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GOP Renews Criticism of Handling of Benghazi

WASHINGTON (AP) – After hearing from former CIA Director David Petraeus, Republican lawmakers are not letting up on their criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida says Petraeus made it clear that the security measures at the consulate were not adequate. Rubio says there was an overwhelming and growing amount of information that showed the area in Benghazi

US consulate compound in Benghazi
(Photo credit should read STR/AFP/GettyImages)

was dangerous, particularly on the night of Sept. 11.

According to a congressional official, Petraeus testified that security was so lax, attackers just walked in and set fire to the facility. Ambassador Chris Stevens died from smoke inhalation.

A congressional staffer says Petraeus testified that the CIA draft written in response to the raid referred to militant groups Ansar al-Shariah and al-Qaida, but those names were replaced with the word “extremist” in the final draft.

The staffer says Petraeus testified that he allowed other agencies to alter the talking points as they saw fit without asking for final review, in order to get them out quickly.

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York says the reference to al-Qaida was taken out somewhere along the line by someone outside the intelligence community and, in his words, “we need to find out who did it and why.”

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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