -- there's been discussion already about the culture at the state department, especially when it comes to security. i found that the department of defense review is good at instilling culture throughout the department. can you talk how and why you decided to do the review for the state department? was it useful? is it useful? is it getting out there? is it a waste of time and we shouldn't be wasting money on it and we should be doing something else? >> well, i hope it's not the latter. i learned about the quad renyel
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defense review in the senate during my time there. i agree with you completely, congresswoman. it is a very successful road map as to where we should be going. i'm impressed as a platoon leader it was something you too into account. when i came to the state department, there was no road map. the state department, usaid would come up and fight for the money they could get out of congress no matter who was in charge every single year. it is 1% of the speier budget. it was very difficult to explain effectively what it is we were trying to achieve. so it did institute the first quad republicanal diplomacy and development review. and one of the key questions we were addressing is what is is this balance between risk and reward when it comes to our diplomats and our development professionals. because the first thing i heard when i got to the state
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department was a litany of complaints from a lot of our most experienced diplomats that they were being ham strung. the security requirements were so intense they were basically unable to do their jobs. and of course then from the security professionals who were a all part of this what we call the qddr, they were saying we don't want you to go beyond the fence. we can't protect you in all of these dangerous circumstances. how you balance that, and it is a constant balancing of risk and reward in terms of what we hope our diplomats and development professionals can do. so it's been twice now. secretary kerry, in his tenure, has done the second qddr. and i hope it becomes as important and as much of a road map as the qdr has for our defense department and our military service ises. >> thank you. i'm out of time, mr. chairman. >> thank you the gentle lady from illinois. the gentle lady from alabama,
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ms. roby. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> secretary clinton, some i colleagues have focused on your relationship with the ambassador chris stevens and why you sent him into benghazi in 2011 as part of your broader libya initiative. but it's not so clear from everything that we've reviewed that you had a vision in benghazi going forward into 2012 and beyond. it appears that there was confusion and uncertainly within your own department about libya. and quite frankly, secretary clinton, it appears that you were a large cause of that uncertainty. and we have seen all the day-to-day updates and concern early in 2011. i heard what you said to my colleague mrs. brooks. and i'll get to that in a minute. but showing that libya, and for that matter benghazi, belonged to you in 2011. it was yours, so to speak.
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from your own records that we have, we saw a drop in your interest in libya and benghazi in 2012. not only do the records show your drop in interest in benghazi, it was even noticed by your own staff. i want to point this out to you -- i say this i want to point you to an e-mail in early february 2012 between two staffers at your libya desk that says you didn't know whether we still even had a presence in benghazi. let's not use my words. let's use theirs. this can be found at tab 31. the e-mail says -- it dated february 9, 2012. one writes to the other about annen can counter she had with you. "the secretary also asked last week if we still have a presence in benghazi" i think she would be upset to hear, yes, we do.
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but because we don't have enough security, they are on lockdown." and i say this is very troubling to me because it raises several issues i would like to ask you about. i'm struck by the first part, "the secretary asked last week if we still have a presence in benghazi." you pointed out to mrs. brooks in her last line of questioning based on the e-mail stacks here that you engaged in a lot of conversations and briefings. so i'm assuming that this conversation with this member of your staff took place in one of those briefings. but then they sent this e-mail asking about this. so how can this be that two of your staffers are e-mailing about whether or not you even knew if we had a presence in benghazi in 2012 with all your and in libya in 2011, including your trip in october of 2011 and
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that months later we come to find out you didn't even know we had a presence there? >> well, i can't comment on what has been reported. of course i knew we had a presence in benghazi. i know we were evaluate issing what that presence should be, how long it should continue. and i know exactly what we were doing in libya. and i think it's important. since you have very legitimate questions about what we were doing. the united states played a role in the first election that the libyan people had in 51 years. it was a successful election by every count. they voted for moderates. they voted for the kind of people they wanted to govern them. we had a very successful effort that the united states supported, getting rid of gadhafi's remaining chemical weapons, which we led and supported the united nations and others to be able to do. we were combatting the
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proliferation of weapons. that's one of the reasons why there was a cia presence in benghazi. we were trying to figure out how to get those weapons out of the wrong hands and get them collected in a way and destroyed. and in fact, we began reducing those heavy weapon stocks. we were working on providing transition assistance to the libyans. i met with the libyans. i telephoned with the libyans. i saw the libyans all during this period. and it was hard. because a lot of them knew what they wanted, but they didn't know how to get from where they were to that goal. and we did an enormous amount of work. my two deputies went to libya. other officials in the state department went to libya. so there was a constant, continuing effort that i led to try to see what we could do to help. one of the problems we faced is that the libyans did not really feel that welcome a
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peace-keeping mission. they couldn't welcome foreign troops to their soil. that made it really difficult. and it didn't have to be american troops. it could have been troops from anywhere in the world under a u.n. mandate that might have helped them begin to secure their country. >> secretary clinton, i hear what you're saying, but this e-mail says something very different i can't speak to that. i can just tell you what i was doing, and i was doing a lot. >> this was your staff. if they had this conversation with you, why would they make it up? but i want to move on. but this e-mail, you know, makes me wonder about the vision for benghazi because they're asking if you -- they're saying you asked if we still had a presence. but, you know, you look at the second part of the e-mail, "and i think she would be upset to say, yes, we do. >> congresswoman, i'm sorry. i have no recollection of or no knowledge of --
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>> please turn to tab 31. >> well, i trust that you have read it. but i also tell you that we had a presence in benghazi. we had members of the administration and congress visiting benghazi. so of course i knew we had a presence in benghazi. i can't speak to what someone either heard or misheard. but i think what's important, and i understand that the underlying point of your request question is what were we doing about libya? >> i heard that first part. >> and that's what i'm trying to explain to you about what we were doing. >> yes, ma'am. i want to get to the second part of the e-mail that you would have been upset to know yes, we were in lockdown. and you said on numerous occasions, including in your opening statement on point number one, america must lead and we must represent in dangerous places. "they can't do their jobs for us in bunkers." essentially what we know is that
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there weren't the required number of security on the ground in order for the individual to even move about the country to provide you with what you have reiterated on numerous occasions as being very important at that time, which is political reporting. >> could you tell me who are the names on the e-mail that you're talking about? >> you can turn to tab 31. you have a book in front of you. it is alice abdallah and -- i'm going to pronounce it wrong. enya sodarais. >> they were not on my staff. i'm not in any way contradicting what they think they heard. >> can you tell me who they were if they were not on your staff? >> they were in the state department, long with thousands of other people. they were not part of the secretary staff. but i get what you're saying, congresswoman. and i want to focus on this. i think it's a fair and important question. the facility in benghazi was a
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temporary facility. there had been no decision made as to whether or not it would be permanent. it was not even a consulate. our embassy was in tripoli. obviously much of the work that we were doing was going through the embassy. there was a very vigorous discussion on the part of people who were responsible for making a recommendation about benghazi as to what form of consulate, what form of facility it should be. chris stevens believed that it should be a formal consulate. but that was something that had to be worked out. and there had not yet been a decision at the time that the attack took place. so it was not a permanent facility. and, you know, there were a number of questions that people were asking about whether it could or should be. >> i want to drill down on the security issue. i want to say it's frustrating for us here on this panel asking these questions to hear you in
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your opening statement talk about the responsibility you took for all 70 plus thousand employees. but i read an e-mail between two of those employees and it seems you're brushing it off as not having any knowledge. >> i am saying i have no recollection of it and it doesn't correspond with the facts of what we were doing on a regular basis. >> i want to talk about security. i have a few seconds left. in 2011, during the revolution, then envoy stevens had 10 agents with him on the ground in benghazi. and then we know in 2012 where the security situation had deteriorated even further, there were only three-eighths assigned to benghazi. again, can't even move anybody off of the facility to do the necessary political reporting. and my question is, you know,
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why did you not acknowledge, because of your interest in 2011, the importance of having those security officers there to do what was so important to you, which was the political reporting then in 2011, 2010, and when an am bass doctor was there, three, and he brought two of his own the night of the attack, which would meet the requisite five. but there were only three there at any given time. >> well, he did have five with him on september 11th. >> well, he brought two, right? there were three there. >> right. >> but the fact was they were personal security. so they were there to secure him. yes, he did bring two. when he got there, he had five. the day before september 10th he went in to benghazi. he went to a luncheon with
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leading civic leaders, business leaders in benghazi. so he felt very comfortable. it was his decision. ambassadors do not have to seek permission from the state department to seek travel around the country that they are assigned to. he decided to go to benghazi by taking two security officers with him and three there, he had the requisite five that had been the discussion between the embassy and the state department security professionals. i'm not going to in any way suggest that he or the embassy got everything they requested. we know that they didn't from the accountability review board, by investigations done by the congress. we know that there were a lot of discussions about what was needed, particularly in benghazi. and that the day that he died he
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had five security officers. a lot of security professionals who have reviewed this matter, even those who are critical, that the state department did not do enough have said that the kind of attack that took place would have been very difficult to repel. that's what we have to learn from, congresswoman. there are many lessons going back to beirut, tehran and going all the way through these years. sometimes we learn lessons and we actually act and we do the best we can. and there's a perfect terrible example of that with respect to what happened in benghazi. >> certainly. and my time has expired. we will certainlyever know what the outcome would have been if there had been more agents that night. >> that's not what the professionals and security and experts have concluded if you have read the abilitiabilit acc
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>> i have read it. and it says security was grossly in adequate. >> it pint pointed out that the diplomatic security officers that were there acted heroic alley. there was not single question about what they did. they were overrun. it was unfortunate that the agreement we had with the cia annex and when those brave men showed up that it was also not enough. >> certainly. we'll discuss this more. i have to yield back. >> the gentle lady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just to clarify, you knew we had a presence. >> i know, congressman, of course. >> going back to your earlier question, you were aware of the two attacks on your compounds even though you didn't e-mail about it. >> yes, i was aware.
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>> after 17 months and $17 million, as the ranking member pointed out in his opening statements, this committee is simply not doing its job. and i don't really think it should have been formed in the first place. what we have heard -- first of all, the e-mail. the idea that two fairly junior level staffers might not have gotten something wrong in what they heard or the information in an e-mail might, in fact, not be accurate are certainly not things that should be news to anybody. but it is the obsession with the e-mails that takes us off what should have been the task of this committee. i also find it interesting that mr. obi's comment were to quote the a.r.b. quote. we absolutely had to have it. it was important for the congress to do the investigations they did. all of that begs the question as
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to why we have spoeupbt $4.7 billion we have spent on this. in the chairman's opening remarks, it was primarily defense of the committee's existence. not any new information. not here's what we, in those 17 months and $4.7 million have figured out that is new and different. nothing. in fact, we have heard nothing. even in today's hearing. not a single solitary thing that hasn't already been discussed repeatedly. so we have learned absolutely nothing. yes, we have uncovered a trove of new information. in this age, i don't think there's ever an end to e-mails. we could go on another two years and probably find more. the question is what we found anything substantively that tells us something different about what happened in benghazi? the answer to that question is no. look, i didn't think this committee should have been formed in the first place. but if it was going to be formed the least we could do is to
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actually focus on the four brave americans who were killed, why they were killed, and focus on benghazi. and we have not. mr. ruskin's questions were the most interesting. it was like he wanted running for president. he wanted to debate you on why we went in in the first place. it's not about what we could have done to better protect them. i think we have seen this committee is focused on you. and the ranking member of the armed services committee, i don't see the department of defense here. i don't see the cia here. there were many, many other agencies involved in this. and yet yours has been the one they have obsessively focused on. and i think that's a shame for a whole lot of reasons. for one thing, this committee, as it has been in the news the last several weeks, has been one
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more step in denigrating this issue. not less. so i wish we would stop doing that. and you mentioned beirut, and that was the first thought that occurred to me when this happened, was a democratic congress at the time did a fair and quick investigation of what was an unspeakable tragedy, two separate suicide bombings, four months apart, and there was clearly inadequate security. but the focus there was not on partisanship, not on embarrassing the reagan administration, but in actually figuring out what happened and how we can better protect americans. now, i want to talk and ask questions about what i think is the central issue. and that is, how do we have that presence in the world that you described in what is an increasingly dangerous world? because as i've traveled to pakistan and afghanistan, yemen and other places, i'm consistently amazed by the willingness of our diplomatic
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corps to put their lives at risk. i wonder how do you balance that very difficult decision. because frankly, what i've heard more often from that diplomatic corps is that they chafe at the restrictions. i remember vividly being in peshawar. i didn't like the ride from the airport to the embassy, which was ten minutes. we were there for a few hours, then out. the state department personnel, they lived there and went out amongst the community. how do you try and strike that balance of, you know, being present and at the same time meeting the security obligations? and then, most of the importantly, who drives that decision? because it seems to me in most instances it is driven by the diplomatic corps there. if they take risks, it's because they've decided to do it. they're there. they know the security situation, certainly better than the secretary, and better than most everybody else. what is the proper way to strike that balance going forward, to
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protect our personal anel and s fulfill their mission? >> congressman, that is the most important question, and i would certainly welcome congressional discussion and debate about this, because it's what we tried to do, going back to congresswoman duckworth's question, in the review, the first one ever done, because that's exactly what we're facing. we have had diplomats and professionals in war zones now for a number of years. we've had them in places that are incredibly unstable and dangerous because of ongoing conflicts. it is i think the bias of the diplomacy corps that they be there, because that's what they signed up for. and they know that if america is not represented, then we leave a vacuum, and we lose our eyes and
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our ears about what people are thinking and doing. it is certainly the hardest part of the job in many of our agencies and departments today. and it was for me in the state department. that's why i relied on the security professionals, because by the time i got there in 2009, the diplomatic security professionals had been taking care of american diplomats in iraq, in afghanistan, in pakistan, for years. and they had learned a lot of the lessons. and they were forced to make tough decisions all the time. you mentioned peshawar. one of clearly the high threat posts that the united states maintains a presence in. but when you think that since 2001 we've had 100 of our facilities attacked, if we were to shut them all down, if we were to pull out from all of them, we would be blinding
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ourselves. so it's a constant balancing act. what are the risks and what are the rewards for opening, maintaining, and/or closing a site. i don't know that there's any hard and fast rule that we can adopt. we just have to get better at making that assessment, congressman. and your question really goes to the heart of it. when you were as a member of congress in peshawar, you were regarded by our diplomatic security professionals. they had to assess, is it safe enough for a member of congress to come, how do we get him from the airport to the embassy. it won't surprise you to hear we've had attacks there as so many other places around the world. and that is a heavy responsibility. and the diplomatic security professionals get it right 999 times out of a thousand. and it's deeply distressing to them when anything goes wrong. we have lost non-americans with
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some of these attacks on facilities. we've lost our locally-employed staff. they never want to see any successful attack. they have to be right 100% of the time. the terrorists only have to be right once. and that's why this is really at the core of what i tried to do before even i got the accountability review board, going back to the qddr, to come up with a better way of trying to make those assessments. >> madam secretary, if i may, the bottom line is benghazi, on 9/11, 2012, was not the only dangerous place in the world where our security personnel were and where these difficult decisions had to be made. >> right. >> the other point, this is 2012 so we were only a couple of years into this, but secretary of defense ash carter just i think yesterday wrote an editorial in the "wall street journal" about the impact of five years of budget uncertainty
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on the dod's ability to function. for five years we have gone through crs, threatened government shutdowns, one actual government shutdown, and constant budget uncertainty. now, my area is the department of defense. i know how it's impacted them. they basically from one week to the next barely know what they can spend money on. one of the criticisms is that there should have been more security. but if you don't have a budget, if you don't have an appropriations bill, how does that complicate your job as secretary in trying to figure out what money you can spend? >> well, it makes it very difficult, congressman. and this is a subject that we talked about all the time, how do you plan. how do you know -- you know, you have so many diplomatic security officers in so many dangerous places. how do you know what you're going to have to be able to deploy, and where are you going to have to make the choices. that's why the prioritization, which shouldn't have to be, in
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my view, the responsibility of the officials in the state department or the defense department, to try to guess what makes the most sense. we should have a much more orderly process for our budget. i would say again, as secretary of state, the kind of dysfunction and failure to make decisions that we've been living with in our government hurts us. it hurts us in the obvious ways, like where you're going to deploy forces if you're in dod or where are we going to send security if you're in the department of state. but it hurts us as the great country that we are, being viewed from an abroad as unable to handle our own business. and so it has a lot of consequences. and it's something that i wish we could get over and have our arguments about policy, have our arguments about substance, but get back to regular order, where we have the greatest nation in the world with a budget that then they can plan against as
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opposed to the uncertainty that has stalked us now for so long. >> thank you, madam secretary. so the bottom line is congress needs to do its job. >> i agree with that. >> the gentlemen yields back. i'll be happy to get a copy of my opening statement for the gentleman from washington so he can refresh his recollection on all the things our committee found that your committee missed. with that i'll go to mr. westmoreland. >> thank you. madam secretary, i talk a little slower than everybody else. >> i lived in arkansas a long time. i don't need an interpreter, congressman. >> some of the questions could just have a yes-or-no answer, that would be great, but i do want you to give us a full answer. mr. smith from washington mentioned there was no new facts brought out in some of these interviews. i want to just say he was at one interview for one hour. i have been at a bunch of those and there has been a lot of new facts that have come out.
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one of the things he said, that you knew about these two incidents that have been mentioned previously, it's not a matter if you knew about them. it's a matter of what you did about them. and to us, the answer to that is nothing. you say you were briefed by the cia every morning that you were in washington; is that correct? >> that's correct. >> did they ever mention to you assistant acting director morrell wrote in his book that there were scores of intelligence pieces describing in detail how the situation in libya was becoming more and more dangerous, did you ever read any of these pieces? >> yes, as i previously stated, we were certainly aware that the situation across libya was becoming more dangerous, and that there were particular concerns about eastern libya.
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>> did you read the piece that was libya, al qaeda establishing sanctuary? >> i'm aware that was certainly among the information provided to me. >> there was another particular piece that was talked about after the ied attack that apicom wrote. al qaeda expands in lybia. were you familiar with that? >> i can't speak to specific pieces, congressman, but i was well aware of the concerns we all had about the setting up of jihadist training camps and other activities in libya, particularly in eastern libya. >> you were briefed, and i think the cia between january and september of 2012, at over 4500 pages of intelligence. were you aware of how many pages
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of intelligence? and i know you had a specific division, i guess, of the state department under you that was called intelligence and research. >> mm-hmm. >> did they keep you up to speed on all these 400 cables or different things that they were getting? did they keep you up to speed on that, that you were aware of them? >> congressman, i can't speak to specific reports. but i can certainly agree with you that i was briefed and aware of the increasingly dangerous upsurge in militant activity in libya. >> and so what did you do to make sure that our men and women over there were protected, knowing how much the threat had grown, especially in benghazi, because a lot of people say that really, in the summer of 2012, the security in benghazi was
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worse than it was during the revolution. >> well, congressman, with respect to not only the specific incidents that you referenced earlier, i think i stated previously, there was never any recommendation by anyone, the intelligence community, the defense department, the state department officials responsible for libya, to leave benghazi. even after the two incidents that you mentioned. because, in part, as i responded to congressman smith, we had so many attacks on facilities that, as i said, went back to 2001, that certainly also happened in other parts of the world while i was there. each was evaluated. and there was not a recommendation. furthermore, there was not even on the morning of september
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11th, while chris stevens was at the compound, chris had spoken to our operatives. there was no known intelligence threat against our impound. >> you said that ambassadthe am was pulled out of tripoli because of threats on his life. >> there were threats associated with qaddafi after the publication of cables he had written that were made public by wikileaks. >> you say you were aware of the two attacks at the mission facility in benghazi. >> mm-hmm. >> mr. morrell in his book states that there was 20 attacks on that facility. are you familiar with the other 18? >> there were two that we thought rose to the level of
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being serious. >> were you familiar with the other 18? >> i'm not aware of 18 others. and i would point out, and i am sure that former deputy director morrell made this point when he was testifying, the cia stayed in libya. the cia had a much bigger presence than the state department. despite the overall decline in stability, some might argue actually because of the overall decline in stability, it was thought to be even more important for the cia to stay there. and they also did not believe that their facility would be the subject of a deadly attack either, because i think sometimes -- >> ma'am -- >> sometimes the discussion gets pulled together, when really we had chris and sean dying at the state department compound which we are discussing, and we had our other two deaths of tyrone
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woods and glenn dougherty at the cia annex. >> reclaiming my time for just a minute. i do appreciate that. if you talk to the cia contractors that were at the annex, and you ask them how they were armed and equipped, and then if you would or could talk to the diplomatic security agents that were at the facility, i think you will see that there was a big, big difference in the equipment that they had to protect themselves. but you knew of the two what you called major incidents but you don't recollect the other 18 that mr. morrell says happened. how many instances would it have taken you to say, hey, we need to look at the security over there? would it have been three major instances, 30 instances, 40 instances, 50 instances? how many instances would you
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have been made aware of that would have made you say, hey, i don't care what anybody else says, we're going to protect our people, chris stevens is a good friend of mine, we're going to look after him. >> congressman, of course i made it abundantly clear that we had to do everything we could to protect our people. what i should not as secretary do is substitute my judgment from thousands of miles away for the judgment of the security professionals who made the decisions about what kind of security would be provided. >> ma'am -- >> i know that sounds somewhat hard to understand. but, you know, we have a process, and the experts who i have the greatest confidence in and who had been through so many difficult positions, because practical aly all of them had rotated through afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, yemen, other
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places, they were the ones making the assessment. no one ever came to me and said, we should shut down our compound in benghazi. >> ma'am, i'm not saying shut it down. i'm saying protect it. >> well -- >> i'm not saying shut it down. i'm just saying protect it. >> right. >> when you say security professionals, i'm not trying to be disparaging of anybody, but i don't know who those folks were, but -- >> they were people who risked their lives to try to save -- >> -- when it came to protecting people. you said that the mission that you gave ambassador stevens was to investigate the situation. it seems to me he would have to get out into the country to investigate it. i don't know if you're aware of it or not, but there were not even enough diplomatic security for him to leave the compound
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without asking the cia operatives to assist them. were you aware that? >> well, we had an agreement with the cia to help supplement security and to come to the aid. it was a mutual agreement. >> was that a written agreement? >> no, it was not a written agreement. but we are posted with the cia in many places in the country, in the world. and it's important to have a good working relationship. and we did. and unfortunately, despite all the weapons and despite the fortification, two cia contractors died at the cia annex that night. >> just to follow up on one thing about ambassador stevens. you got a lot of e-mails from sidney blumenthal. and you say that mr. bloom ee e blumenthal was a friend of yours and he had your personal e-mail
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address. you say chris stevens was a personal friend of yours. he asked numerous times for personal protection. i think anybody out there watching this would agree. if i had been mr. stevens and i had had a relationship with you, and i had requested 20 or more times for additional security to protect not only my life but the people that were there with me, i would have gotten in touch with you some way. i would have let you know that i was in danger, and that the situation had deteriorated to a point, i needed you to do something. he didn't have your personal e-mail? >> congressman, i do tnot beliee that he had my personal e-mail. he had the e-mail and he had the direct line to everybody that he had worked with for years. he had been posted with officials in the state department. they had gone through difficult,
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challenging, dangerous assignments together. he was in constant contact with people. yes, he and the people working for him asked for more security. some of those requests were approved. others were not. we're obviously looking to learn what more we could do, because it was not only about benghazi, it was also about the embassy in tripoli. i think it's fair to say that chris asked for what he and his people requested because he thought that it would be helpful. but he never said to anybody in the state department you know what, we just can't keep doing this, we just can't stay there. he was in constant contact with, you know, people on my staff, other officials in the state department. and, you know, i did have an opportunity to talk with him about the substance of the
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policy. but with respect to security, he took those requests where they belonged. he took them to the security professionals. and i have to add, congressman, the diplomatic security professionals are among the best in the world. i would put them up against anybody. and i just cannot allow any comment to be in the record in any way criticizing or disparaging them. they have kept americans safe in two wars and in a lot of other really terrible situations over the last many years. i trusted them with my life. you trust them with yours when you're on codels. they deserve better. and they deserve all the support congress can give them because they're doing a really hard job very well. >> ma'am, all i can say is they missed something here. and we lost four americans. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair would recognize the gentleman from kansas. >> madam secretary, you've
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referred to the qddr a couple of times as being important to diplomatic security; is that correct? >> it provoked a discussion, congressman, about balancing of risk. >> madam secretary, i had a chance to read that. i wanted to read the executive summary that ran 25 pages. but it didn't have a word about diplomatic security. not one word, remaining. then i read the remaining pages. do you know how many pages of those 270 had to do with diplomatic security? >> it was about the balancing of risk and reward, which was not only about diplomatic security specifically, but about the larger question of our mission around the world. >> madam secretary, there was no balance. there was no balance. there was two pages out of 270 pages. you talked about a lot of things in there. you talked about a lot of improvements. it didn't have anything to do with diplomatic security in any way in that report. you talked about being
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disappointed, i've heard you say that several times. why didn't you fire someone? in kansas, madam secretary, i get asked constantly, why has no one been held accountable? how come not a certainly person lost a single paycheck connected to the fact that we had the first ambassador killed since 1979? how come no one has been held accountable to date? >> the review board pointed out several people working in the state department who they thought had not carried out their responsibilities adequately. but they said that they could not find a breach of duty. >> yes, ma'am. >> the personnel rules and the laws that govern those decisions were followed very carefully. >> yes, ma'am. i'm not asking what the arb did. i'm asking what you did. >> i followed the law, congressman. that was my responsibility. >> madam secretary, you're telling me you had no authority to take anyone's paycheck, to
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cause anyone to be fired? you're telling me you were legally prohibited from doing that, is that your position here this morning? >> it is my position that in the absence of finding dereliction or breach of duty, there could not be immediate action taken. but there was a process that was immediately instituted and which led to decisions being made. >> yes, ma'am. the decision was to put these on all back pay, keep them on as employees. that was the decision made as a result of the process you put in place. the folks in kansas don't think that is accountability. i want to do some math with you. can i get the first chart, please. do you know how many security requests there were in the first quarter of 2012? >> for everyone, or for benghazi? >> i'm sorry, yes, ma'am, related to benghazi, libya. there were just over a hundred plus. second quarter, do you know how many there were? >> no, i do not. >> ma'am, there were 172-ish. might have been 171 or 173.
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how many were there in july and august and then in that week and few days before the attacks, do you know? >> there were a number of them, i know that. >> yes, ma'am. 83 by our count. that's over 600 requests. you've testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk; is that correct also? >> that's correct. >> madam secretary, mr. blumenthal wrote you 150 e-mails. it appears from the materials we've read that all of those reached your desk. can you tell us why security requests from your professionals, which you just testified and when i agree are incredibly professional, capable people, trained in the art of keeping us all safe, none of those made it to you, but a man who was a friend of yours who had never been to libya, didn't know much about it, at least that was his testimony, didn't know much about it, every one of those reports that he sent on to you that had to do with situations on the ground in libya, those made it to your desk. you asked for more of them. you read them. you corresponded with him.
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and yet the folks that worked for you didn't have the same courtesy. >> well, congressman, as you're aware, he's a friend of mine. he sent me information he thought might be of interest. some of it was, some of it wasn't, some of it i forwarded to be followed up on. the professionals and experts who reviewed it found some of it useful, some of it not. >> madam secretary -- >> he had no official position in the government. and he was not at all my adviser on libya. he was a friend who sent me information that he thought might be in some way helpful. >> madam secretary, i have lots of friends. they send me things. i have never had somebody send me pieces of intelligence with the level of detail mr. blumenthal sent every week. that's a special friend. >> it was information that had been shared with him that he forwarded on. and as someone who got the vast majority of the information that i acted on from official channels, i read a lot of articles that brought new ideas
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to my attention, and occasionally people including him and others would give me ideas. they all went into the same process to be evaluated. >> yes, ma'am. i will tell you that the record we received to date does not reflect that. it simply doesn't. we've read the e-mails. we've read everything we can get our hands on. it's taken us a long time to get it. you just described all this other information you relied upon. it doesn't exhocomport with the record this committee has been able to establish today. i want you to take a look at this chart to the left. you'll see the increasing number of contracts, over 600. i think data matters. pictures are worth a lot. you see the increase in the requests, and the bottom line is the increase in security. you'll note that the slope of those two lines is very different. can you account for why that is, why we have an increase in requests yet no increase in security? >> congressman, i can only tell you that i know a number of requests were fulfilled, and some were not.
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but from my perspective, again, these were handled by the people that were assigned the task of elevating them. and, you know, i think it's important to again reiterate that although there were problems and deficiencies discovered by the accountability review board, the general approach to have security professionals handle security requests i think still stands. >> yes, ma'am. i wish you to listen to those security professionals. you described mr. stevens as having the best knowledge of libya of anyone. your words this morning. and yet when he asked for increased security, he didn't get it. may i see the second chart, please. i just talked to you about requests for assistance. i won't go through the numbers in detail. it shows the increasing number of security incidents at the facility, your facility, the state department facility, in benghazi, libya. then again, it shows the
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increase in security being nonexistent. i assume your answer is the same with respect to the fact that we have increasing security incidents but no corresponding increase in the amount of security? >> congressman, i just have to respectfully disagree. many security requests were fulfilled. we would be happy to get that information for the record. so i can't really tell what it is you're putting on that poster, but i know that a number of the security requests were fulfilled for benbenghazi. >> yes, ma'am. it shows that the security agents there before that day and the number on that day is no different. >> congressman, the decision, as i recall, the post, namely embassy tripoli on behalf of benghazi, requested five diplomatic security personnel, and they did have that on the day that chris stevens was in benghazi.
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unfortunately, that proved insufficient in the face of the kind of attack that they were facing. >> yes, ma'am. let's put the next poster up, please. madam secretary, you're not likely to know who these two folks are, do you? >> i do not. >> the one on the left is a al azawi, head of a jihadist group based in benghazi. the men on your left is be ben hamid. are you aware your folks in benghazi met with that man within 48 hours before the attack? >> i know nothing about any meeting with him. >> ambassador stevens on the day he was killed sent a cable about his meeting with mr. hamid. are you aware of that cable? >> no, i'm not. >> he said they, referring to mr. hamid, they wanted an introductory meeting, they asked us what we needed to bring security to benghazi.
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so your officials were meeting with this man on the ground in benghazi, libya, discussing security, two days before that. but in august of that same year, the united states government had said that this very man was, quote, a young rebel leader who allegedly fought in iraq under the flag of al qaeda. were you aware that our folks were either wittingly or unwittingly meeting with al qaeda on the ground in benghazi, libya, just hours before the attack? >> i know nothing about this, congressman. >> i think that's deeply disturbing. i think the fact that your team was meeting -- >> i'm sorry. which team is this? >> we don't know exactly who -- >> it would be helpful -- >> it would have been one of your state department employees, madam secretary, i don't know which one. perhaps you can enlighten us or help us get the records we need to do so. >> since we didn't have an ongoing significant presence of state department personnel in benghazi, i don't know to whom you are referring.
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>> mr. chairman, i'll yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from kansas yields. the chair will now recognize the gentle lady from california, ms. sanchez. >> thank you, madam secretary, for coming to answer our questions. we know over the last 17 months there have been a number of allegations that have been made with respect to you, and when the facts and the testimony and the record don't support that, we seem to move on to the next, you know, new allegation. one of the more recent ones is that republicans are claiming that because you received e-mails from sidney blumenthal, that he was your primary source for intelligence. now, chairman gowdy claimed that mr. blumenthal was, and i'm going to quote him here, quote, secretary clinton's primary adviser on libya because nearly half of all the e-mails sent to and from secretary clinton regarding benghazi and libya prior to the benghazi terrorist
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attacks involved sidney blumenthal, end quote. he also claimed that mr. blumenthal was, and i'm quoting again, one of the folks providing her the largest volume of information about libya. secretary clinton, was sidney blumenthal your primary policy adviser or your primary intelligence officer? >> no, of course not. >> was he the primary source of information that you were receiving on libya? >> no, absolutely not. >> can you tell us then, who were you receiving information from, and in what form? because there's been a particular emphasis on e-mail communication and e-mail communication only. >> as i testified earlier, i did not primarily conduct business on e-mail with officials in our government. and i think the e-mails that have been produced thus far demonstrate that as well. as i said, i got intelligence briefings from the intelligence
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community. i had a very experienced group of senior diplomats who knew quite a bit about libya. deputy secretary bill burns had been our nation's top diplomat, who actually had negotiated with qaddafi. prior to the entering in by the united states to support our european allies and arab partners, i sent a team to meet with representatives of cqaddaf to see if there were some way he would back down and in back off of his increasingly hysterical threats against his own people. we had people like the ambassador that i referenced earlier who had served in libya and had the occasion to observe and to meet with qaddafi. so we had a very large group of american diplomats, intelligence officers, and some private citizens who were experts in
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libya, who were available to our government. and we took advantage of every person we could with expertise to guide our decision making. >> so would it be fair to say that you received information from ambassador stevens? >> yes. >> the assistant secretary for near eastern affairs? >> yes. >> the director of policy planning, jacob sullivan? >> yes. >> the national security council? >> yes. >> the intelligence community? >> yes. >> the defense department? >> yes. >> this weekend one of our colleagues on this panel, mr. pompeao, went on "meet the press." he had this exchange. can we please play the video clip. >> mr. blumenthal, it goes directly to the security issue. we see now that former secretary relied on mr. blumenthal for most of her intelligence. >> that is factually not correct. relied on mr. blumenthal for
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most of her intelligence? >> take a look at the e-mail train. >> i cover the state department. that is just factually not correct. >> that clip for me just defies all logic. andrea mitchell correctly called him out on something that was a falsehood. secretary clinton, what did you think when you heard that clip? >> well, that it was factually untrue. and i think your questioning and what i have stated today is a much clearer and more factual description of how we gathered information to make our decisions regarding libya. >> with your answer that you believe it to be factually incorrect, i just want to add that the "washington post" fact checker immediately awarded that claim four pinocchios, which is the worst rating possible. i'll quote the "post" on what they said. looking at her private e-mails is just part of the picture and ignores the vast amount of
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information, much of it classified, that is available to the secretary of state. secretary clinton, would you agree with that statement from the wa"washington post"? >> yes, i would. >> it seem to me there have been allegations that the work that this committee has done has been political in nature, and that much of the facts have already been decided before all of the evidence is in, including your testimony here today. when i see clips like that, it sort of supports the theory that this panel is not really interested in investigating what happened just prior to, the evening of, and immediately in the aftermath of september 11th, 2012, but that in fact there is another motive hibehind that. i want to allow you to debunk the many myths that have been generated over the last 17 months, most of which have no factual basis for those being said. one is that you seemingly were
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disengaged the evening of september 11th, 2012. mike huckabee aaccusccused you, mr. cummings said, of ignoring the warning calls of those dying in benghazi. senator lindsey graham tweeted, where the hell were you on the night of the benghazi attack. those appear to be based on the testimony of witnesses and the documentation that we have obtained in this committee and other previous committees, they seem to run counter to the truth, because the testimony we've received states pretty much that you were deeply engaged the night of the attack. so can you describe for us what the initial hours of that night were like for you and how you learned about the attacks and what your initial thoughts and actions were? >> congresswoman, i learned about the attacks from a state department official rushing into
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my office shortly after or around 4:00 to tell me that our compound in benghazi had been attacked. we immediately summoned all of the top officials in the state department for them to begin reaching out, the most important, quick call was to try to reach chris himself, that was not possible. then to have the diplomatic security people try to reach their agents. that was not possible. they were obviously defending themselves along with the ambassador and sean smith. we reached the second in command in tripoli. he had heard shortly before we reached him from chris stevens, telling him that they were under attack. we began to reach out to everyone we could possibly think who could help with this terrible incident. during the course of the following hours, obviously i
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spoke to the white house, i spoke to cia director petraeus, i spoke to the libyan officials, because i hoped that there was some way that they could gather up and deploy those who had been part of the insurgency to defend our compound. i had conference calls with our team in tripoli. i was on a videoconference with officials who had operational responsibilities in the defense department, in the cia, at the national security council. it was just a swirl and whirl of constant effort to try to figure out what we could do. and it was deeply -- it was deeply distressing when we heard that the efforts by our cia colleagues were not successful,
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that they had had to evacuate the security officers, our diplomatic security officers, that they had recovered sean smith's body, and they could not find the ambassador. we didn't know whether he had escaped and was still alive or not. >> if i may, because my time is running short, i just want to point out that you spoke with folks on the ground, you spoke with folks in the white house, the cia, the libyan president of the general national congress. now, interestingly enough, former director of the cia david petraeus has not been before this committee and has not spoken with this committee. but he did testify before the house intelligence committee in 2012, and he said that you personally called him and asked him for help that night. and i just want to end on this quote. quote, when secretary clinton called me later that afternoon to indicate that ambassador stevens was missing and asked for help, i directed our folks to ensure that we were doing
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everything possible, and that is of course what they were doing that night. is that correct? >> that is. and also the defense department was doing everything it could possibly do. we had a plane bringing additional security from tripoli to benghazi. there was an enormous amount of activity. it was all hands on deck, everyone jumped in to try to figure out what they could do. the attack on the compound was very fast. >> would it be safe to say you were fully engaged that evening? >> that is certainly safe to say, congresswoman. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the gentlelady from california yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. >> you just gave a long answer, madam secretary, to ms. sanchez about what you heard that night, but nowhere in there did you mention a video, because there was never a video-inspired
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protest in benghazi. victoria new land, your spokesperson at the state department, hours after the attacks said this: in cairo police have removed demonstrators. benghazi, you have weapons and explosions. cairo, you have spray paint and rocks. one hour before the attack in benghazi, chris stevens walks a diplomat to the front gate. the ambassador didn't report a demonstration, because it never happened. an eyewitness in the command center that night on the ground said no protest, no demonstration. two intelligence reports that day. no protest, no demonstration. the attack starts at 3:42 eastern time, ends at approximately 11:40 p.m. that night. at 4:06, an ops alert goes out across the state department, it says this: mission under attack, armed men, shots fired, explosions heard. no mention of video, no mention of a protest, no mention of a
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demonstration. but the best evidence is greg hicks, the number two guy in libya who worked side by side with ambassador stevens. he was asked, if there had been a protest, would the ambassador have reported it. mr. hicks's response, absolutely. for there to have been a demonstration on chris stevens's front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable. mr. hicks said, secondly, if it had been reported, he would have been out the backdoor within minutes, and there was a back gate. everything points to a terrorist attack. we heard about the long history of violence in the country. yet five days later susan rice goes on five tv shows and she says this: benghazi was a spontaneous reaction as a consequence of a video. a statement we all know is false. don't take my word for it. here's what others have said. rice was off the reservation. off the reservation on five
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north tex networks. white house worried about the politics. the white house didn't make those statements. they were made by people who worked for you, the actual experts on libya in the state department. so if there's no evidence for a video-inspired protest, then where did the false narrative start? it started with you, madam secretary. at 10:08, on the night of the attack, you released this statement: some have sought to justify the vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. at 10:08, with no evidence, at 10:08, before the attack is over, at 10:08, when tyrone woods and glenn dougherty are still on the roof of the annex fighting for their lives, the official statement of the state department blames a video. why? >> during the day on september 11th, as you did mention,
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congressman, there was a very large protest against our embassy in cairo. protestors breached the walls. they tore down the american flag. and it was of grave concern to us because the inflammatory video had been shown on egyptian television, which has a broader reach than just inside egypt. and if you look at what i said, i referred to the video that night in a very specific way. i said, "some have sought to justify the attack because of the video." i used those words deliberately, not to ascribe a motive to every attacker, but as a warning to those across the region that there was no justification for further attacks. and in fact during the course of
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that week, we had many attacks that were all about the video. we had people breaching the walls of our embassy in tunis, in khartoum. we had people, thankfully not americans, dying at protests. that's what was going on, congressman. >> i appreciate that. modified attac most of the attacks were after the attack on the facility benghazi. ms. newland said, if pressed by the press, she said, there's no connection between benghazi and cairo. your experts knew the truth. your spokesperson knew the truth. greg hicks knew the truth. what troubles me more is i think you knew the truth. i want to show you a few things here. you're looking at an e-mail you sent to your family. here's what you said. at 11:00 that night. approximately one hour after you told the american people it was a video, you say to your family,
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two officers were killed today in benghazi by an al qaeda-like group. you tell the american people one thing, you tell your family an entirely different story. also on the night of the attack, you had a call with the president of libya. here's what you said to him. al sharia is claiming responsibility. unfortunate guys arrested in charge actually belonged to that group. and finally, most significantly, the next day, within 24 hours, you had a conversation with the egyptian prime minister. you told him this: we know the attack in libya had nothing to do with the film. it was a planned attack, not a protest. let me read that one more time. we know, not we think, not it might be, we know the attack in libya had nothing to do with the film that was a planned attack,
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not a protest. state department experts knew the truth. you knew the truth. that's not what the american people got. again, the american people want to know why. why didn't you tell the american people exactly what you told the egyptian prime minister? >> i think if you look at the statement that i made, i clearly said that it was an attack. and i also said that there were some who tried to justify -- >> secretary clinton -- >> -- on the basis of the video, congressman. >> real quick, calling it an attack is like saying the sky is blue. of course it was an attack. we want to know the truth. the statement you sent out was a statement on benghazi, and you say vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material on the internet. if that's not pointing at the motive as being a video, i don't know what is. that's certainly how the american people saw it. >> congressman, there was a lot of conflicting information that we were trying to make sense of. the situation was very fluid. it was fast-moving.
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there was also a claim of responsibility by al sharia. when i talked to the egyptian prime minister, i said this was a claim of responsibility by al sharia, a group that was affiliated or at least wanted to be affiliated with al qaeda. sometime after that, the next day, early the next morning after that, on the 12th or 13th, they retracted their claim of responsibility. >> madam secretary -- >> i think if you look at what all of us were trying to do, we were in a position, congressman, of trying to make sense of a lot of incoming information. and watch the way the intelligence community tried to make sense of it. so all i can say is nobody -- >> there was no conflicting information the day of the attack because your press secretary said, if pressed, there is no connection between cairo and benghazi. it was clear. you're the ones who muddied it up, not the information. >> there's no connection -- >> here's what i think is going
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on. here's what i think's going on. let me show you one more slide. again, this is from victoria newland, your press person. she says to jake sullivan, subject line reads this, romney's statement on libya. e-mail says, this is what ben was talking about. this is the now somewhat famous ben rhodes, author of the talking points memo. 27 minutes after you told everyone it's a video, while americans are still fighting because the attack is still going on, your top people are talking politics. it seems to me that night you had three options, secretary. you could tell the truth, like you did with your family, like you did with the libyan president, like you did with the egyptian prime minister, tell them it was a terrorist attack.
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you could say, you know what, we're not quite sure. don't really know for sure. i don't think the evidence -- i think it's all -- but you could have done that. but you picked the third option. you picked the video narrative. you picked the one with no evidence. and you did it because libya was supposed to be, and mr. roscum pointed out, this great success story for the white house and the state department. a key campaign theme that year was bin laden is dead, al qaeda is on the run. now you have a terrorist attack in libya, 56 days before an election. you can live with protest about a video. that won't hurt you. but a terrorist attack will. you can't be square with the american people. you tell your family says the terrorist attack, but not the american people. you can tell the libyan president it's a terrorist attack, but not the american
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people. you can tell the egyptian prime minister it's a terrorist attack, but you can't tell your own people the truth. madam secretary, americans can live with the fact that good people sometimes give their lives for this country. they don't like it. they mourn for those families. they pray for those families. but they can live with it. but what they can't take, what they can't live with, is when their government is not square with them. mr. chairman, yield back. >> madam secretary, you're welcome to answer the question, if you would like to. >> well, i wrote a whole chapter about this in my book, "hard choices." i would be glad to send it to you, congressman, because i think the insinuations that you are making do a grave disservice to the hard work that people in the state department, the intelligence community, the defense department, the white house did during the course of some very confusing and
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difficult days. there is no doubt in my mind that we did the best we could with the information that we had at the time. and if you would actually go back and read what i said that night, i was very careful in saying that some have sought to justify. in fact the man that has been arrested as one of the ring leaders of what happened in benghazi is reported to have said it was the video that motivated him. none of us can speak to the individual motivations of those terrorists who overran our compound and who attacked our cia annex. there were probably a number of different motivations. i think the intelligence community which took the lead on trying to sort this out, as they should have, went through a series of interpretations and analysis.
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and we were all guided by that. we were not making up the intelligence. we were trying to get it, make sense of it, and then to share it. when i was speaking to the egyptian prime minister or in the other two examples you showed, we had been told by al sharia that they took credit for it. it wasn't until about 24 or more hours later that they retracted taking credit for it. >> secretary criminal tlinton - >> we also knew, congressman, because my responsibility was what was happening throughout the region, i needed to be talking about the video, because i needed to put other governments on notice that we were not going to let them get away with attacking us, as they did in tunis and khartoum. in tunis there were thousands of protestors breaching the calls of our embassy, burning down the
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american school. i was calling everybody in the tunisian government i could get, and finally the president sent his presidential guard to break it up. there was example after example. that's what i was trying to do during those desperate and difficult hours. >> if i could, mr. chairman. secretary clinton, you said my insinuation. i'm not insinuating anything. i'm reading what you said. plain language. we know the attack in libya had nothing to do with the film. that's as plain as it can get. why didn't you just speak plain to the american people? >> i did. if you look at my statement as opposed to what i was saying to the egyptian prime minister, i did state clearly, and i said it again in more detail the next morning, as did the president. i'm sorry that it doesn't fit your narrative, congressman. i can only tell you what the facts were. and the facts, as the democratic members have pointed out in their most recent collection of
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them, support this process that was going on, where the intelligence community was pulling together information. and it's very much harder to do it these days than it used to be, because you have to monitor social media, for goodness's sakes. that's where the ansar al sharia claim took place. the intelligence committee did the best job they could and we all did our best job to try to figure out what was going on and then convey that to the american people. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary. we're almost at the end of the first round of questions. i'll have an opportunity, then the chairman will, before we have a break, just to let you know where we are in the scheme of things. i am the to take a moment to -- i want to take a moment to think about where we are in this round, and where this began,
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with the chairman's statement. the chairman said at the outset of the hearing that the american people were entitled to the truth, the truth about what happened in benghazi, the truth about the security there, the truth about what happened after the attack. the implication of this of course is that the american premium don't know the truth, that this is the first version we have ever had. the reality is we've had eight visa investigations. we've gone through this endlessly. if we look at the documentary record, we have the arb report. we have the report of the armed services committee led by republican buck mckean which debunked the standdown order allegation. we have the report of the committee on government reform. we have the report of the senate homeland security committee. we have the report of the house foreign affairs committee.
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we have the gop conference's own report. we have the report of the intelligence committee on which i serve. now, bear in mind, these aren't with their accompanying exhibits or the classified stuff, because it would be up through the ceiling if i included them. this is the report of our committee. this is what $4.7 million of taxpayer money buys you. this is what 17 months of investigation have shown. now, the chairman said, and he's a very good lawyer and a good former prosecutor, we have a lot of former prosecutors here on the panel, he gave you a recitation of the number of witnesses and the number of documents. there are too many good prosecutors on this panel not to know that when a lawyer describes the metrics of the success of an investigation by the sheer number of people they've talked to or the volume of documents, it says nothing about the substance of what
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they've learned, there's a problem. and the reality there's a probl. and the reality is that after 17 month, we have nothing new to tell the families. we have nothing new to tell the american people. we have discovered nothing that alters the core conclusions of the eight investigations that went on before. my colleagues have been saying quite often this week with amazing regularity that this is a fact-centric investigation. and i agree because i would like to talk about president facts thatcentric to this investigation. because while the american people are entitled to the truth about benghazi they're also entitled to the truth about our committee. fact: what gave rise to your appearance today was many months ago a group called the stop hillary pac which aired an offensive ad during the democratic debate showing the
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tombstone of mr. stevens among other things delivered 264,000 signatures demanding you appear before us. fact: it was the next day the majority approached us to have you come before this committee. fact: after the "new york times" issued its story in march, this committee canceled all other hearin hearings except for a hearing with a witness named "clinton." fact: we abandoned our plans to bring in the secretary of defense and the head of the cia. fact: we haven't had a single hearing from the department of defense in 17 months. fact: of the 70,000 pages of documents obtained by the select committee, the only documents that the chairman has chose on the release publicly are your e-mails with sidney blumenthal. fact: of the 32 press releases that have been issued since
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march of this year, 27 of them are about you or the state department and five are about everything else. fact: as recently as last week the chairman issued a 13-page letter which is alleges you risk it had lives of people by sending an e-mail that contained the name of a classified cia source. fact: cia told us there was nothing in that e-mail that was classified nor was the name of that person whose who is well known to many. the chairman has said that this will be the final, definitive report. one thing i think we can tell already -- there will be nothing final about this report. wherever we finish, if ever we finish, the problem we've had as a committee is we don't know what we're looking for. but there won't be a final conclusion.
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there won't be anything definitive about the work of this committee because unlike the accountability review board that operated in a non-partisan way, it's unlikely the majority here will even consult with us on what their final report looks like. those who want to believe the worst will believe the worst. those that want to believe that this is a partisan exercise will believe it. as i said, from the beginning of the investigation the only way this committee will add any central to what's gone on before is if we can find a way to work together and reach a common conclusion but it's plain that's not their object. the chairman might say "ignore the words of our republican leadership, ignore the words of our republican members, ignore the words of our own gop investigator. judge us by our actions." but it is the actions of the committee that are the most damaging of all because they have been singly focused on you. let me ask you briefly, because i want to expand on just the --
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what i think is the core theory here. i want to give you a chance to respond to it. as a prosecutor, we're taught every case should have a core theory and the evidence and the witnesses go back to that core theory. and i've wrestled as i've listened to my colleagues today, as i have over 17 months. what is the core theory of their zmas wh case? what are they trying to convey? i have to say i think it's confusing. i think the core theory is this -- that you deliberately interfered with security in benghazi and that resulted in people dying. i think that is the case they want to make and notwithstanding how many investigations we've had that have found no merit to that, that is the impression they wish to give. i have to say, i'm confused today because my colleague pointed to an e-mail suggesting you weren't aware we had a presence in benghazi so if you weren't aware we had a presence i don't know how you could have interfered with the security there. but nonetheless, i do think that's what they're aiming at. i know the ambassador was
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someone you helped pick. i know the ambassador was a friend of yours and i wonder if you would like to comment on what it's like to be the subject of an allegation that you deliberately interfered with security that cost the life of a friend. >> congressman, it's very personally painful accusation. it has been rejected and disproven by non-partisan, dispassionate investigators but nevertheless having it continued to be bandied around is deeply distressing to me. you know, i've -- i would imagine i've thought more about what happened than all of you put together. i've lost more sleep than all of you put together. i have been wracking my brain about what more could have been done or should have been done. and so when i took
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responsibility, i took it as a challenge and an obligation to make sure before i left the state department that what we could learn -- as i'm sure my predecessors did after beirut and after nairobi and dar es salaam and after all the other attacks on our facilities, i'm sure all of them -- republican and democrat alike -- especially where there was loss of american life said, okay, what must we do better? how do we protect the men and women that we send without weapons, without support from the military into some of the most dangerous places in the world? and so i will continue to speak out and do everything ache from whatever position i'm in to honor the memory of those we
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lost and to work as hard as i know to try to create more understanding and cooperation between the state department, our diplomats, our development professionals from usaid and the congress so that the congress is a partner with us. as was the case in previous times. i would like us to get back to those times, congressman. whereas i think one of you said beirut we lost far more americans, not once but twice within a year. there was no partisan effort. people rose above politics. a democratic congress worked with a republican administration to say "what do we need learn?" out of that came the legislation for the accountability review board. similarly, after we lost more
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americans for the bombings in east africa, again, reps and democrats worked together and said "what do we need to do better?" so i'm -- i'm an optimist, congressman, i'm hoping that will be the outcome of this and every other effort so that we really do honor not only those we lost but all those who right as we speak are serving in dangerous places representing the values and the interests of the american people. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> the gentleman from california yields back. i'm going to address a couple things he said and then recognize myself. because he invoked the family members of the four, madam secretary and partially this will be for your benefit also i want to specifically address the family members that are here. there are no theory of the prosecution, mr. schiff, because there is no prosecution. there's a very big difference between a prosecution where you
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already have reached a conclusion and you're just trying to prove it to people. this is an investigation which is why it's so sad that nowhere in that stack that you just put up there were the e-mails of secretary clinton, the e-mails of the ambassador, 50,000 pages worth of documents, eyewitnesses, that's the real tragedy. to the family and the friends. when you're told there have been seven previous investigations and an arv, you should immediately ask "why did you miss so many witnesses? why did you miss so many documents?" this is not a prosecution, mr. schiff. you and i are both familiar with them. i've reached no conclusions and i would advise you to not reach any conclusions, either, until we reach the end. there are 20 more witnesses so i'll agree not to reach any conclusions if you'll do the same. with that, madam secretary, regardless of where he ranked in the order of advisors, it is indisputed that a significant number of your


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