A House hearing has exposed how shallow the State Department’s “investigation” of the Benghazi debacle truly was:
*Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handpicked the two leaders of the ARB who were given the job of investigating her department.
*Cheryl Mills, the chief of staff and senior counselor to Secretary Clinton, was intimately involved with the ARB [accountability review board] panel from the beginning. She called the leaders at Clinton’s behest to ask them to serve, she was briefed regularly on the investigation as it unfolded and she received a draft copy of the report before it was finalized. . .
*The chairman of the panel acknowledged at least one instance in which language in the report was softened after an early draft was sent to Clinton and her top aides. . .
*The ARB did not speak with nine key military officials on the ground in Libya or Germany who were deeply involved in the US response to the attacks. Among those who was never interviewed: Lt. Colonel Steven Gibson, who was on the ground in Tripoli and whom State Department official Greg Hicks has testified was on the receiving end of the “stand-down” order that Obama officials have repeatedly disclaimed. . .
*None of the interviews the ARB conducted were recorded in any fashion. . . The only record of those sessions is in notes taken by a staff member. . . (Those summaries and the notes that produced them have not been provided to Congress).
*The ARB did not investigate the Obama administration’s public response to the attack or the role that senior State Department officials played in shaping that narrative. That response included the highly misleading claim that the attacks had come as a reaction to an anti-Islam video and many other claims that were later shown to be false.
The purpose of the probe was not to investigate anything, but to protect Hillary Clinton from damage. Their choice not to investigate the stand-down order is particularly appalling.
UPDATE: The ARB never even interviewed the four employees that it decided to blame.