Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the National Security Working Group and former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released a statement following Secretary Clinton’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi today:
“Today, Secretary Clinton once again provided hours of testimony on the attack that occurred on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi in September of 2012. In addition to providing complete and substantive answers to the questions raised, Secretary Clinton appropriately refocused the hearing on the heroic and brave sacrifices that four Americans made while serving our nation in Libya and the need to bolster security at our diplomatic facilities.
Following the attack in Benghazi, an independent Accountability Review Board (ARB) led by Admiral Mike Mullen and Ambassador Thomas Pickering was created. Both Admiral Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Ambassador Pickering, a high ranking official in both Democratic and Republican Administrations, have sterling reputations for impartiality and fairness. Their thorough review provided a detailed analysis of what happened on that day and the steps our nation needs to take to increase security at our embassies. The State Department immediately accepted the recommendations of the ARB and has continued to update Congress on their implementation. Republicans in Congress have a fundamental obligation to ensure our security professionals have the resources they need to stay safe while serving in dangerous locations abroad.
The events in Benghazi have received exhaustive examination. Prior to the creation of the so-called Select Committee on Benghazi there were 7 different congressional investigations, 32 congressional hearings and 11 different reports issued on the attack in Benghazi. I personally had the opportunity, in January of 2013 as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to question Secretary Clinton on the attack in Benghazi and discuss the need to focus intensively on the security of our nation’s diplomatic facilities abroad. In addition to questioning Secretary Clinton I had the opportunity to receive multiple briefings in both classified and non-classified settings on the attack in Benghazi.
Despite this ample and complex record, unfortunately, many in Congress, including some members on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, have engaged in oversight by sound bite. Instead of a substantive, serious and bipartisan examination of the attack in Benghazi, the Select Committee has been driven by ideology and partisan politics. Just recently, Majority Leader McCarthy confirmed the political nature of the Select Committee on Benghazi when he made a specific reference to the connection between the formation of the Select Committee and subsequent polling numbers for Secretary Clinton. That admission was backed up by another Republican member and a whistleblower who claims he was fired from his position on the Select Committee in part for his refusal to focus his work on Secretary Clinton. The Select Committee on Benghazi has taken longer than investigations into Pearl Harbor, Iran-Contra and the assassination of President Kennedy. $4.5 million in taxpayer dollars later, the Select Committee has not produced more facts or added to the discussion of embassy security in any meaningful way. This Committee has continued to explore discredited theories that independent investigation after independent investigation have not found merit in. Instead of a partisan charade, Congress should honor our security and diplomatic personnel by providing the necessary resources to keep our diplomatic facilities abroad safe.”
Senator Casey’s 2013 questioning of Secretary Clinton during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b1kG9Qira0