Benghazi witnesses grilled in secret on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON — Two of the Justice Department’s key witnesses in last year’s terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, were summoned to Capitol Hill this month and grilled for hours in separate legal depositions.

Responding to congressional subpoenas, the State Department security agents were asked how the Libyan terrorists stormed the mission and set parts of it on fire, how they were armed and how they killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, sources with knowledge of the matter said. The agents also were asked about security breakdowns and whether the administration reacted appropriately to the Sept. 11, 2012, assault.

How those highly guarded and secret interviews came about was part of an increasingly bitter dispute between two branches of the federal government.

Prosecutors are under intense pressure to arrest and convict the terrorists, while the Republican-led House is determined to find who is responsible for any lapse in security that night, and whether the administration misled the public when officials initially said the attack stemmed from a protest.

Weeks before the interviews, top Justice Department officials repeatedly warned Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., against doing so, saying it would seriously jeopardize any criminal prosecution of the terrorists. They wrote three times to the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, strongly urging him not to insist on interviewing the agents.

The interviews have not been released.

Issa learned the agents’ names in May, and in September began pushing for access to them. The agents are Alec Henderson, who was stationed in Benghazi, and John Martinec, then based in Tripoli.

The California congressman complained that the administration was not interested in the full story of what happened in Benghazi, and that an internal State Department review was “not fully independent.” He is unhappy that four State Department officials, initially placed on paid leave, were reinstated.

Comments

namvet60 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Of course the Justice Department doesn't want any further inquires into this debacle - Just look at Fast and Furious.

This administration is mimicking Laurel and Hardy but it's not a laughing matter.

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downhillracer 5 months, 3 weeks ago

As soon as the "Benghazi" clowns start investigating any one of the 13 embassy-related attacks which occured under the previous administration, the constant whining MIGHT carry a little weight. Until then, you're preaching to your own choir.

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barracuda 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow........ Does this mean you are trivializing Benghazi? Just because someone else's administration did something wrong and we (here on the right) did not raise enough of a stink for you, is that what you are saying?

I too had a hard time with some of the previous admins B.S.... This happens all too often..... the lets sweep it under the rug mentality is so wrong! Just because other Presidents have done similar thing does not make this any less wrong! Does the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory ring a bell?

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