Clinton’s turn to testify in Benghazi attack congressional probe
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – State Secretary Hillary Clinton will testify next week before a senate and a house committee public hearing on the deadly attack of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11.
The hearings set Thursday are expected to grill Clinton about the sequence of events that led up to the attacks that killed Ambassador to Libya Christopher Steven and three other Americans.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Thursday the investigation is necessary to protect American diplomats in the future.
“We owe it to them, and we owe it to the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three fellow Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi to get past the politics and focus on the substance of what happened and what it tells us about diplomatic security going forward,” Kerry said, according to CBS News.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Clinton will appear in the panel’s hearing focusing on the conclusions of the State Department probe into the Benghazi attack. The report of the department’s Accountability Review Board includes recommendations on how to prevent attacks from happening again at other frontline posts, according to Ros-Lehtinen.
Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for its changing accounts of the Benghazi attack. Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, initially reported the attack as caused by a violent protest against an anti-Islam video titled “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocked Prophet Mohammad. White House later rehashed the account saying terrorists were responsible for the attack.
In the last congressional hearing on the case last month, former CIA chief David Petraeus testified before the senate and house committees on intelligence that the initial report on the attack was blamed on protesters and reference to terrorists were deleted by a federal agency as a tactical move to prevent alerting suspects in the attack.