The following is a rerun of a LB blog post from September 22, 2013, so when you consider this information, just ask yourself the question posed in the title:
Gladius emailed this handy link to the House’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform interim report on the Benghazi Attacks released September 16, 2013. (full report here). I’ve only waded through the first couple dozen pages and each page leads to more questions on Madame Secretary’s legally mandated internal review of the events surrounding Benghazi. Her State Department set-up an Accountability Review Board (ARB), run by five big name former government servants, to include former ambassador to the UN and six other countries, Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Admiral Mike Mullen. The Obama administration cited this ongoing investigation as a shield from probing questions by the media and concerned Congressional members and as a handy sword to swiftly fell any who dared criticize. Pages 21-22 explains their process for gleaning the facts, with Admiral Mike Mullen testifying how their ARB report was put together:
In addition, the Committee has been unable to assess with any specificity what
information witnesses conveyed to the ARB during interviews. The ARB did not maintain
official transcripts of the testimony provided to the Board. Instead, it developed reports of each
interview based on the notes of staff and Board members. Mullen testified:
Q. How were the interviews recorded? Was there a court reporter?
Was there video? Was there audio recording? Note taking?
A. Note taking.
Q. And none of the other options?
Q. And how did it get put together?
A. 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.
Q. Any concerns with that?
Q. That it wasn’t transcribed or recorded?
A. No. From the standpoint of content, substance and content, I found
them to be very accurate.
Yep, they relied on their own personal notes rather than on recording, videotaping or even having a stenographer present. This was how their official report was documented. I’ll read the entire report before rendering a final judgement on Madame Secretary’s ARB report and relegating it to the bird cage liner pile (worthy only of catching droppings), but the first couple dozen pages are damning.