Midday Roundup: GOP report says Clinton lied about Benghazi security requests

by Leigh Jones
Posted 4/24/13, 01:15 pm

Search for the truth. House Republicans say former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to congressional committees about requests for added security ahead of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Requests for more security were rejected “at the highest levels of the State Department,” the GOP report concluded. Clinton refused at least one request herself, which contradicts her claim that she never saw such requests, according to the report. The report cites a State Department cable signed by Clinton that acknowledged the request for an extension of the Marine Corps security detail. The cable went on to order the planned withdrawal anyway. But according to a report in The Washington Post, State Department cables routinely bear the secretary’s signature, even if they are prepared and sent by other staffers.

Back away from the “red line.” According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, U.S. officials remain unconvinced about the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons, despite claims by Israel, Britain, and France. Britain and France “did not provide conclusive evidence of chemical weapons use,” said a senior Defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, the Times reported. Israeli intelligence officials determined Syrian government forces used chemical weapons, likely a sarin-based nerve agent during fighting on March 19 near Aleppo and Damascus. They drew their conclusions based on reports of victims with constricted pupils foaming at the mouth. But the Obama administration remains reluctant to get involved in the Syrian conflict, where rebels are not unified and world powers are equally divided on how to handle the situation.

Canadian court appearance. One of the two Muslim men accused of plotting to bomb a Canadian passenger train told a court on Wednesday the country’s criminal code wasn’t the “holy book.” Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, continued to rant against Canada’s legal system after the judge warned him his comments were on the record. “Only the Creator is perfect,” Esseghaier said, to which the judge responded: “It doesn’t matter in this court.” Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, 35, are accused of conspiring to attack and murder persons unknown for the benefit of a terrorist group, and of conspiring to interfere with transportation facilities. Police officials say Esseghaier is homeless, while Jaser, a Palestinian who emigrated from the United Arab Emirates, has permanent resident status.

Professor Petraeus. Ex-CIA chief David Petraeus will spend next year at the Macaulay Honors College at City University of New York teaching public policy. The college announced Petraeus’ appointment as a visiting professor on Tuesday. The retired Army general ended several months of self-imposed exile from public life last month when he gave the keynote address at the University of Southern California’s annual ROTC dinner. With his wife in the audience, Petraeus began his speech by apologizing for the affair that ended his tenure at the CIA and stained his otherwise spotless career as a brilliant military commander.

Leigh Jones

Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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