Senator Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) came to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s defense on Wednesday during a congressional hearing on the deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Clinton appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations committee to testify about the State Department’s handling of the Benghazi assault, which claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Over the course of the hearing, Republican committee members — most notably Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) — criticized Clinton repeatedly for what they characterized as a purposeful attempt by the administration to mislead the public about the causes of the attack.
Durbin, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and was a member of the panel questioning Clinton, used his speaking time to defend the Obama administration’s post-Benghazi investigation, by way of contrast with the Bush administration’s political posturing in the months leading up to the United State’s 2003 invasion of Iraq.
[I have] five words for [critics] to reflect on: Iraqi weapons on mass destruction. We were told by every level of government here that there were Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that justified a war. The invasion of the united states. We are still searching for those weapons. They didn’t exist. Thousands of Americans lost their lives. We could have a hearing on that if you like.
Durbin went on to characterize the information-gathering process carried out after the Benghazi attack as conducted in good faith.
[Investigators] did a thorough review here, found shortcomings in our protection of our people overseas and reported them honestly. You not only initiated that review, you accepted those findings in their totality — no cover-up, an attempt to be totally honest, and to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.
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