House Republican calls for reprimands at State Dept.

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McCaul, head of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on oversight said the attack succeeded in killing four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, because of the department’s failure to answer calls for increased security prior to the attack on Sept. 11.

“I respectfully ask Secretary Clinton to take immediate action to hold those senior members of her staff responsible for these poor security decisions,” McCaul said in a statement.

McCaul also said it was clear the attacks did not spawn from protests over the anti-Islam video on YouTube. State Department officials told reporters Tuesday night that that reasoning was never held by the department, despite initial claims from Obama administration officials to the contrary.

McCaul’s announcement came shortly after a House Oversight Committee hearing during which a key witness disputed the claim that increased security would have prevented the attack.

“The ferocity and intensity of the attack was nothing that we had seen in Libya, or that I had seen in my time in the Diplomatic Security Service,” said Eric Nordstrom, a regional security officer who had previously been stationed in Tripoli.

“Having an extra foot of wall, or an extra-half dozen guards or agents would not have enabled us to respond to that kind of assault,” Nordstrom said at the hearing Wednesday.

Earlier this month, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Clinton detailing 13 prior security threats to the embassy.

And Lt. Col. Andy Wood, who led a 16-person security team in Libya for six months, testified Wednesday that security in Benghazi was always a struggle. He added that regional security officers struggled to attain an adequate amount of personnel.

Clinton has not been asked to testify before the committee, but Issa said Wednesday that he wasn't ruling it out.

McCaul also announced a prior investigation into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate DHS's international terrorism activities in June.

“The security of the American homeland is linked to international security as vulnerabilities in one part of the world can quickly become security threats in another," he said in the statement.

--Julian Pecquet contributed to this report.

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