The 800 page report, which cost $7 million and took two years to complete, showed that neither the American government nor a militia group contracted to provide security for the embassy could take credit for saving American lives. It was, instead, a group of individuals representing the government that the Obama administration was trying to overthrow at the time.
"We decided that the situation we had was untenable to stay at the compound. We didn’t have enough shooters and there were too many wounded, and we were definitely going to lose our State Department wounded if we had stayed there much longer," an American special operator testified, describing how the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by mortar shell fire.
The US operatives felt that they were "next to helpless."
The trapped Americans knew they needed to evacuate, but didn’t have the weaponry or vehicles necessary to escape. That’s when the loyalists arrived.
"The forces that arrived at the Annex shortly after the mortar attacks were able to transport all State Department and CIA personnel safely to the airport. The forces, known as Libyan Military Intelligence, arrived with 50 heavily-armed security vehicles," the report reads.
The Libya Military Intelligence (LMI) forces that arrived were not part of the "February 17 Martyrs Brigade, recommended by the Libyan Government and contractually obligated to provide security to the Mission Compound," and the report details how "the February 17 Martyrs Brigade militia, which provided interior armed security at the Benghazi Mission compound, informed the Diplomatic Security Agents two days before the Ambassador was scheduled to arrive it would no longer provide off-compound security."
It goes on to highlight that the "…Libya Military Intelligence, whom the CIA did not even know existed until the night of the attacks, were comprised of former military officers under the Gaddafi regime who had gone into hiding in fear of being assassinated, and wanted to keep their presence in Benghazi as quiet as possible so as to not attract attention from the militias in control of Benghazi."
"In other words," the report adds, "some of the very individuals the United States had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution were the only Libyans that came to the assistance of the United States on the night of the Benghazi attacks."
The report exposed the irony of the LMI’s involvement, concluding that "It was also this group, not groups previously given credit by previous investigations, that came to the rescue of the Americans in those early morning hours, likely saving dozens of lives as a result."
The House Benghazi Committee interrogated then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for nearly 11 hours over her role in the attack. The current presidential hopeful claimed the report didn’t incriminate her and said simply "I think it’s pretty clear it's time to move on."