The final House Republican report on the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans does not flesh out one unknown part of this story – what exactly was the CIA up to in Benghazi, and why did they have security personnel already on the ground in that Libyan city on the night of the attack.
One of the theories has been that the CIA was running some type of covert arms operation, maybe funneling arms to allies in Syria, as the Obama Administration tried to gain traction inside Libya and elsewhere in the Islamic world.
The report released on Tuesday refers only to the “U.S.-based intelligence group at Benghazi Base,” but like other reviews of the Benghazi attacks, it does not go into any detail on what those intelligence personnel were doing in Libya.
“We asked questions about covert weapons operations,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who chaired the special Benghazi investigation.
“We made some progress,” Gowdy told reporters without getting into detail; but he made clear that investigators got the Heisman stiff-arm.
“The lawyers intervened when we were beginning to make a lot of progress,” Gowdy said, leaving the public with few answers about the CIA activities in Libya.
The House Benghazi report lists interviews with five different members of the “Global Response Staff” – the GRS is basically an armed defense group whose job it is to protect CIA and other intelligence agents around the world.
Five other people working for US intelligence – the “Chief of Base,” his deputy and three other intelligence officers were interviewed by the committee as well.
Remember – the security people protecting this secret intelligence operation in Benghazi not only tried to help U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and his security team, but then found themselves under direct attack on that same night as well.
In the end, two of the Americans who died in Benghazi were members of that Global Response Staff.
What they were protecting over at the “CIA Annex” remains unclear to the general public, even after a number of Congressional investigations.