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Press Release Published: Oct 31, 2013

Issa and Royce Press State, DOD, and CIA for Answers on Report of ‘Orders to wait’ in Response to Benghazi Attack

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) today pressed the Department of State, Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency to address a new report that a response team ignored “orders to wait” in responding to calls for help from our diplomats during the 2012 attack on the United States compound in Benghazi Libya that led to the death of four Americans.

The letter cites the October 27th  CBS 60 Minutes report that, “About 30 minutes into the attack, a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at times running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there.”

This report again calls into question decision making by government officials in aggressively rescuing American personnel at the Benghazi compound.

The Chairmen write: “According to a recent report, there may have been an attempt to delay the deployment of resources to assist our diplomats.  If accurate, this is a troubling development meriting a full explanation by this Administration.”

The letter continues, “[CBS’ Lara] Logan’s report was not the first to raise questions about the difficulties that the Annex response team encountered when they moved to assist their colleagues in extremis. In October 2012, news outlets reported that a team from the Annex was delayed in responding to the attack on the SMC because it was initially unable to obtain official authorization to do so. At the time, Administration officials downplayed the 24-minute interval between the time the Annex learned of the attack and the response team’s departure by arguing that the time was spent attempting to secure support from local militias.  Notwithstanding the reason for the delay, it is highly probable that it was during this time that Ambassador Stevens and his colleague Sean Smith perished.”

Read the letter to Kerry here.

Read the letter to Brennan here.

Read the letter to Hagel here.