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Administration's Benghazi Review Board Discredits Itself in Congressional Hearing

Do the media care?

7:45 PM, Sep 19, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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*None of the interviews the ARB conducted were recorded in any fashion – no audio, no video, no court reporter. The only record of those sessions is in notes taken by a staff member. According to the vice chairman: “The staff would put a summary of the interview together. We would – the members would be able to review that summary shortly after the interview.” (Those summaries and the notes that produced them have not been provided to Congress).

*The ARB did not investigate the Obama administration’s public response to the attack or the role that senior State Department officials played in shaping that narrative. That response included the highly misleading claim that the attacks had come as a reaction to an anti-Islam video and many other claims that were later shown to be false. Emails between top State Department officials and others in the Obama administration, first reported by TWS last spring, revealed that several top State Department officials were involved in crafting the administration’s post-attack talking points. And Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the United Nations, a top State Department official, famously blamed the video in her appearances on the Sunday talk shows shortly after the attack. The ARB wasn’t interested.

Throughout their appearances Thursday and in their depositions earlier, both Pickering and Mullen insisted that their investigation was independent and thorough. But the substance of their testimony suggests precisely the opposite.

At the end of the session, Chairman Darrell Issa announced that he had subpoenaed two State Department officials with firsthand knowledge of the events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. John Martinec, a top security adviser to Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and Alec Henderson, the regional security officer in Benghazi, both received subpoenas to appear before the committee.

All of this is, by definition, news. Will it get covered?

Unlikely. JC Derrick, a political reporter who covered the hearings for World Magazine, a right-leaning Christian publication, says he saw a note from one reporter in the room at the hearing. It read: “My proposed lede: ‘Nothing new on Benghazi was revealed today.’ The End.’”

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