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House GOP grills Pickering, Mullen on Benghazi

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 4:10 pm | Updated: 12:19 pm, Wed Sep 25, 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans who've been investigating last year's deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, have given a grilling today to a former U.N. ambassador and a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman over their review of the administration's handling of the matter.

GOP members of the House oversight committee asked why former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other administration officials weren't questioned during the probe that was overseen by Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen.

Mullen responded, "We interviewed everyone we thought it necessary to interview." And Pickering said Clinton wasn't involved in security decisions on Benghazi.

That prompted Republican John Mica (MY'-kuh) of Florida to say, "If the secretary wasn't involved, I must be on another planet." He called the report a "whitewash."

Another Republican asked why NATO allies weren't called upon to help the Americans in Benghazi. Mullen replied that "the likelihood that NATO could respond in a situation like that was absolutely zero."

The report from the independent panel chaired by Mullen and Pickering harshly criticized the State Department for its security posture in the months before militants stormed the Benghazi facility, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But House Republicans said the report was incomplete, and that it lacked independence.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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