Republican Trio Wants More Questions Answered on Benghazi

National Journal

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., won’t drop it. Despite the White House’s release of Benghazi e-mails that it says show the administration was not playing politics with a security tragedy, the Republican trio has a long list of additional questions, all carrying serious political implications.

Here’s what McCain, Graham, and Ayotte say they still don’t know:

-Whether President Obama knew about Ambassador Chris Stevens’s August 2012 cable, stating the U.S. mission in Benghazi could not survive a sustained assault from militia groups operating in eastern Libya.

-Whether Obama’s national security staff told him of the other attacks on the mission in 2012 and the assassination attempt on the British ambassador in Benghazi.

-Whether Obama, if he did indeed know of those attacks and the assassination attempt, ordered any actions.

-Who within the military's Special Operations Command-Africa ordered a special-forces detachment to not go to Benghazi, and why a “stand down” order was given.

-Why U.S. security assets in the region were not ready and positioned to respond to a foreseeable emergency on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

-What Obama did or who he was in contact with during the seven hours of the attack.

-Why Obama did not contact Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf during that time.

-Why the testimonies of the U.S. personnel evacuated from Benghazi--people the senators say knew there never was a demonstration outside the U.S. mission--were not shared in a timely way with the intelligence community.

-Whether the failure to share information in this case reflects obstacles more broadly experienced across security and intelligence agencies.

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