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US Congress report ‘clears’ CIA over 2012 Benghazi attack

A two-year investigation by a congressional committee into an attack on a US diplomatic post in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has cleared the Obama administration of accusations of mishandling its response.

The report released on Friday by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee found the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the attack, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were killed.

According to CNN, up to 35 CIA operatives were working in Benghazi during the attack on September 11, 2012, but it has never reported how many of them died or injured.

“CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA activities in Benghazi and, without a requirement to do so, ably and bravely assisted the State Department on the night of the attacks,” said the report, based on “thousands of hours of detailed investigation” and interviews.

“Appropriate US personnel made reasonable tactical decision that night, and the committee found no evidence that there was a stand-down order or a denial of available air support. The CIA received all military support that was available,” it added.

The report concluded that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, and no missed opportunity for a military rescue.

But it said the stormed diplomatic compound had inadequate security and had needed CIA assistance. It also said the administration’s inaccurate description of the attack was due to fragmentary and contradictory intelligence.

In an interview with Press TV in June, American journalist Don DeBar said that Democrats and Republicans in Congress were playing a political football over the Benghazi attack.

“This incident in September 2012 has been a political football between the Democrats and Republicans of the United States where instead of holding President Barack Obama responsible or culpable for conducting an illegal war, destroying a country, murdering the nominal head of state, [committing] all international war crimes, violation of American and international law, instead of holding him responsible for that, they fight over the killing of the US ambassador, who also apparently was the CIA station chief there during the entire takeover of the country — and several of his aides. That is what the focal point has been,” DeBar said.

“There’s a major crime that took place in Libya, which was that the United States and its allies devastated the country, conquering it essentially, and leaving chaos in its wake, that is not being examined whatsoever, instead we have this circus — this is one of the three-rings, I guess, that we are going to see over time — where the Republicans and Democrats can point fingers at each other over an incident that is really nothing but a collateral incident to the devastation of Libya,” he stated.

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