The U.S. official said that all U.S. staff had now been sent to Europe and the wounded are being treated in Germany. Clinton officially stepped down as secretary of state. In the chaos, Stevens was separated in the dark from his colleagues, and hours later was transported by Libyans to a Benghazi hospital, where he died, alone, apparently of asphyxiation from the smoke. [230], Robert Gates, former CIA director and Defense Secretary under Republican Presidents and then President Obama, said that some critics of the government's response have a "cartoonish" view of military capabilities. A possible political motive for the investigation was revealed on September 29, 2015, when Republican House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, then vying to become Speaker of the House, told Sean Hannity on Fox News that the investigation was part of a "strategy to fight and win,' adding "Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, The searchers were unable to find Stevens before heavy gunfire forced them to retreat to a mission annex building, which was a distance away from the main building. The jury found Khatallah guilty on only four of the 18 counts he faced and acquitted him on murder and other charges, according to the Justice Department. State Department officials said they do not know who took Stevens to the hospital or transported the body to the airport and into U.S. [77][78], Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent Scott Strickland secured Stevens and Sean Smith, an information management officer, in the main building's safe haven. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent. The Pentagon ordered an unmanned aerial vehicle that was in the air conducting surveillance on militant camps to fly over Benghazi. A later report from an independent review board concluded "there was no protest prior to the attacks. Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, September 18, 2013, Reviews of the Benghazi Attacks and Unanswered Questions: Hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, September 19, 2013, Report of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11–12, 2012 Together with Additional Views, January 15, 2014, Hearing 1: Hearing before the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Second Session, held in Washington, DC, September 17, 2014, Hearing 2: Hearing before the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Second Session, held in Washington, DC, December 10, 2014, Hearing 3: Hearing before the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, held in Washington, DC, January 27, 2015, Hearing 4: Hearing before the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, held in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015, September 2012 southern Israel cross-border attack, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2012_Benghazi_attack&oldid=983390426, Attacks on diplomatic missions of the United States, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, United States diplomatic post and CIA annex, This page was last edited on 14 October 2020, at 00:07. Minutes after they drove through the gates, the annex came under heavy fire. Clinton announces her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. [143] Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, the President of the General National Congress of Libya, said: "We apologise to the United States, the people and to the whole world for what happened. [14][15][16], Despite persistent accusations against President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice, ten investigations—six by Republican-controlled congressional committees—did not find that they or any other high-ranking Obama administration officials had acted improperly.

But no evidence of similar protests in Benghazi could be substantiated, and other evidence emerged, suggesting that the attacks were a premeditated act by the al-Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia. On the same day, Libya's Deputy Ambassador to the United Kingdom Ahmad Jibril told the BBC that Ansar Al-Sharia was behind the attack. The incident sparked controversy and ignited a political firestorm in the United States. The team, which included two active-duty JSOC operators and five CIA personnel, had commandeered a small jet in Tripoli by paying the pilots $30,000 and forcing them to fly to Benghazi.