GOP Benghazi Report Includes 15 Questions Not Answered by President Obama

By Susan Jones | June 28, 2016 | 11:46am EDT
President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on Sept. 14, 2012 as the remains of Ambassador Chris Stevens arrived from Libya. (AP File Photo)

( - When did President Obama first hear about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and when did he learn it was a terrorist attack? Did he issue any orders to his Defense Secretary? Did he know what military assets were available to respond to the attack and was he aware of State Department concerns that a U.S. military rescue might look like an invasion to the Libyans?

Appendix C of the Republicans' Benghazi report includes 15 questions for President Obama, which the White House has declined to answer.

According to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, "the President is uniquely situated to answer these questions. In fact, he is the only person who can answer some of these questions."

The committee's 15 questions for the president are set out as follows, vebatim:

1. The White House issued a readout of your meeting with senior administration officials on September 10, 2012, indicating “specific measures” had been taken to “prevent 9/11 related attacks.” What were these specific measures, and how did these specific measures differ from specific measures taken on prior anniversaries of September 11?

2. When did you first learn a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, had been attacked? What were you told, and by whom? Were you informed Sean Smith had been killed during the initial attack?

3. What orders or direction, if any, did you give to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta upon learning of the initial attack? Did you or anyone at your direction ever modify, withdraw, alter, or amplify the initial orders or direction you gave to Secretary Panetta?

4. What were you told about Department of Defense assets in the region that could respond specifically to Benghazi? Did you ask for or receive a list of military or paramilitary assets in the region that could respond to Benghazi during the pendency of the attacks?

5. Were you subsequently kept informed about the initial attack, subsequent attacks, and/or efforts to either send military assistance or evacuate U.S. personnel? By whom?

6. When did you learn Ambassador Christopher Stevens was missing, and who informed you? Were you kept informed on efforts to locate Ambassador Stevens, and if so, by whom? When did you learn Ambassador Stevens was dead, and who informed you?

7. [Classified]

8. Were you aware that prior to any military asset moving to respond to the attacks the State Department expressed concerns to the White House about the number of military assets going into Libya?

9. When did you learn of a mortar attack that killed Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty? Who informed you?

10. Were you aware of any efforts by White House and Department of Defense officials during the evening of September 11, 2012, and into the early morning hours of September 12, 2012, to reach out to YouTube and Terry Jones regarding an anti-Muslim video? What specifically connected the attacks in Benghazi to this anti-Muslim [sic] video, and why weren’t these efforts made after the protests in Cairo, Egypt?

11. When did you learn individuals associated with terrorist organizations participated in the attack on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya?

12. Did you receive the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) on September 12, 2012 and September 13, 2012? If so, who provided you with the PDB?

13. Have you ever viewed surveillance footage from the cameras (or other sources) located at the U.S. facilities in Benghazi depicting the attacks? Will you declassify this footage so the Americanpeople can see for themselves what transpired?

14. Did you authorize a covert action or covert operation to provide lethal assistance to Libyan rebels?

15. [Classified]

The Republican report notes that, "Despite the Secretary of Defense’s clear directive and his intention that (rescue) forces would move and move quickly," nothing happened for many hours.

"Over 13 hours after the attack began, the first force -- the farthest away [in Rota, Spain] -- deployed. It would take nearly 18 hours for the FAST team [Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team] to move, and over 20 hours from the beginning of the attack before the CIF (another available military asset) moved."

President Obama went to a fundraiser in Las Vegas the day after the Benghazi attack.

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