Awaiting independent report on Benghazi
What questions remain about attack?
- Duration 4:16
- Date Dec 17, 2012
What questions remain about attack?
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Right now we are awaiting details of an independent report on the deadly assault on our consulate in Libya.
The report looks into what led up to the attack on September 11 it is expected to be turned over to State Department officials today.
As you know four Americans were killed in our consulate when it came under fire and -- Ghazi I including our ambassador to Libya Cris Stevens.
Secretary of state Hillary Clinton created the independent review board however she will not be able to testify at the been Ghazi hearings later this week.
Because of a concussion.
Let's talk about at all with Stephen -- a former deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs during the Bush Administration Stephen thanks for being with us today.
This is -- John this independent advisory review board it was appointed by the State Department does that mean it is.
Controlled by the State Department or does it live up to its title of independence.
Well -- independent in the sense that it doesn't come from within the bureaucracies will be former officials that guide the effort.
But it's going to be informed very much by.
Sources within the -- -- itself in fact I think it's.
Part of an effort to focus more on.
Lower level bureaucratic decisions and operational decisions.
And away from political and policy decisions -- -- -- this controversy -- do you expect that whatever is in this report is going to end the controversy over Ben Ghazi.
I doubt very much it'll -- the controversy and advance the conversation there's still a lot of questions about why the security posture was where it was.
An -- and Gaza on that fateful day.
But it won't really I think get at the broader question of why.
Doesn't seem to be an underestimation of the nature and scope of the threat we face in that broader region and -- the ambassador think it was advisable.
Or necessary to travel outside of the embassy on that day.
Right well -- the congress has an oversight function here so congress is going to be taking a look at this report as well correct.
They will indeed and that would have been the subject of hearings featuring the secretary of state later in the week has not been for her health issues.
I presume at some point she will.
Stand before the committees in the house and the senate to offer her account but even -- just PP pieces of information ultimately decisions made in the White House.
And the executive branch when they're internal deliberations.
Tend to get shielded from congress all congress can do is cry foul.
And call for more information well everybody is wondering about the timing of Secretary Clinton -- availability.
And she will you expect testify at some point once she's recovered from this injury.
Well I think that congress is -- thinner than its rights to call her at any time.
I mean I have no reason to second guess her health standing up at the current moment I presume that she will.
Improving her health and even after she is no longer secretary of state she still.
Would be a key witness was real information testified the way General Petraeus did also.
Because yeah there are there are a lot of questions about what happened here that are going to live on beyond her.
Her her holding of that office.
Would you expect that you get some information when other incoming to say it if it is Senator Kerry who comes in as secretary of state will there be.
More information forthcoming.
Well I would expect that he would have every interest in letting this be yesterday's business and to move on to focusing on.
What he sees as the priorities guiding his new tenure as secretary of State's I don't think you would want us want to draw too much attention to it.
But he would want to at least operationally wrap up what happened with embassy security him how to keep other facilities going in the future but whoever succeeds Hillary Clinton is going to find the same operation in place right I mean there are things that clearly need to be fixed.
They're -- clearly operational things and need to be fixed.
There are things in conjunction with the military and ensure that there are rescue options readily available should contingencies like this present themselves.
There's also a policy question of what is our enemy what is its nature of what how much of a threat does that pose and are -- telling the truth to ourselves about the status of Islamism and terrorism today.
Stephen Yates is a senior fellow at the American foreign policy council.
Stephen thank you.