Stockman disappointed in Clinton’s Benghazi testimony

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Texas 36,) a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement Wednesday:

I first want to wish Secretary Clinton a full and speedy recovery.  Concussions and blood clots are serious, life-threatening medical issues.  My staff and I have been praying daily for her health and good spirits.

Secretary Clinton testified Wednesday to the House Foreign Affairs Committee as we investigate the
Obama administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 

That attack left four Americans dead, Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith and security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

These men were someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s best friend.  Their families, and everyone serving overseas so others can be free, deserved full and forthright answers.

Secretary Clinton did not fully and sufficiently answer the Committee’s reasonable questions.  Her testimony was incomplete and evasive.  Given the gravity of the situation, that is unfortunate.

To blame an imagined lack of funding is a weak attempt to deflect blame.  Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him.  To fail to give that security to our ambassador in an unstable country with an active terrorist presence is an utter failure by the Administration.

Funding for embassy security is more than adequate.  The Heritage Foundation reports:

“Comparing FY 2011 actual funding versus the FY 2012 estimate, there appears to be a reduction in Worldwide Security Protection and Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance. But that reduction does not account for additional funding in FY 2012 from Overseas Contingency Operations funds amounting to $236 million for Worldwide Security Protection (p. 63) and $33 million for Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance (p. 467)... Together, there is a net increase.

“In terms of people, the budget justification reported that Worldwide Security Protection had slightly fewer positions budgeted (1,777 in FY 2011 versus 1,707 in FY 2012) and Embassy Security,
Construction and Maintenance had the same number of positions budgeted (1,014 for both years).

In its budget request for FY 2013, the Administration requested significantly more funding for embassy security—mostly through the Overseas Contingency Operations budget—but retained the same number of positions, apparently on the assumption that security staffing was adequate. Regardless, that budget, even if approved in its entirety, would have entered into effect after the events in Libya.”

We still need full answers to:
  1. what her immediate actions were,
  2. what actions she took in the days after the attack,
  3. why the State Department knowingly offered false stories on the murders, first blaming an Internet video before admitting it was a known, planned terrorist attack we failed to prepare of, and
  4. why Americans serving in such a dangerous area, where they would be targeted by terrorists, were left unprotected by the Obama administration.
As Secretary Clinton exits the State Department for a life of future public service, I had hoped would she leave as her legacy a full accounting of the Obama administration’s actions.

I encourage Secretary Clinton to speak frankly and help the Committee in our investigation of the killings.  For the sake of all those serving overseas we must make sure this never happens again.


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