Wednesday's New York Times story by Cairo correspondent David Kirkpatrick about a car-bombing in Libya buried an important new development in the Benghazi scandal. A report from House Republicans accused then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of rejecting a call for additional security for U.S. diplomats in Libya before the Benghazi terror attack that killed four Americans last year on the anniversary of September 11.
But the accusation was buried deep inside a breaking terrorism story, "Blast Strikes French Embassy in Rare Attack in Libyan Capital." Meanwhile, the Washington Post ran a full story.
A car bomb destroyed about half of the French Embassy in Libya early Tuesday, officials said, in the most significant attack against a Western interest in the country since the killing last September of the American ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.
The explosion injured two French guards, one critically, but most employees had not yet arrived, Libyan and French officials said.
Not until paragraph 17 did Kirkpatrick get around to the congressional report.
The killing of Mr. Stevens, the ambassador, illustrates the problem: seven months later, little progress has been made to hold anyone to account.
That failure received renewed attention in Washington on Tuesday when the Republican chairmen of five House committees released a report about the September attack, which took place in Benghazi. The report accused Hillary Rodham Clinton, then secretary of state, and other top officials of overriding requests for more security from American diplomats in Tripoli. Mrs. Clinton has said she tried to provide adequate security and does not recall requests for more.
But Kirkpatrick failed to provide details.
In contrast, the Washington Post's Anne Gearan made a full story out of it, which appeared on A10 of Wednesday's edition: "GOP report faults Clinton on Benghazi security."
House Republicans charged Tuesday that then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rejected a direct plea for additional security for U.S. diplomats in Libya before the fatal attack in Benghazi last year, which Republicans say contradicts her claim in congressional testimony that such requests did not come to her.
Five committees of the Republican-led House concluded in a new report on the attack that cuts in security measures in Libya were approved “at the highest levels of the State Department,” including in at least one instance by Clinton. The report cites an April 2012 internal State Department message, called a cable, bearing Clinton’s signature. The message acknowledged a formal request for the extension of a Marine Corps security detail in the country, but ordered that a planned withdrawal go ahead as planned, the Republican report says.