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House Committee Launches Benghazi Probe

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Posted by  ▪  Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 8:22pm

Gowdy’s panel pulls no punches.

gowdy benghazi panel

The House Committee tasked with uncovering what really happened when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi held its first hearing today, reigniting the firestorm surrounding the State Department’s alleged mishandling of diplomatic security in the region.

Via ABC News:

Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina vowed to pursue the facts wherever the lead him. Opening his committee’s first public hearing since its establishment four months ago, he stressed the thoroughness of the task ahead, not the need to reach immediate conclusions.

“Given the gravity of the issues at hand, I am willing to risk answering the same question twice rather than risk not answering it once,” said Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor leading Congress’ eighth investigation of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack in eastern Libya.

Congress is still seeking documents from the Obama administration related to the attack, he said. More witnesses are being interviewed and individuals who’ve participated in congressional investigations will be questioned again. The special investigation was created to “find all of the facts, and I intend to do so fully,” Gowdy said.

Highlighted at today’s hearing was the testimony of Todd Keil, who raised concerns about out-of-date security protocols governing diplomatic security. Keil, who is a member of the Independent Panel on Best Practices, ripped into the State Department for ignoring the Panel’s advice and continuing on with ineffective methods of protecting diplomats overseas:

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Update: House OKs measure to arm Syrian rebels

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Posted by  ▪  Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 6:33pm

Bipartisan support comes with bipartisan concern.

arm syrian rebels

Today, the House approved a $500 million measure dedicated to the arming and training of Syrian rebels.

The authorization is limited in scope to training up to 5,000 members of the Syrian opposition in Saudi Arabia. It provides no new funding and requires the administration to provide status reports to Congress. The Obama administration said the mission may be funded by international contributions, but the resolution authorizes the Pentagon to shift funds from other accounts if necessary.

Although the vote was bipartisan (273-156), both Republicans and Democrats have serious concerns about the President’s plan to roll back ISIS.

Via the Washington Post:

Democrats are concerned that without clearly defined parameters passed by Congress in the coming months, new U.S. military operations in the Middle East could fester for several years with no clear strategy or definition of success.

Republicans have worried that Obama’s plans so far are too limited. One top GOP leader suggested Congress could go as far as giving the president blanket military authority, even if Obama doesn’t want it, when Congress holds a much broader debate after the November elections about the fight against Islamic terrorists.

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