Thursday, February 22, 2018

Benghazi attack videos shown to Congress

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers have seen a video made by drone surveillance and security cameras that showed them in real time the attack in Libya that killed four Americans, including the ambassador.

Top intelligence officials showed them the footage as part of hearings on the attack in September on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein and ranking member Saxby Chambliss say they will hold at least two more fact-finding hearings before a public session to share what they've learned.

The senators say they hope to hear more details when ex-CIA director David Petraeus testifies behind closed doors today.

Also Thursday, the deputy CIA director testified that five days after the attack, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice described what precipitated the deadly incident based on initial intelligence that later proved incorrect.

In a closed-door session with the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Morell said Rice was provided with an unclassified version of events, according to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the panel.

The assessment concluded that a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video had evolved into an attack on the American consulate, a description that Rice presented in television interviews the Sunday morning after the attack.

Schiff told reporters that he didn't think the intelligence community had politicized the information. "They gave us the best initial assessments, and those proved inaccurate, but they warned us those assessments were subject to change as they got more information," he said.

Rice's comments on national television have drawn fierce criticism, with some Senate Republicans promising to block her nomination if President Barack Obama chooses her to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton also is scheduled to testify, but the date for her testimony has not been set.

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