Issa doubles down on Benghazi charges

Congress's top investigator is defending his assertion that al Qaeda had a role in the Benghazi, Libya, attack and vowing to pursue his investigation.

In a Tuesday op-ed for The Sacramento Bee, Oversight panel Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) slammed his home-state newspaper for an editorial accusing him of “bombastic claims” concerning the 2012 attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The criticism came after a New York Times investigation pinned the blame for the attack on local militants influenced by a U.S.-made anti-Islam video.

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“The Times report included meaningful information on the view from the streets of Benghazi about the terrorist attack that killed four brave Americans. But the reporter’s inability to find Benghazi residents who would or could second conclusions reached by our intelligence community far from disproves them,” Issa wrote. “Unfortunately, The Bee’s editorial view appears limited by a journalistic cocoon in which The New York Times is undeservedly worshipped and contrary information is simply omitted.”

Issa said he stands by his claim that "there was a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with al-Qaida." He said he remains “committed to pursuing the facts about the attack on our diplomatic compound so it never happens again.”

“Essential oversight, he vowed, “will continue unchecked by partisan criticism and other efforts to mislead the public.”

The Oversight panel has held three hearings on the attack. The State Department's independent investigation criticized the agency for security failures that led to four officials being disciplined, but Issa has repeatedly sought to pin the blame directly on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is mulling a run in 2016.

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