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Testimony sheds some light on Benghazi attacks

| Saturday, July 12, 2014, 9:03 p.m.

WASHINGTON — One by one, behind closed doors, military officers explained what they did and didn't do the night U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, were attacked.

Together, their 30 hours of testimony to congressional investigators gives the fullest account yet of the military's response to the surprise attacks that killed four Americans, including the ambassador, the night of Sept. 11, 2012, into the next morning.

Transcripts of the interviews, with some names and classified information blacked out, were released on Wednesday

The nine officers, including retired Gen. Carter Ham, then the head of Africa Command, described making on-the-fly decisions with only sparse information about the crisis unfolding at a diplomatic post and the nearby CIA compound.

None of them was in Benghazi. The closest? Some were 600 miles away in Tripoli, the Libyan capital; others gave orders from command headquarters in Germany or Washington.

They did not witness what went on in the White House or at the State Department.

Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and others have testified about Benghazi. More hearings are coming.

The nine officers shed light on the nature of the attacks.

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